Accounting may seem relatively calm to the outside observer. It doesn’t have the dog-eat-dog reputation of, say, Wall Street M&A experts or courtroom lawyers. However, the profession can be very competitive, meaning you need a diverse set of skills to get ahead.
As an accounting professional, you are well aware that the industry can be just as exciting, dynamic, and cutthroat as any career out there. As such, you need to take the necessary steps to survive and thrive in the industry.
That means more than just great accounting skills. You have to go beyond the basic building blocks and routine skills.
Here are some of the additional traits you should develop to get ahead in your accounting career:
Networking is the key to any long-term professional development; that’s rule #1 in the career-advice business. And as it’s true for a general job search, it remains true for the accounting industry. Networking sits at the top of the list for advancing your accounting career.
Connect with current and former co-workers. Meet people at conferences and then develop those relationships later on. Over time, the connections will help you find new opportunities.
Networking isn’t just a handshake pursuit anymore. It has developed a significant online component. Social media provides the driving engine behind this aspect, allowing you to connect with people scattered throughout the globe and build relationships with less effort.
As such, take advantage of the major platforms to broaden your reach and to get the most out of your relationships. LinkedIn provides a central hub for these efforts, but you can get traction elsewhere as well. Tap into the possibilities offered by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other outlets.
Social skills can help you get more opportunities. To make the most out of those chances, you need to perform. You need to stand out from the crowd. That means you need to develop a unique set of skills, cultivating competencies the rest of the competition lacks.
As much as possible, look to add specialized skills. Many of your colleagues are capable accountants, but if you enhance your competencies with specialized skills, and you may find yourself in significant demand.
Most careers advance upwards. To make more money and gain prominence in large organizations, you’ll eventually have to pick up managerial responsibilities. These become easier to obtain once you have some supervisory experience.
As such, look for ways to prove your leadership. Offer to run group projects. Identify power vacuums and find ways to step in. With a few management stints on your resume, you will become much more likely to land a permanent leadership position.
Focus on Customers
Accounting can be a complex discipline, often involving a lot of confusing jargon. In short, non-accountants can get lost pretty quickly.
Having the ability to talk to outsiders about complex accounting issues makes you an invaluable resource for any organization. This becomes particularly important when talking to clients. By building a broad vocabulary and by developing strong customer service skills, you provide an excellent complement to your basic accounting skills.
To drive your career forward, you need opportunities that leverage your complete skill set. A reliable recruitment agency, like Recruiting In Motion, can find you the placements you need to reach your fullest potential.
Contact Recruiting In Motion to discover what they can do to push your development to the next level.