#2 Reason to Learn Excel
#2 Reason to Learn Excel
The first reason that you want to get really good at Excel is to be able to save time so you could do fantastic things with that time saved. Now the second reason is simply because Excel is a very marketable skill set.
The Marketable Skill Set
I have discussed my journey previously, on my blog where within a period of 3 years I went from a £27,000 a year salary to a £100,000 a year salary. Since then, I’ve doubled that. During those initial junior to mid level days of my career I did 3 things.
1. I got really good at Excel, of course. I was doing a lot of automation and time saving activities
2. I developed the right attitude
3. I developed the ability to market my Excel skills
This is something my mentors told me and something that they had become really good at. A lot of analysts, business analysts, data analysts, accountants, controllers, PMOs, etc. are not so great when it comes to selling ourselves. We are Excellent as professionals but we are not sales people.
The Importance of Selling Yourself
The ability to sell yourself is so powerful and so valuable. In investment banking consider who is at the top of the ‘food chain’. It’s the sellers and traders; the sales people and the traders. They are at the top of food chain, they make the most money.
Selling is important because you’ve got to sell yourself and you’ve got to learn how to do that. If you are not doing that, you are going to do yourself a massive injustice. Excel skills are a very, very, very powerful and valuable selling point. But most people do not know how to sell those skills properly.
I’m going to take you back and talk about hiring. I am a hiring manager as well, so I’ve hired lots of people. I hire people on my teams where they’ve worked for me for years. I’ve worked with very senior people helping them hire. A lot of analysts and the professionals we are talking about here, get hung up on their degree, certification or place of high academic attendance. The truth is they are all about you and hiring managers just don’t really care about that. A hiring manager cares about himself or herself and resolving the world of pain they’ve over the piece of work that has been handed to them. All they know is that they’ve got to find someone, someone they can trust with this very important, highly regulated work.
I don’t think about where that project manager went to university because that won’t make a difference, nor what that project manager did at university. You are in university from the age of 18 to 22/23, which is such a small period of time in your life. Not just that but you are so young, that period of your life bears little resemblance to who you will become later on in life, even 5 years later.
You can only learn of your new world when you are actually in it; you become seasoned; you get to really understand what works. The degrees, certifications and things like that, begin to have less and less relevance to you as a professional. It’s no different in the world of finance.
Take the case of financial product controllers. Now, I’ve worked in an investment bank before where they’ve increased their product range so the traders have increased their range and sales people have increased their product range. This out of control situation need a competent finance person to come in and put the controls in place. No thought is placed on who’s got an ACGMA, CFA or whatever financial qualification. The thought of what is needed is someone who has done this before in 2, 3, 4 organizations; someone who is experienced at pointing their finger at traders telling them they cannot do this; setting limits and controls on spends.
They care about what you’ve done, not certifications, and recognize that Excel is a skill. So you need to start thinking in terms of what skills you have. Skills that are going to take the pain away from these hiring managers who’ve been landed with big horrible projects that keep them up at night. You’ve got to come along and tell them you’ve got a skill or a very particular set of skills that you can use to alleviate their problems. That is how you market yourself!
Now when it comes to Excel, I’ve seen people who are very good with Excel and seen them do such a big service to themselves and the skill. Excel is a very reputable skill to have at all levels; junior, mid and even at the senior level Excel is a very respected skill to have. I’ve worked with very senior directors and MDs. I’ve seen them build models when they can’t share very sensitive data so they had to build these things themselves. Now those are marketable skills so they wouldn’t just write on their CV that they have advanced Excel skills that include pivot tables and VLookups but honestly that doesn’t mean anything. It’s boring..
If you just write that you’ve got Excel skills; advance skills; VBA; can do macros; pivot tables, you are just going to blend in with the crowd and be forgettable. But if you do it in the right way and market your skills, hiring managers will look at your CV and decide they need you to come in and do what they have to do day in day out.
I cover exactly how to do all those things in my course Zero to Excel Guru. I can’t talk about those now, simply because it’s huge and there are a multitude of steps that you’ve got to have in place, and I have a certain amount of thinking that I want to transfer to you before you actually go and do that.
Take a look, click the link below. Check out the registration page. This course will change your career and therefore your life. First it will give you all those right Excel skills we’ve been talking about so far. Then in a very unique module, this course will show you how to market those Excel skills.
Some of the best people I’ve worked with are people who don’t even have degrees! They didn’t have any certifications but they are not short of extremely well paid work because they do a good job. They have the right skills and can market those right skills.
So I’ll leave you with that, click the link below sign up and I’ll see you inside.