Stay Relevant or Risk Becoming Stuck In Your Professional Career

In days gone by a professional qualification might well have been seen as a passport to a highly successful career.  When I started out in accountancy in the early 80’s the number of qualified accountants was significantly smaller so there was much less competition.

These days there are in excess of 300,000 accountants in the UK.

Things change quickly.  Technology and Artificial Technology is causing disruption, changing roles, business processes and even business models.

For example look at retail banking.  40 years ago the bank branch was the focal point.  ATMs came along and offered an alternative way to access money when the branch was closed.  Postal accounts came along, telephone banking and online banking.

All of these changes required new skills.  New attitudes.  New ways of thinking.

Professions are no different.  To be successful these days the professional qualification is the minimal requirement to move beyond a certain level.

What’s required now is continual updating of your skillset.  To acquire new skills to be able to change and adapt.  To reinvent yourself.

Interestingly I see a lot of professionals who get qualified and think its job done.

It’s a bit like buying a first version computer and expecting it to last you through your lifetime.

The latest trend we are seeing is the driver to update digital skills and become a lot more competent in areas like data analytics.

Here’s another reality.  Once you are qualified in your professional field your technical competence is almost taken for granted.

What’s going to get you moving up the career ladder or maximising your earning potential are things like:

  • Your emotional intelligence
  • Your ability to negotiate
  • Your ability to work in a team
  • Your ability to find solutions
  • Your ability to be strategic and future focused
  • Be able to take the lead and navigate through challenge and change

Those who get this and take action to build their skills and capability will get more opportunity in my experience.

So ask yourself:

  1. Are you really taking action to update your skillset or
  2. Are you gambling on being okay with what you have already?
  3. What’s priority for you to get to the next step 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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