Doing The Minimum Or Making A Difference

Career success certainly does not happen overnight.  While most might make significant strides in a short period of time, in reality it takes time to achieve the success you desire.


When reflecting on my own career in accountancy and through my work with clients, I see huge variations among people.  Most people are really keen to get on in their career.  They have worked hard.  They have probably studied hard.  Yet for one reason or the other they are not making progress.


Of course when it comes to getting on in your career you need a certain amount of luck.  Those who get on in their career realise that luck is a very small contribution to the success they achieve.  In percentage terms less than 10% in my experience, so as I say relatively small.


On the other hand when was the last time you really took stock of what you were really contributing to the organisation you work for?  If you are thinking I rarely or never do it, don’t feel bad about it.  In truth we all get so focused on our needs that we forget about contribution.


Maybe you have taken stock and identified that you really are making a big contribution.  But as an accountant or professional in a functional role you don’t want to be seen to be bragging or boasting.


In the current job market, where candidate supply often exceeds demand, it is always going to be a struggle to get on if you are just doing the minimum.  You have to be focusing on how you make a difference.  You have to be ready to ask yourself the tough questions like what difference would it make if my job did not exist.


A challenge when thinking about your contribution is the feeling that everything needs to be massive.  Relax, most people just do that little bit extra but do it continuously.  There are only so many opportunities to get involved in the really big scale projects.


Often it is the simple things that really show the contribution you make.  Perhaps you are the person who always finds a way through a problem.  Maybe you do that last minute check to ensure everything is in place ahead a significant meeting.  You might be the person who always suggests an action to move things forward.  You might even be the person who is exceptional when working with clients or customers, whether they are internal or external to the organisation.


So I will leave you with a question to ponder – Are you doing the minimum in your role or really contributing and making a difference to business performance?


Duncan Brodie helps accountants achieve more career success.  He invites you to sign up for his free report, The 7 Biggest Barriers To A Successful Career In Accountancy


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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