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Career Development in a Virtual World

‘Freedom day’ has been and gone, but the reality is that many accountants still find themselves working in virtual workplaces.

And that might be a situation that suits you very well or one that you’re wishing would change at the earliest opportunity. But either way the time you are spending working remotely shouldn’t be time lost when it comes to the advancement of your career as an accountant.

So here’s our top tips for developing professionally in a virtual world.

1. Don’t neglect to make career goals.

You may not find yourselves with regular opportunities to impress face to face at the moment and that means that rather than waiting for those with decision making power to spot your talent, you need to set goals that will ensure you are in front of them regularly in virtual meetings.

So set your high level goals (e.g to be appointed as Partner Designate), make them time limited (i.e set your deadline) and then break them down into smaller chunks that can be achieved virtually (so find online courses to bulk up your CV, network online with hiring managers at firms you admire and don’t miss out on opportunities to get yourself noticed in the sphere of accounting by volunteering as a speaker at conferences etc.)

2. Ask for virtual support to maximise your career opportunities.

If an internal promotion is something you’d be keen to consider then you can no longer count on the old water cooler chat with those in positions of power to get the word out that you’re keen to progress.

So, in 2021, it’s up to you to be making direct contact with your superiors asking for the opportunity to chat about what you’re hoping to achieve on a phone or video call.

Again the message is, don’t wait for these opportunities to fall out of the sky, as in a virtual workspace, they just won’t.

3. Maintain your wellbeing.

Not always an obvious priority when you’re laser focused on developing your career. But when an opportunity arises for you to take on more responsibility, pursue a qualification or apply for the next professional step, you’ll want to be mentally, physically and emotionally ready.

So invest the time that you’re no longer using for the commute in yourself! Exercise, meal plan and cook energising and nutritious food, spend time with people who make you feel confident and great about yourself, meditate or enjoy mindful and creative activities and practice self care whenever you possibly can.

4. Improve your transferable skills.

These kinds of skills are the icing on the cake for employers looking to fill a generic practice post. If you’re applying for an exciting job and you want to guarantee that you stand out from the crowd, investing in extra skills is never a bad idea.

Advances in technology have been a game changer when it comes to virtual learning and you’ll find that there is no course you can’t now complete in your own time in the comfort of your own home. So the world is your oyster and you can get qualified in just about anything in 2021! But remember that the most attractive quality a 2021 accountant can possess is agility so any learning that helps you learn to adapt, communicate and crucially increase your technology know-how will be hugely attractive to employers.

5. Get comfortable in leadership.

Even if you’re not yet in a leadership role, it’s never too early to start getting familiar with taking some level of command and being confident in your decision making.

If you’re in a junior accounting position there will still be opportunities for you to offer to lead. In a meeting and have a great idea about how a work stream could be made more efficient? Be the one that holds your hand up and offers to make the changes required. Volunteer to showcase your skills, don’t wait to be asked.

“At Public Practice Recruitment Ltd very few of the larger firms that we represent are making sounds that they plan to pull the workforce back into the office full time, so we’re very much encouraging accountants to get on with their personal development and get comfortable and confident in getting noticed online. “

Garry Howling, MD

And, as the experts in the niche sector of practice recruitment, we’re also available 100% virtually to support accountants to propel their careers to the next level. If we have the right role available for you, we’ll support you to win it and if we think you have gaps you would benefit from filling to help you get one step further than you ever thought possible, we’ll tell you about those too.

So once you’ve decided that a new role in practice is something you’re not prepared to let wait until everything returns to pre-pandemic normal, contact us for an informal chat or upload your CV. Discretion is 100% guaranteed and you can trust us to find you the right role.

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