You’re are an ambitious accountant who has just got professionally qualified.
Congratulations on achieving this milestone.
At work chances are that your technical skills have been the most important factor so far in your career.
This is completely normal
However as you move to the next phase in your career, your technical skills alone are not going to be enough.
So what skills do you need to move to the next level in your career?
You might well be pretty outstanding technically. In the past that might well have been enough.
But things are different now. The role is changing. Being able to work with those in the wider organisation is vital.
To do that you have to gain trust and respect of those in other areas of the business.
You have to be able to build relationships, handle what are sometimes very tricky conversations with people.
If you are good in your professional field, the only way up in most cases it to take on a role that involves managing teams or projects.
To do that well you need good management skills. You need to be able to get the best from your team. You need to determine priorities. You may well be involved in hiring team members.
There will be problems that arise and you need to be able to solve them.
You can be great in your professional field but increasingly accountants are expected to have wider business skills.
This includes areas like communication, negotiation, strategy, selling and project skills.
If you are going to be an effective partner within in an organisation, good listening skills are important.
When you really listen you get better ideas and insights. You avoid jumping to conclusions and as a result are able to offer better advice and support to those areas of the business you are working with.
Now I don’t mean just being brilliant at spreadsheets. This is almost taken for granted these days.
What I mean is the skill to spot and see how IT can be utilised within Finance and the wider business to do things better or even more efficiently.
In truth you are an individual. Some of the skills areas you will already be good at. Others might be more of a struggle. The important thing if you want to progress and succeed at the next level is to focus on your professional development.
These days it is no longer an optional extra.
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 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.