The Right Direction for Your Accounting Career

I was speaking at an event recently.  Whilst networking, one of the delegates got chatting with me about their career.

The conversation went along familiar lines.

They had invested a lot of time, energy and effort in getting qualified but were finding it difficult to move beyond the routine accounting work.

They had tried speaking with some others in the organisation and part of the feedback that they got was that they needed to decide what direction they wanted their career to go in.

Whilst helpful and well intentioned, there’s a problem with it.

The person was confused as to what to do next.

In many ways this is not surprising.

So in this article I want to explore how you might determine the right direction for your accounting career.

What’s a perfect week or month for you?

Most probably have never given this much thought.  Chances are you turn up, go through the motions, are busy and do what you have to.

So think about the perfect week or month. What type of work would you be doing and really enjoying?

Think about those times where time just seemed to pass in a flash and you were upbeat and motivated.  What made it like that?

Talk openly and frankly with others

Some roles can seem great from the outside looking in.  All roles have their good and not so good bits.  That’s just reality.

The only way to get insight what the different roles are really like is to speak to people who are already doing them

Ask them to tell them the good, the bad and the ugly parts of the role.

This will help you really understand the options.

Test different roles

Now you might say that you don’t want to leave a job and chances are you probably don’t have to.

Could you take a secondment on a short term basis to try out a slightly different role?

Could you cover for someone while a job is vacant or while someone is off on maternity leave?

Could you get involved in some type of organisational wide project to give you exposure to different things?

Do what you believe is right for you

Not what you think you should do.

People may well push you in a certain direction because they are basing their advice on their own experiences, struggles and successes.

But they are not you.  They don’t know what you might have the potential to achieve.  They might even be judging what they believe to be true based on their own limitations.

In truth you are the only person who can really determine the right direction for your accounting career.

And remember what you decide may change over the course of 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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