If you want to work in banking, you’ll need a specific set of characteristics and skills. Corporate and investment banking are famously competitive fields, with only the best and brightest typically making the cut.
As a result, we’ve put up a list of the top abilities you’ll need as a banker, from the hard skills you’ll need to learn in school to the soft skills that will look fantastic on your résumé and help you stand out as a banking candidate.
So, if you want to work for one of the world’s top banks and make a lot of money, these are the skills you’ll need to accumulate.
Even though a banker is adept at solving problems, working long hours, and maintaining a high degree of accuracy, he or she may struggle with communication. Important information may be lost if coworkers misread confusing banker instructions or are not told when they should be. The bank may lose money, time, and even customers as a result of this. Bankers must be able to clearly formulate their thoughts, articulate them, and know when to communicate. This is true while dealing with clients as well as coworkers. Every student aspiring to be a banker should practise clear and succinct communication in written forms, electronic sources, and spoken dialogue.
It’s a simple truth that you won’t get very far in banking and finance unless you have the analytical ability to detect trends, patterns, and decisive conclusions from the reams of data you’ll be exposed to, regardless of which sector you work in or the nature of your employment. This doesn’t only mean knowing how to use Excel or Python, while these are technical abilities that will come in handy. You must understand what you are searching for in the data and how you might use it to achieve a competitive advantage.
As previously stated, corporate banking is a harsh and competitive atmosphere in which you’ll face numerous challenges on your way from fresh-faced intern to seasoned account manager. As a result, you’ll need to be tenacious in your pursuit of success, even if it means working irregular hours and making personal sacrifices. Of course, the financial benefits for those who succeed are nearly inconceivable, but getting there will not be simple. After all, when it comes to banking employment, the competition is tough, and the path to success might be narrow.
A competent banker’s ability to predict financial trends and future business developments around the world is often the difference between success and failure. After all, predicting where market shifts will occur could be critical for increasing or defending a specific section of your bank’s portfolio.
It’s also important to understand how businesses run and what motivates them in the corporate sector, especially if you’re interacting with them directly. If you’re dealing with a client in a specific industry, for example, you’ll need to be well-versed in the industry’s climate, risks, and prospective change factors.
Having a broad understanding of several industries and being current on the latest trends, innovations, and changes in the banking industry and outside will be crucial to your success. Your commercial awareness may be the difference between landing a big customer or a promotion.
It’s no wonder that banking is a demanding job, given the long hours, high-pressure workplace, and enormous emphasis on you to perform. To be successful, you must have a high-stress tolerance and effective coping techniques.
This is also not optional. Stress-related health problems, burnout, and other mental health difficulties plague many bankers. If you are a stressed-out person who struggles to work under duress, this may not be the best job decision for you.
Attention to detail
Another requirement for banking is a great eye for detail, whether it’s identifying unusual trends or actions or preparing complex financial reports for upper management.
Many finance jobs require the ability to recognise abnormalities or, perhaps more crucially, basic errors. After all, it’s easy to miss an additional zero or two, but your supervisors are unlikely to be delighted if it results in an unplanned $35 billion transaction. As a result, paying close attention to the details will help you avoid errors and blunders, demonstrating that you are a reliable employee and a valuable asset to the organisation.
Investment banking, in a similar vein, is not for the unmotivated or lazy. Bankers are well-known for working long hours. Junior bankers are sometimes required to work 100-hour workweeks, which results in acute burnout and high-stress levels. While this severe work culture and lack of work-life balance should not be institutionalised, bankers are expected to have impeccable work ethics, especially in the early stages of their careers.
As a result, as an entry-level professional, you must be willing to devote the time necessary to establish yourself in your position. If you don’t have a strong work ethic as a bare minimum, you should probably look for another job.