If there’s one thing the last two years has shown us, it’s that things can change – and they can change quickly. In many ways, the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing shifts in how we work, communicate and function in society have only expedited the transformation that was already happening.
More than two-thirds of UK business leaders report that their companies are facing a skills gap.
In 2018, the number one focus for talent developers across industries was the development of soft skills, enabling effective use of data and technology in driving productivity. For finance professionals, the motivation is clear: 30 - 40% of your time can be reduced with finance automation and behaviour change.
No matter which sector you work in, technology will play an ever-larger role. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning promise to streamline the manual aspects of the accountancy space, enabling professionals to focus on high-value tasks instead of menial repetition.
In the same way, auditors are implementing machine learning tools that help to minimise the amount of time spent reviewing documents. The result is a more productive and accurate workflow. Other industries also benefit from AI, thanks to improved and fast-tracked forecasting models and a more personalised approach to customers.
There’s likely to be a smaller demand for employees that are only involved in data input and processing, while the need for technology experts and analysts will grow. To set yourself apart and build a resilient career, the development of soft skills is essential.
The most important soft skills identified by Talent Developers, People Managers and Executives are leadership, communication and collaboration. Having the ability to adapt quickly and collaborate effectively will be key for those looking to grow and flourish in the new financial world.
To make a success of your career in this technology-driven world, you’d be wise to adopt a more entrepreneurial mindset. This relates to a more agile, responsive, and proactive way of working and a sustained focus on learning and networking.
While your professional focus is likely to be within your department, it’s important to educate yourself about your place in the larger ecosystem. Breaking out of your siloed way of thinking is a great way to build relationships and grow your awareness of potential opportunities.
By staying up to date on the latest trends and ensuring you’re comfortable and confident using new tech and applications, you also make yourself more valuable in your role and open the door for more senior positions.
Becoming comfortable with tools like Power BI is becoming increasingly important. It’s a key way to present data and offers powerful dashboarding and reporting tools. Similarly, understanding how machine learning operates and how it’s being applied to your job can be valuable in growing your role.
As industries become more focused on data and automation, your role will change with it. Avoid falling behind by equipping yourself with the necessary skills and surrounding yourself with the right mentors.
Work with a recruitment partner who understands the challenges you’re facing today and can guide you in making the most of your opportunities tomorrow. Get in touch with us to discuss your options today.
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