Having spent 25 years in accountancy and consulting roles before setting up my own business, I came across plenty of professional people who achieved real success in their careers. At the same time there were many more that despite having a great start got stuck and struggled to move forward in their career.
So why do professional people get stuck in their career?
Poor Decisions Early On In Their Career
In the early stages of your career you are probably more tempted to make a decision about a job move based on money. After all it can make a big difference to you. Sometimes however the salary becomes all of the focus and people don’t consider whether the job might be a good move long term.
Keep Doing The Same Kind Of Work
Yes you have to get specific experience to get membership of professional bodies if you are in something like accountancy. Trouble is people sometimes have a tendency to keep doing the stuff that is familiar rather than look for new challenges and experience.
Don’t Pay Enough Attention To Soft Skills
While you will always need to keep up to date technically, the truth is technical skills alone will not take you very far. You can be mediocre technically and still be successful if you master those oddly named soft skills (which are actually pretty hard to master in reality). Things like working in cross organisational teams, managing, leading, change, motivating and many others.
They Won’t Make The Sacrifices
Now I am not saying it is right but the reality is that if you want to get beyond a certain level you are going to make some sacrifices. One of the most common is having to put in additional hours and sacrificing personal time for work.
They Stay Too Long In One Job
Enjoying our work is vitally important. At the same time any job has a life span and sometimes you can end up being in cruise control because a job is no longer a challenge. Try to time job moves to keep your motivation high.
The Bottom Line: Professional people have huge potential in their careers. The challenge is to ensure that you unlock that potential.
Duncan Brodie helps accountants and other professionals achieve more career success.
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.