Having a solid and rewarding accountancy career not only requires a
good educational background (and papers) but also proper planning and
execution of ones career path. As much as your career is not defined
by your current or future job, one or two events or decisions can define
how the rest of your accountancy career plays out.
In a competitive career field such as accountancy, there are many pitfalls
you might encounter. However, having a few pointers on when your career
is going out of line may save you a lot of pain later.
It is often said that your present situation is a sum total of all
the decision you have made to date. Therefore you need to know which
decision to make, when to make it and how to make it. Here are a few
1. Always take a job for the experience and the growth prospects
Due to economic hardships, many CPA graduates are being forced to take
up jobs which offer some amount of compensation which at times barely
enough to keep them going. They do not bother to check on the organization’s
future prospects and its management structure. By the time they come
to their senses it’s been five years, the person above them has been
in that position for ten years and is not willing to move and they are
still doing data entry.
It is ok to take up any job if you have nothing going for you currently
BUT be on the lookout for better opportunities out there. If you feel
that you have zero chances of growth in your current position, then
it is time to get moving.
2. Do not overstay your visit.
Picture this: you are employed at a midsize company/audit firm. Your
average salary comes on time; your colleagues are okay, your job, which
you have been doing for the past six years is not so stressful. The
temptation to stay on that job and avoiding the pain of job search will
be irresistible. But what this situation makes is UNEMPLOYABLE elsewhere.
It only means that your career is stagnant and your only way out is
In the current environment the more jobs you have taken the more marketable
(and expensive) your services will be. Staying at the same job for seven,
ten years (unless the company is owned by your father) is a cardinal
sin that any accountant should avoid.
3. Build a network
Having a solid network of professionals is an invaluable asset. Not
only does it ensure that you stay fully informed on the best opportunities
and trends, it also ensures that in the unfortunate circumstance that
you lose your current job, you will not stay unemployed for long.
Luckily, with the upsurge of social media, networking has become a
much easier thing to do. Try and trace your former school mates or colleagues
on facebook and twitter. These sites usually have networking pages such
as accountants on facebook. You can also join linkedln and create a
professional profile to enable others easily find you.
4. Find a good mentor.
This is one of the most important steps that very few professionals
take. However, finding a good mentor is as important as finding a good
A good mentor is one who is willing to share his/her knowledge, experience
and expertise with the mentee. He/she is also available to answer questions
and provide guidance whenever he is called upon to do so. A good mentor
will also help you in developing a network and offer guidance whenever
you are changing jobs. You can find some good tips on finding a mentor
5. Help others grow.
Helping others find their way career wise can be one of the most fulfilling
undertakings you will ever make. If you look around there are many people
who can benefit from your help. This could the new intern at your work,
somebody from hometown, or even students from your former college.
Helping others not only widens your network, it is one of those things
that when added to your CV makes you look more impressive and professional.