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10 Practical Actions To Get You Moving Forward In Your Career No Matter Where You Are Right Now

As an accountant or professional you have the potential to achieve success in your career.

But maybe it’s just not happening for you.

If this is the case it can be frustrating.  You might feel a bit disillusioned.

Worst still you might feel like giving up and accepting that you were not cut out for career success.

In this blog post I want to offer 10 practical actions to get you moving forward in your career, wherever you are right now.

The key word in this post is ACTION!

This is what makes the difference.

Will every action turn out perfectly?

Absolutely not.

At the same time you will get feedback and insights.

Which will help you to make changes to get you closer to what you want.

Get Clear About What You Want To Achieve


This might seem like stating the obvious. 

Yet have you really considered what you want from your career? 

If you are like most people chances are you have never considered this in any focused way.

Being clear about what you want from your career, helps you make the right choices, the right decisions and keeps you moving forward.

There is no right or wrong answer.

Where you are in your life and career will influence what you want to achieve.

But if you have requested this guide, what’s clear is you want to achieve some level of success in your career.

So write down, right now what you want to achieve from your career.

List all the areas where you have experience in your professional field


Whenever I work with people one to one or in groups, what surprises me is just how few people can clearly articulate all the major areas where they have gained experience.

Often what happens is that you get so busy that you forget about how far you have come.

Make a list of all the tasks that you have gained a lot of experience of doing.

Make a list of industries and sectors that you have gained experience in.

Make a list of any special projects that you have been involved in.

Make a list of all your skills


Skills can be:

  • Technical
  • Interpersonal
  • Business
  • Leadership
  • Management

Take the time to make a list of all the skills that you have in each of the different areas of skill.

Make a list of your career achievements


Chances are you have achieved a fair bit in your career so far.

Like most people you probably struggle to come up with your achievements when asked.

The best way to make sure you keep your achievements in your focus is to write them down on a list and then keep adding to them.

Make a list of your best attributes


Attributes are those qualities that you have that make you the person you are.

They are what makes you unique or different to everyone else.

If you are struggling ask others what they admire about you.

Do some research


What skills, qualities and experience are sought after in your professional field?

Do you know?

Have you ever considered this?

By doing research into what employers are looking for you can better:

  • Target your professional development
  • Target your applications
  • Understand why what you have acquired so far can be of benefit to other employers

Make it be known that you are looking to progress


Will your boss be able to guarantee that they can help you get to the next level?

No they can’t.  On the other hand does your boss even know that you are actually keen to progress your career?

A lot of people think that if you do good work you will be recognised.

In the ideal world that would be the case.

In the real world you have to speak up and let it be known that you want to progress.

Start applying for roles at the next level


It really is important to do some of the ground work.

Equally there comes a point where you just have to get in the game.

In terms of your career that means start applying for roles.

Start to be targeted


You may well have transferrable skills.

You may well be able to adapt to different sectors.

Trouble is those making decisions on who to interview tend not to think like that. Especially in an employers market.

So rather than focusing on numbers of applications, start to focus on being targeted on those opportunities where:

  • You have the right experience
  • You have the right skills
  • You have a track record of success and achievement

10. Believe you can do it

Even among highly educated and well qualified people there is a lot of self doubt.

Some people realise that to progress beyond a certain level they have to push on despite their doubt.

Some people allow their self doubt to make decisions for them and as a result exclude themselves from opportunities because they can’t meet one of the job criteria.

Some actually just give up because they have convinced themselves that they will never make it.

Everyone has doubt.  There is nothing wrong with that.

But don’t let it be a barrier to you moving forward in your career.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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