Wednesday 17 December 2014

Five essential business skills to get you ahead

How would you design a phone for deaf people? How many piano tuners are there in Melbourne? How heavy is the Empire State Building? And how would you answer these seemingly impossible questions if asked in actual interviews?

The last one is a question worth pondering if you want to demonstrate your own potential to prospective employers – they are undoubtedly looking for more than just academic achievement in your taxation course.

Mastery of your tax training is just the starting point for recruiters looking to hire the best talent. Companies are on the hunt for well-rounded, business-savvy agents capable of looking beyond trade technicalities. Here’s our list of five of the most important qualities employers value in their people.

1. Problem solvers

The questions posed above invite interviewees to demonstrate their creative ability to overcome workplace challenges and problems, and how to adapt to changing circumstances or the unexpected.
Thinking about instances in your life where you have been flexible in solving a problem can be a good starting point when it comes to showing employers you can think on your feet.

2. Effective organisers

Good organisation is key to being able to manage projects, making it a fundamental skill for any new recruit to demonstrate. The ability to break down a large project into separate stages, estimate the work and time required, delegate work and keep projects on track, on time and on budget is a core competency for larger firms especially.

3. Digital savviness

A basic requirement among management recruits is proficiency in a range of core software. Spreadsheets are fundamental to tax and accounting, but understanding shortcuts and being able to manipulate data quickly will help you stand out as a future high-flyer.
Database management and the ability to use data-visualisation tools have also emerged as important skill sets to possess as data becomes more central to every organisation.

4. Commercial smarts

Understanding what makes the wider industry in which you work tick, and where the sector is going, demonstrates your ability to look beyond your tax training and marks you out as one to watch. It shows initiative, appreciation of the bigger picture and engagement with the tax and accounting world beyond just your taxation education.

5. Good communicators

A recent study among 50,000 company recruiters revealed that communication skills were the most important factor in hiring managers. Learning to work effectively by listening carefully and speaking and writing effectively is a skill you can consciously improve.
Mastering your ability to work with clients and colleagues is just as important as mastering your taxation education to ensure you enjoy an effective and long career.

Give yourself the edge with free Student Membership

If you are a tertiary education student, The Tax Institute can help you progress in your career journey.

Find out about Student Membership.

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