Traits of the Great . . .

Part IV – Business Finance & Banking

In this last blog of our Traits of the Great series, we will talk about what it takes to excel in a business finance or banking career. While it does require specific training, skills, and experience, there are many other factors that make for a top-notch candidate. Soft skills, cultural fit, as well as character and personality traits play a vital role.

Professional Skills

Intellectual Strength: A solid understanding of analytics, mathematics, finances, and economics, as well as the ability to solve problems, are essentials.

Intellectual Curiosity: The desire to understand not only your role but also the roles of your colleagues, maintaining an awareness of how each of your roles blend to create the big picture.

Numerical Aptitude: This sounds obvious, but it goes deeper than number crunching and proficiency in basic programs. It’s the ability to use that aptitude to solve complex problems, help clients expand their assets, create innovative solutions, accurately predict the result, etc.

Technically Savvy: Begin by knowing Excel inside and out, every program, key, shortcut, etc. Add to that a knowledge of Structured Query Language (SQL). Build an understanding of available tools and systems which will help identify, assess, report, measure and monitor risks, as well as prepare business performance metrics, estimates, and forecasts.

Leadership: The finance sector requires strong leadership – beginning at entry level. Clients rely on a deep trust in those who handle their finances – they are looking for leaders. They want to know that you will provide financial wisdom so they can take care of their family.

Communicator: The banking and business finance industry requires constant and accurate communication with managers above you, coworkers, and clients. An innate understanding of multiple communications channels is essential to reach each individual according to their personal preference so that nothing is lost or misunderstood in the process.

Project Management: Strong organizational skills and detail orientation will enable you to effectively manage projects, your time, and your client’s money – all within the company and governmental restrictions.

Global Understanding: We live in a globally-connected world. A solid knowledge of world affair, financial markets, and international business is an important skill.

Character and Personality Traits

Confidence without arrogance: Your employer and your clients need to see a high level of self-confidence coupled with humbleness, for in this is loyalty and trust secured.

Consistent Professionalism: It goes with the territory. The suit makes a difference as does a firm handshake, moderate behavior, manners, calm articulate conversation – you get the picture. This applies to social media too.

Self-discipline and management:  Self-starters who can be relied upon to perform efficiently and effectively and on time are winners in banking and finance. Maintaining a drive for continued learning and advancement is a plus.

Strong Ethics: While a competitive, passionate spirit for your work is a positive, it must be corralled within the realm of integrity, honesty, and loyalty.

Independent team player: It may sound like an oxymoron, but banking and finance require both the ability to build team relationships and work together as well as the ability to independently perform your responsibilities well.

Relationship Builder: The ability to connect and build rapport with people, including those difficult personalities is crucial to success. As a leader in finance, you must come across both as an authority and as one who “understands the needs” of their client.

We know. It sounds a bit overwhelming. The list is meant to give a “big-picture” view of what it takes. Many of them intermingle with each other. For example, if you have numerical aptitude, you will probably also be tech savvy. If you are a leader, you have probably mastered the art of communication, and if you are self-disciplined, professionalism and ethics will come naturally. Bottom line, if you want to succeed in banking and finance, this is a great pattern to follow.

And if you do, Springborn Staffing wants to hear from you. We match top companies in Bangor and Portland, Maine with best-match qualified candidates every week. Banking and Finance candidates as well as other industries. Contact us today – it’s an investment in your career’s future.

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