If you are an accountant you are probably pretty ambitious. You probably have worked hard to get a professional accountancy qualification. You have the drive and determination to succeed.
Yet for some reason or other you are not making the progress that you would like in your career. This can be hugely frustrating, especially if you know that you are as good as those who seem to be progressing really quickly.
So what are 6 possible reasons you are not moving forward in your accountancy career?
Reason #1: You Lack Clarity
It might surprise you but most people I come across lack clarity about what they want. Of course most will trot out the material things like a good salary and benefits package this is only a small part of having clarity. Whether you believe it or not having a great salary but being miserable in a job is not where you are going to thrive long term.
Solution: Take some time to get clarity about what you want, why you want it and what you will and won’t do to achieve what you want.
Reason #2: You Don’t Know You
Most of the time when I ask people to talk about their skills, qualities, attributes, experience or achievements they struggle. We rarely take time to reflect and really consider what we offer. Yes you might do some of this as part of your appraisal at work. While this is better than nothing, it is done in the context of what you are doing now.
Solution: Take a skills and attributes assessment. Start collecting feedback from others as a matter of routine. Start to record achievements and experiences.
Reason #3: You Are Operating In Auto Pilot
Think about when you start a new job. You are enthusiastic, excited and on the look out for ways of improving things. You are happy to make suggestions and are actively looking to contribute. Then you get comfortable and it is all too easy to fall into auto pilot mode. Just going through the motions, doing what it takes to be well respected but no longer being a real driving force.
Solution: Be alert to the fact that after the first couple of years most go into some form of auto pilot. Each week take a minute or so to reflect on the contribution you have made.
Reason #4: You Are Not Developing
People go through the hard work of getting professionally qualified in accountancy. A large proportion think that they can put their feet up and not worry about developing themselves further. The reality is that a professional qualification is just the start point. Unless you are serious about continuing professional development you are always going to struggle.
Solution: Commit to at least one piece of continuing professional development activity a quarter. This can be anything from attending a webinar to a specific training or working with a coach or mentor.
Reason #5: You Can’t Market Yourself In Writing
I’m an accountant I hear you say. Why do I need to think about marketing myself? The reality is that unless you can market yourself in writing you are always going to struggle to get interviews. Your CV is obviously an important part of your marketing materials. Increasingly so is your social media presence, especially your LinkedIn profile.
Solution: Learn to write in a way that gets the interests of recruiters and employers. If you don’t it will always be a struggle.
Reason #6: You Can’t Convert Interviews To Job Offers
If you are finding that you are getting a lot of job interviews but are struggling to convert these to job interviews, chances are your job interview technique is letting you down. The reality is that few of us do job interviews frequently enough to get really good at them.
Solution: Make a point of asking for specific feedback on how you performed in job interviews. Look for patterns that highlight areas where you seem to be struggling. Get help to improve your technique.
Duncan Brodie helps accountants to achieve more career success. He invites you to check out his free report on the barriers to a successful career in accountancy here.
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 7,000 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.