The finance industry is incredibly competitive, but entry into this world can bring unique opportunities and benefits. The financial industry is one of those sectors where the sky truly is the limit when it comes to earning potential – with the right skills and talents, there’s no stopping you on your path to success.
For those just entering the sector, it can be tough to know exactly where to start, and which skill to focus on honing to ensure your CV captures attention. There are plenty of skills and financial qualifications that can be invaluable for a career in corporate finance, and the ones you should focus on will often depend on the type of role you’re seeking and the specific company you want to work with. There are, however, some skills that are near-universally appealing for anyone hoping to make their way in the corporate finance industry.
In any finance role, theoretical knowledge of the type of finance and area you’re practising will be crucial. Many of the roles involve the analysis of data and financial transactions and records to help a company decide on their next moves and ways to grow. You’ll need an excellent understanding of how corporate finance works and, in many cases, theoretical knowledge of areas like accounting.
To thrive in any industry, you will need to be able to prove an ability to lead. Many of the career advancement opportunities in the corporate finance sector will involve management and leadership roles, so you’ll need to be able to prove you can excel in these areas if you want to build a lasting career. Showing that you are a capable self-starter is a vital place to start, and being able to effortlessly take charge of a situation, when it is called for, can really help you stand apart in the eyes of your employers. You can learn the theory of leadership with a suitable course or hone your skills in a management position in another industry.
Confidence is a skill that can be tough to learn – it is often something that you have to gain through an understanding and reassurance in your own skill set. In some cases, you can use the ‘fake it til you make it’ method; you might be surprised by how many high-powered people in the financial industry use this method to appear and feel more confident in their role. A lot of confidence is about mindset, so you could practice affirmations or other self-reassuring techniques to help you feel comfortable and confident in your ability.
Technology has taken the financial world by storm over the last few decades, and this is set to continue. Anyone with valuable technological skills will find themselves highly sought after in a corporate finance setting, so it is a good idea to upskill yourself with some tech skills. Programming is one of the most valuable skills in the tech industry, which can translate into incredible benefits in the finance sector. Programming requires you to learn coding languages which, in turn, let you develop programs that could improve efficiency and streamline processes within a company. The skill is highly desirable in the finance world and beyond and can be an excellent feather in your cap when applying for corporate finance jobs.
The major corporate finance players are international companies, where a knowledge of languages can be invaluable to employees. While there are excellent translation and interpretation resources available to corporations, such as the outstanding services offered by Rosetta Translation, being knowledgeable in a second language can be a good way to stand apart from others when applying for jobs. You will need to be fluent to offer the best benefits to the company you’re considering.
In many industries, the people you know can be almost as important as the skills you have. Having professional contacts in the corporate financial world can help you get your foot in the door and give you the opportunity for a starting role, as well as subsequent opportunities, in the industry. Networking is something you should start as soon as possible, covering as many bases as possible. This can include attending conferences and other events where people in the industry gather and getting your name out there.
It is rare to find your ideal job straight away – often, you will have to try different companies and roles until you find the perfect place for you. It can sometimes be disheartening, but being persistent and consistent in your aims will benefit you significantly. It is important not to settle for anything other than the very best; you deserve a career you love. Persistence will also help you excel in your financial career, overcoming any obstacle and showing your employers that you will work hard at any task you’re given. That being said, you should also know when to hold back or withdraw if you know that you won’t get where you need to be with a particular strategy.
The financial sector is highly competitive and demanding. You will be required to be highly adaptable in how you work, ready for anything that your company or industry might throw you. The corporate financial sector can also be significantly impacted by changes to the stock market and other global events – you will need to know how to adapt to significant shifts in policy overnight. Adaptability can be a tough skill to hone and practice; some people are born with the ability to shift on a dime, while others may need to work at the ability to change their mindset at a moment’s notice.
When deciding which skills you should acquire for your career in corporate finance, it is important to understand the requirements of the role you’re considering. There are many career paths you could follow in the corporate finance industry, and each will come with its own unique requirements and demands. You should look at all of your options, so you can make an educated and logical decision based on the type of career you would enjoy the most.