Congratulations! You’ve made the great decision to join the accounting profession.
Whether you are just getting started in an accounting career or have a few years of experience under your belt, here are a few points to consider so that you can take control of your career now and ensure you lay the foundation for a successful future.
Know your options and where you want to go
A career in accounting offers a range of many interesting paths. It is essential to gather as much information as possible on the career paths available to you.
From deciding on the company size you would like to work for, whether you would like to work in public accounting or private industry, and/or whether you would like to get your CPA license, the options are endless.
Adequately researching how each factor will play into your career goals, salary, and job satisfaction will help you to grow. For example, at a smaller company, you may get to wear many hats and see a lot of the accounting process. If you are at a larger company, you will likely be specializing in one aspect of the accounting process but also gain experience of working with large ERP systems. There are pros and cons at every level and talking through those with a mentor, colleague, or recruiter is important in this early stage of your career.
Focus on Networking
Improving your networking skills takes time and energy. It may even require you to slightly get out of your comfort zone, but don’t get too concerned.
Here are a few reasons we have heard regarding why people aren’t networking:
1. Networking is daunting… – “It just feels too big. It’s too much.”
Try breaking it down. Devote 5 – 10 minutes a day to practicing your networking skills.
2. Not enough time to network… – “My job, family, social life, etc. always takes away time to network.”
Ease into it and take it at your own pace. A connection can happen in as little as a minute. Build your presence up and the connections will come.
3. Outside of your comfort zone… – “I feel socially awkward networking.”
Maybe you just need to know what to say and how to say it. Practice with friends or family and get feedback on how you communicate.
4. There is no pay off… – “I’ve tried and I didn’t really see any results I like.”
Don’t give up! It’s a long game that will pay off in time.
A solid network is beneficial to help connect you to ‘hidden’ job opportunities, advance your career and just chat about current events in the market relevant to your job or industry.
In the post-COVID era, networking is taking shape in many forms virtually. From engaging through a LinkedIn Group to having a virtual coffee on a Zoom call to attending virtual conferences, there are many ways to keep up with your network in today’s world and it has never been easier to dive right in.
Mindset is Important
Staying true to your long-term career goals while remaining positive and tactful is very important in your accounting career early on. An experienced recruiter or mentor can help you with this.
Think of your first or second job as a stepping stone for getting you to where you ultimately want to be. As long as you are growing and gaining experience, it will be beneficial in the long-run, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.
When you are interviewing with a hiring manager or recruiter, remember that while it would be nice to make your dream salary, you must have the experience to justify the compensation.
Maintaining a positive mindset is important for growth. Whether you stay with your current company for years or plan to transition, remember that the role and responsibilities that you have now will help to prime you to get to where you want to go.
Prepare for Change
If the year 2020 taught us anything, it is that the only constant is change. Whether you are more deliberate or opportunistic in your approach to your career, understanding that your path may end up looking different than you expected is important.
Being flexible and optimistic is key to succeed in your career. Don’t falter, negativity is self-sabotage. Your knowledge and ability to advise and interact will help you through. You have all the tools you need at your disposal!
If you think you need coaching or would just like to have a conversation about any of the areas listed above, an experienced recruiter can help.
The team at Accountants One focuses on creating long-term relationships. We personally enjoy getting to know you, your preferences, and your career goals. After a thorough interview, we strive to match you to an organization that fits what you are looking for, both technical and cultural fit. You can count of us to assist you in finding a role where you can grow and flourish!