Geeks’ days are num­bered

The Advertiser - Careers - - Soft Skills -

THE days of the geek may be num­bered with staff in jobs once con­sid­ered low pro­file in­creas­ingly re­quired to have peo­ple skills.

Ac­coun­tancy firms in­creas­ingly look for peo­ple able to build re­la­tion­ships and ac­quire man­age­ment skills ahead of tech­ni­cal ge­niuses who strug­gle to de­velop in­ter­per­sonal re­la­tion­ships.

The im­prove­ment of ac­coun­tancy soft­ware to­gether with the devel­op­ment of search en­gines has meant many ac­coun­tancy can­di­dates not only need to look tech­ni­cally com­pe­tent in front of the client. Build­ing a good re­la­tion­ship with that client is most im­por­tant.

Ac­coun­tancy firm Collins SBA prin­ci­pal Sean Devenish says the idea of the reclu­sive ac­coun­tancy geek was valid in the past but pro­gres­sive firms are chang­ing that.

‘‘ I’ve been stuck in those so­cial sit­u­a­tions where peo­ple say: ‘ Ac­coun­tancy is so bor­ing. Why did you go into it?’ ’’ Devenish says.

‘‘ Where ac­coun­tancy is go­ing is far more ex­cit­ing and de­mands a much higher cal­i­bre of per­son.

‘‘ You are man­ag­ing a client re­la­tion­ship now and they are coming to you for ad­vice.

‘‘ It’s not just spit­ting out tech­ni­cal an­swers to them.’’

Devenish says work­ers able to quote ob­scure tax laws are be­com­ing ob­so­lete be­cause the typ­i­cal client can find most of that in­for­ma­tion on Google.

One Test devel­op­ment psy­chol­o­gist Melinda Gar­cia con­ducts psy­cho­me­t­ric test­ing for em­ploy­ers and says there has been in­creased in­ter­est from em­ploy­ers in soft skills.

‘‘ Th­ese sorts of so­cial and com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills are quite crit­i­cal in the ac­coun­tancy world,’’ she says.

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