Most of us start out in our working life with high aspirations of what we want from our career. Chances are we will have invested a huge amount of time, money and energy in getting professionally qualified. Yet despite all of this, many accountants really struggle to have the great career that they desire.
So what can you do differently to have a great career in accountancy and achieve the success you desire?
Get Professionally Qualified
Like it or not there is a ceiling on how far you can progress without a professional qualification. Now I am not saying this is necessarily fair and at the same time you have to be willing to face up to reality.
Keep Up To Date With CPD
It is really easy to get so engrossed in doing the job that you lose sight of the bigger picture and the longer term. This is particularly the case when you are under a lot of pressure. While it might seem an odd thing to say, the reality is you need more not less CPD when under pressure.
Become A Business Partner
Most people can do the numbers, write reports and produce great spreadsheets. The best people move way beyond being the person who focuses solely on the numbers to being the person who really contributes to success. Essentially they become business orientated and see the numbers as being just an indicator of how the organisation is performing in a common currency called money.
Keep Broadening Your Experience
I often talk about people in accountancy needing to be T shaped. By that I mean that they need to retain their expertise in their core field and at the same time contribute across a whole range of business areas. Aim to learn something new on a regular basis.
Keep Developing Your Skills
You need different skills at different stages in your career. In the early stages technical skills will matter most. Once qualified managing people and client relationships becomes more and more and more important. As you become more senior working with the Board, leading change and major projects and even multi-location teams becomes more important.
Have A Long Term Plan
Success does not happen by chance and at the same time is not guaranteed. Having a plan of what you want to achieve longer term aids you in decisions about your next job move and the gaps in your experience you need to address.
Have The Right Mindset
It never ceases to amaze me that accountants and indeed many professionals who have achieved demanding professional qualifications still have major doubts and self belief issues. We all have doubts and worries and if you are going to achieve the career success you are going to have to have the right mindset. Often seeing setbacks as just part and parcel of the road to success helps you to keep moving forward even when things are tough.
Take Personal Responsibility
The days of your employer taking responsibility for your career success are long gone. You have to willing to take personal responsibility for achieving the success that you desire.
The Bottom Line: All accountants and professional people have the potential to achieve great career success. The question is whether you are ready and willing to unlock that potential.
Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements helps accountants and other professional people achieve more career success. He invites you to sign up for his free audio masterclass.
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.