Why You’re Not Getting On In Your Accountancy Career and What To Do About It

You set out in your accountancy career with high hopes.

Pretty quickly you realised that to go beyond a certain level you had to get a professional qualification.

You invest time, money, energy and effort and got professional qualified.

You may even had some initial success in getting on in your accountancy career.

Now all of a sudden you have hit a brick wall.

Sound familiar?

Sadly I’ve seen this scenario so many times over the last 30+ years.

Why does it happen and what can you do about it?

Reason 1: Self Doubt

Are we all super confident all of the time?

Probably not if truth be told.

We all have doubt about our ability to step up to the next level.

Some push through.

Others let that self doubt stop them in their tracks.

As a result they de-select themselves from opportunities or only operate within their comfort zone.

The Solution: Recognise that we all have self doubt but make a commitment to pushing through the doubt and learning along the way.

Reason 2: Self Talk

You know the kind of thing.

I’m too…

  • Inexperienced
  • Experienced
  • Old
  • Out of date

And many more.

Trouble is this self talk just adds more layers of self doubt.

The Solution: Be more conscious of your self talk and challenge what’s fact and what’s fiction.  Try as much as possible to minimise that self talk.

Reason 3: Cruising

No this has nothing to do with boats.

What I’m talking about is going through the weeks or months at work almost in automatic pilot.

Turning up and going through the motions without giving any thought to improvement.

The Solution:  Set yourself some targets and objectives to contribute more to the team or improve things that benefit the wider business.

Reason 4: Professional Development

Have you got a car?

If so I guess you might get it serviced each year.


Because you want to keep it working at optimal level.

Sadly many accountants who have invested a lot in getting professional qualification, don’t invest in their professional development to keep working at an optimal level.

This is despite the fact that most professional bodies often offer a lot of free or low cost professional development events.

The Solution: Make a commitment to investing a small proportion of your income in your professional development.

Reason 5: Ownership

Ultimately what you achieve or don’t achieve in your career comes down to your willingness to take ownership or responsibility for your career.

While your boss or organisation might have played a big part in this in the past, increasingly what you do or don’t achieve comes down to you.

The Solution: Decide to take personal ownership of your career success.

In reality you can achieve much more in your career than you probably think.

Whether you decide to fulfil your potential or not is your choice.

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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