Most people who embark on an accountancy qualification are ambitious. They work hard to get the qualification. They make a huge amount of personal sacrifice all in the hope of getting a return long term on their investment.
While many will go on to achieve great success, others will struggle and may even get stuck at a certain level. Of course not everyone can or wants to get to the more senior level in their professional field.
Now there is absolutely no problem with people getting to a certain level and sticking at that level. My only one caveat is that it is fine provided it is your own choice to stick at a certain level.
However what I have found is this. Most people have never really consciously considered how far they want to go in their career. At best they say a level of seniority or salary without really being connected to it.
On the other hand what if the reason you are stuck is because someone else has decided what level you can operate at. It is more common than you might think. I am sure we all have had something said in a performance appraisal meeting which dented our confidence. Someone else decided on the basis of one slip up what you were capable of without recognising all the positives.
How you respond can make a big difference. It might be tempting to say it is the end of the road. Or alternatively you can be proactive. Ask what you need to work on and make sure you get specific feedback. Then act on it.
If you have consciously thought about where you want to get to in your career, you are more likely to respond actively rather than passively. A career plan always needs to be flexible but setting out some intentions is a great start.
So here are some questions to consider in relation to your career planning:
How far would I like to go in my career in the ideal world?
If I can’t achieve my ideal, what is the minimum level I would like to reach?
Why is it important to me to achieve my ideal or minimum level?
What am I willing to do to achieve the level I want?
What am I not willing to do to achieve the level I want?
The Bottom Line: Your career success is at the end of the day is down to you. Having some clear intentions about what you aim to achieve can make a real difference.
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.
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.