The atypical crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has rocked the world. Entire industries are sagging, companies are struggling to survive, and hundreds of thousands of professionals are fighting for jobs. There will be no winners. Only those who were able to stay afloat in this global storm and adapt to the new conditions will remain. Read about how the business environment and labor market are already changing, and what skills financial professionals should develop in order to work successfully in the postpandemic.
What skills to develop for financial professionals
One way to keep your career in quarantine is to learn. According to experts in the field of professional development, specialists with anti-crisis skills, both professional and personal, will be in demand. As well as those who were able to rearrange their thinking in the direction of digital. We present the top 7 skills which are worth to be emphasized by financial specialists during the crisis, and the ways to develop them.
High adaptability and flexibility
The processes in companies accelerate with digitalization. Therefore, businesses will need specialists with a high level of flexibility, able to adapt quickly to new conditions. If you are a manager, you will obviously have to review strategy and budgets. If you are a line specialist, you will have to learn to work remotely and take on additional functions. Everyone will have to think out of the box and introduce something new into work processes.
Knowledge of digital technology
The pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of business. Accounting is being automated, VR technologies and blockchain are in full swing, and the field of fintech is developing. Finance is becoming digital, which means professionals need to be digital: to be able to use information technology to process data and increase company profits.
Creativity and strategic thinking
Top managers of many companies have already shown creativity and ingenuity during the pandemic. For example, the Mercedes Formula 1 team has temporarily switched to manufacturing breathing apparatuses, and the Italian company Prada is sewing medical suits and masks. During the crisis those managers who are also able to find new opportunities and quickly lead companies into new niches will not be lost.
Critical thinking in finance is needed more than ever. During a crisis, audits tend to intensify in companies and there is a lot of bad news around. Therefore, it is important to be able to weigh any information and not give in to panic. Work on your concentration and apply the method of “fact-checking” (professional mistrust) when dealing with data, in order to secure yourself once again and avoid fatal mistakes. Read more of Tom Chatfield’s reference book, “Critical Thinking. Analyze, Doubt, Form Your Opinion.” It contains many practical examples and tips on dealing with misinformation and manipulation.
In a crisis it is important for managers to keep in touch with their employees, not to allow panic in the team and to be able to support people in time. This is why emotional intelligence is so important – the ability to read one’s own and others’ emotions, to understand people and to build communication with them. For example, during a tense Skype conference, a leader with developed emotional intelligence knows when to make a joke or take a break. However, making managerial decisions and leading a team only on the basis of empathy and observation is not enough. And at your leisure, you can read Daniel Goleman’s book “Emotional Intelligence at Work. From it you will learn how to increase emotional intelligence and make a successful career with it.
A professional who can anticipate and manage possible risks is valued in any company and at any time. But especially so when things are unstable around you. The main value of risk managers in a crisis is that they help the company to reduce the likelihood of risks or mitigate the consequences if they are unavoidable. If you want to know what hindsight means and how to make good decisions in the face of uncertainty, read the book by professional poker player and business consultant Annie Duke, “The Betting Principle. How to Make Decisions in the Face of Uncertainty.”
One of the most important skills in a crisis. If you can grasp information quickly and love to learn, you can succeed in any field. Understand what to learn and what skills to tighten in quarantine, you can use online tests. To say that the Corona Crisis is a time for career opportunities would be wrong. Rather, it is a time for action. You can’t freeze and wait now – it can backfire badly and then you have to start “from scratch.” It’s better to use quarantine and isolation time to develop skills and improve your skills. This way you can not only hold on during the crisis, but also prepare to reactivate your career afterwards.