Are you analytical?
In the finance industry, you will likely spend your work day finding solutions for clients or analyzing data for a company to help management make financial decisions. To do this, you will need to ability to analyze complex data and arrive at potential solutions. Strong analytical skills are a must.
Do you have good communication skills?
Do you envision the financial analyst sitting at a lone cubicle, crunching numbers, with limited interaction with others? This is not the reality for a finance professional. Not only must you have strong analytical skills, you should also have very good communication skills. As an investment banker or financial planner, you will need to communicate clearly and confidently to clients. As a financial analyst in a corporation, you need to have communication skills to talk to every level of employees. You may gather data from an entry level accountant one week and present the findings of your analysis to the CEO the next.
Are you self-motivated?
A career in finance can be difficult and demanding. You’ll need enthusiasm, motivation, and discipline to be successful in this field. Some careers within the finance profession will require you to make sales. Being successful at sales requires strong self-motivation and self-discipline. In the corporate setting, you will need the self-motivation to complete projects on time to deliver results to management.
Are you looking for a 9-5 job?
If so, finance may not be the best fit for you. Professionals in the finance industry often work long hours. However, they also typically earn a good salary.
Are you a creative thinker?
In the finance field, you will need to be able to think creatively, or “outside the box.” You will be analyzing complex data and developing solutions based on this data. You will need to apply what you know to scenarios and assumptions that are ever-changing.
A career in finance is very rewarding, though at times demanding. If you are analytical and creative, extroverted with good communication skills, and not afraid of a little hard work, it is a great career choice!
Jonah Engler is a financial expert who hails from New York City.