Christina Nawrocki describes the specific characteristics that make up a Wellers business oxygen advisor.
Whenever we interview candidates, one of the most important questions we are looking to answer is, does this person fit with Wellers and our philosophy? You see it takes a particular kind of personality to fulfil our approach to service delivery. It’s something we refer to as business oxygen, our ethos being Wellers' advisors provide a pragmatic service that helps our clients fulfil their aspirations.
We feel our work goes far beyond that of other professional firms in terms of delivering real value, and it’s why we look for certain personality traits in potential employees. With that in mind we thought we’d blog about exactly what kind of individual we're looking for.
If you’re considering applying, ask yourself whether this is you? And, if you feel you fit the bill then we’d love to hear from you.
1. An inquisitive mind
As Albert Einstein once said, “I have no particular talent. I am merely inquisitive.” Why do you need a curious mind at Wellers? Whilst you will study to gain your professional qualification, a significant amount of knowledge will be garnered through on the job experience.
To make the very most of that time, you need to be asking these kinds of questions concerning the client work you perform:
How does that work?
Why is it done like that?
What does that mean?
What are the consequences of this?
Who does it impact?
Can this be done better?
Some of the most valuable lessons in your personal and professional life will be as a result of self learning. In order to fulfil your potential, you have to ask plenty of the right kinds of questions.
2. A communicator
As you may have gathered already, a business oxygen advisor will have more to them than just being an accountant. This is a people business and you will need to communicate in different ways with clients according to their needs and personality traits. The reason being each client will have quite distinct motivations and requirements.
One form of communication won’t fit the bill for all. So you will need to demonstrate an engaging personality with the ability to listen carefully. Life experiences and a sense of worldliness could contribute to this. Remember, in a client facing role you will need an in depth understanding of the needs and issues your clients face.
This will mean once again asking questions and most importantly listening carefully to process that information. Consequently you will be able to portray your opinions and thoughts in a persuasive manner that resonates and motivates the people you are communicating to.
3. Emotionally intelligent
What do we mean by emotional intelligence? Well, before we answer that let’s give it some context. We’re looking for people who will develop not just into advisors, but the next leaders at our firm. We believe the best leaders in organisations tend to exude strong emotional intelligence.
Here is a list of some of the characteristics associated with emotional intelligence. We wouldn’t look for a new recruit to demonstrate all of them, but exhibit plenty of potential in these areas:
Empathy – You understand other people’s feelings and perspectives. This then allows you to communicate with clients and colleagues in a manner that resonates with them.
Self motivated – You set long term goals and stick to them in spite of potential short term setbacks.
Self confidence – Understand your strengths but also recognise where you’re weaknesses lie and how to work around them.
Resilient – The ability to deal with setbacks quickly and to stay composed when under pressure.
Emotional composure – You understand your feelings and are able to control distress and anger so that they don’t impact negatively on how you communicate with people.
Listening – You take the time to understand fully what the other person is saying. You don’t interrupt them.
Team player – People are happy to work with you and around you. People are confident they can rely on you.
4. Observational and analytical
As an advisor in a client facing role you will often have to absorb a lot of information from different sources. This will especially be the case in the first few years of the job as you learn and develop new skills while taking your exams.
Consequently you will need the ability to see patterns in numbers and then provide written interpretation with a structured and coherent line of argument. You will use your initiative and apply attention to detail to spot opportunities from problems and build that into your potential solutions.
5. Educated and an educator
A professional, and especially a business oxygen advisor, is a very knowledgeable and high skilled career option. To achieve such a role you will initially need to demonstrate a certain level of education. The good news is we take on both school leavers and graduates. Generally, but not exclusively, we look for core subjects – Maths, English and Sciences.
As you learn through your professional training you will be expected to apply those new found skills and knowledge to your client work. Once qualified, the same will be expected with regards to your continuous professional development – training on specific areas, sectors and skills. Can you apply this knowledge to contrasting scenarios? Can you see connections and recognise opportunities?
The more senior you become in the firm, the more you will be expected to help educate and upskill those at lower levels starting out their careers. After all they will need to gain their practical experience from someone which makes educating and knowledge sharing key.
Do you have the perseverance to get through your exams? A professional accounting qualification is a great thing to have and a real accolade. However, it usually takes 3 years to accomplish meaning it’s not easy to come by, and rightly so. To achieve it you will need tenacity, dedication and commitment while also at times making sacrifices to ensure you have sufficient time for study.
Inevitably in your role you will have to deal with complex client situations. This will require you to fine balance asserting direction and opinion while not coming across as domineering.
The content of this post is up to date and relevant as at 08/05/2015.
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