November marks National Career Development Month, an annual campaign set up by the Career Development Association to host a range of learning activities and provide guidance and resources to help both employers and employees with career development opportunities.
So, now is the perfect time to ask yourself this important question… Is your career where you want it to be? If you’re a career-minded accountant, you probably had an idea of where you’d want to be at this point in your professional journey, but the ups and downs of life might mean that your career isn’t quite on the right track. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to progress your career in the right direction for you. Perhaps you need to take the plunge and apply for the next step up, or is it time to specialise in the discipline you’re most interested in?
Whether you’re taking part in the official awareness campaign or not, National Career Development Month is a fantastic opportunity to take a step back and look at your current role and where you want to be.
How can an accountant develop their career?
- Review: Self-assessment isn’t always an easy thing to do, especially when we’re engrossed in the hum drum of daily life. So why not set yourself aside some time during November to review your past experiences, your current role, and your career goals. This will help you to understand how you can use your career to date to navigate progression to get to where you want to be.
- Plan: Once you have this understanding, you can make a clear plan of how to get there. For example, perhaps you’re currently working for a small firm but you’d love to work with a Top 10 firm that has an extensive and varied client base. Whilst it’s possible, it’s unlikely that you’ll make the jump straight into the larger firm. Why not set your sights on a Top 30 firm, or even a Top 50, as a first step towards the bigger ones.
- Implement: Now you know where you’ve come from and where you want to go, it’s time to take action. Update your CV so it shines a spotlight on any qualifications you’ve achieved, experience you’ve gained, and skills you’ve developed. When it comes to applying to jobs, it can be tricky to know how to get your CV in front of the right people. That’s where we come in.
Investing in career development might not reap overnight rewards, but it is essential if you want to keep your career on track. So, what development opportunities could benefit you as a practice accountant?
Career development opportunities for accountants
- Professional qualifications: Whilst it isn’t essential to undergo professional training as some firms consider candidates who are qualified by experience, it can help to give you a solid skills base when starting off. But this type of career development isn’t just for beginners… Accountants at all levels may decide to begin studying, and some firms offer study support to empower their staff to do so. If you’re thinking about earning a professional qualification, why not speak to your employer about how it can benefit both sides.
- Online webinars: There’s a whole range of online learning opportunities that provide accessible resources to strengthen skillsets. Whether it’s a paid for course or a free one-off session, you can take advantage of online tools and learn from the industry experts hosting them. Most hold merit too, so it’s definitely worth adding a few online certifications to your belt.
- Informal training: Whilst some people learn best when being formally taught, others excel when giving it a go themselves. Informal training, such as shadowing a senior team member or championing knowledge sharing between team members, can be an excellent way to strengthen your skillset and learn from experienced peers.
- Networking: Attending networking events is typically a way to represent a firm for new business opportunities, but these events can also be a great way of building your own list of contacts who could help develop your career. Perhaps you meet a hiring manager of a top firm you’d love to work for, or maybe you meet someone in a similar position as yourself who can give advice or put a good word in for you. You never know who you’ll meet or how you could help each other.
Building a progressive career isn’t an easy feat, especially within the competitive and fast growing landscape of practice accounting. So if you’re ready to start implementing your career development plan, we’re here to help. Here at Public Practice Recruitment Ltd, we’re experts at placing talented accountants, like you, into roles with forward-thinking accountancy firms up and down the country. From working closely with hiring managers across the UK, we know exactly what firms are looking for, where is hiring, and which teams would benefit the most from what you can bring to the table. If you’re ready to get your practice career on track, contact the team today!