Landing a great job in finance and accounting should only be your first step toward long-term success. If you want to truly succeed in your career, you’ll need to remain proactive in managing your professional direction effectively. Your career management should be deliberate, and it should start as soon as you’re out of college and gaining professional experience. It’s important to think through where you want your experience to take you in terms of future roles and experiences.
As you advance through your career, you should always consider how you work best. To find your career “sweet spot,” you may want to consider exploring resources that can help lead you in the right direction, like self-assessment tools. Using tools such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to discover how you think and what your preferences may be, can be powerful. Identify a few industries or job types that you find intriguing and then use your network to set up an in-person discussion with someone doing the work. See if you can find a job shadow opportunity to see the work in action. Identify a professional search consultant (recruiter) who specializes in your industry to get their insight as well. At the end of this, you’ll have a strong sense of where your interest and personal inclinations will take you.
Develop a Long-Term Strategy
Once you know what you’re interested in pursuing, continue to evaluate career track. What are the next logical positions you can pursue? What skills, education, certifications, etc. do you need to prepare at each next step in the process. Who should you know or meet in the company or the industry to build a strong path to your next role? As you build your resume within the industry, know that you are also building your personal brand. The right people will notice when you are investing yourself in your profession.
If you have the right heart and passion for the business you select, you’ll create an environment that offers open doors to the next levels of advancement.
People who do these things, will achieve the advancement they want in finance and accounting, because they can deliver consistent results throughout their careers. Here are some additional career management tips to keep in mind:
- Communicate your career goals to your company and especially your direct boss.
- Solicit performance feedback regularly and act on any suggestions with a good attitude.
- Never burn a professional bridge with anyone.
- If you leave, always leave on good terms
- Don’t be afraid to move laterally to a company that offers greater career advancement.
- Keep a record of all achievements to share with future organizations
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