What Accountants And Professional People Need To Move Forward In Their Career

What Accountants And Professional People Need To Move Forward In Their Career

As an accountant by profession and through working exclusively with professional people at Goals and Achievements, I see a lot of people who are fantastic within their area of professional expertise but really struggle to get ahead in their career.

It would be easy to say that it is simply a case of mastering the interview process and all will be different. The reality, from working with clients and having personally climbed the career ladder from £30 a week Payments Clerk to Finance Director of a major organisation, is very different.

So here is my list of what I see as key to moving forward in your career and achieving the results and success you desire:

Ability To Manage A Team

    Many professional people get promoted on the basis of their technical competence. They then find themselves managing a team, projects, processes and systems and often find it a struggle. It is easy to dismiss this as the soft and fluffy stuff but in my experience being able to manage is not optional.

Ability To Lead

    By that I mean the ability to drive things forward, get buy-in and support and contribute beyond your area of direct expertise.

Ability To Build Relationships

    These days it is key to build relationships within your own area, across the wider organisation and even with people in client or partner organisations.

Ability To Make The Complex Simple

    This is essentially about providing expert advice in plain and simple ways to the lay person.

Strong Communication Skills

    Successful professional people can get their message across easily verbally and in writing. They also are great listeners too.

Ability To Work With People At All Levels

    You need to be able to get your message across and create relationships with people at all levels across the organisation.

Be Able To Run and Lead Projects

    These might be related to a new system implementation or integrating an acquisition.

Able To Influence

    Quite often that means being able to adapt their style to fit the person or the situation they are dealing with.

Create and Deliver Change

    Challenging economic times necessitates innovation from everyone, including professional people.

Build And Maintain A Network

    A network is not just a source of job opportunities but a group you can call on for advice and support or simply to bounce ideas off.

Selling Skills

    Vitally important if you are working in a professional services firm that makes its money selling services to clients.

IT Skills

    How to utilise IT to facilitate efficiency, effectiveness and cost reduction.

Market Yourself

    In particular, create a CV or résumé that gets you noticed.

Interview Skills

    Whether people like it or not, a lot of the decision about recruiting comes down to how well people perform in interviews.

A Good Understanding Of Business

    You don’t need to be an expert in every area of business, but you do need to have a good understanding of different areas of the business and the dependencies.

Confidence And Self-Belief

    This is what will ultimately drive you forward even when the going gets tough.

The Bottom Line: Being highly competent in your professional field is no longer a guarantee of long term success in your career.

To learn more about getting ahead in your career check out my audio masterclass at www.goalsandachievements.co.uk

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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