Even if you don’t plan on becoming an accountant or financial manager, you can still give your career prospects a boost by developing basic financial skills. No matter what career path you plan to follow, having a basic understanding of financial concepts will help you — not only in your work, but also in the process of finding a job.
Have a look at the following examples:
- If you work as an HR Officer, a basic financial background can help you to better understand employee remuneration policies, benefits packages, tax deductions, and bonus structures, as well as how these affect the financial position and performance of an organisation.
- If you work as a Secretary or Office Administrator, basic financial skills can help you to manage the office petty cash more effectively, make better decisions when it comes to purchasing office supplies, and maybe even take on additional financial record-keeping (bookkeeping) responsibilities. And if you show your employer that you are capable of handling the majority of the bookkeeping responsibilities, they may even be willing to offer you a promotion, or to send you for additional training to enhance your career prospects.
- If you work as a lawyer, or as an assistant in a legal office, a basic understanding of finance will ensure that you are better equipped to manage the financial aspects of running a law firm. This includes aspects such as developing a fee structure, billing clients, and collecting debts. It will also help you to develop a better understanding of certain specialisations within the legal field, such as: mercantile law, tax law, contract law, and estate planning.
- If you want to work as a non-financial manager in any industry, financial skills will be essential for success in your career. As a non-financial manager, you will often be expected to manage a departmental budget, as well as to make your decisions based on the financial impact that they will have on the business as a whole.
- If you want to start your own business or be a business manager, you need at least basic financial skills in order to do things like draft and manage your budgets, competitively price your products or services, and fairly remunerate your employees.
As you can see from the above, basic financial skills will always be valuable to you, no matter what career path you’re hoping to follow. Financial skills also look good on your CV, as they show employers that you are:
- Able to work with numbers
- Able to think logically
- Able to recognise how various factors impact the financial stability of a business