Whether you’re just beginning your accounting career or you’ve enjoyed success in the industry for decades, there are plenty of ways to reinvigorate your job path and expand your advancement opportunities. From building a reputation within your industry to gaining new certifications, there are plenty of strategies you can use to excel. Whether your motivations include more money, more prestige or global employment opportunities, these five tips will take you well on your way to a lucrative and satisfying career in the accounting industry.
1. Getting Certified
The accounting and finance fields have plenty of opportunities for continued education. This education can lead to prestigious certifications that will allow you to access better employment opportunities and higher paying positions. In the accounting world, many set their sights on becoming a CPA. This profession will always be in high demand, as CPAs are permitted to work a variety of clients and present them in front of the IRS. Becoming a certified public accountant is no easy task. The CPA Exam is taken in separate parts, and most applicants only pass after years of studying and repeated examination. If you’re serious about getting certified begin as soon as possible. You’ll need to dedicate hundreds of hours to studying before taking the first portion of the exam, so you need to dedicate yourself to a long term goal.
2. Soft Skills Are Important
To excel in any profession, you need to work on more than the hard skills specific to your role. Accounting isn’t only about analyzing numbers and presenting data. To properly serve your clients and customers, it’s important to develop soft skills that employers look for in all job candidates. The most common include communication, leadership, and organization. Because you’ll be responsible for conveying highly detailed, numerical data to clients who may not have accounting acumen, you need to be adept at tailoring your communication style.
3. Networking 101
Regardless of industry, networking is an important part of career advancement. The right networking strategies can help you create strong relationships, foster a cache of contacts, and provide you with more opportunities to advance. The more people you know in your industry, the more apt you are to land a better position. If you’re just getting started, be sure to participate in professional online forums, join up with local networking groups, and take advantage of any invitations from colleagues to further your connections. You’d be amazed what industry relationships can do for your career opportunities, so don’t ignore the power of networking. Check out local accounting meetup groups to get started.
4. Building Your Reputation
If you want to become a trusted resource, it’s important to take steps to position yourself as a leader or authority in your industry. For many in the digital age, this is accomplished through blogs and online feature articles. You need a strong online presence to remain competitive in today’s digitally connected world. Consider hiring the services of an SEO professional to help improve your rankings on Google, and ask clients to increase brand awareness online through social media shares and positive testimonials. You can build up your online authority without a website–get published in local publications and post often to accounting professional networks. Give interviews to local reporters, write features for accounting publications, and do everything you can to get your name out into the blogosphere.
5. Finding Job Opportunities
As you consider your opportunities for career advancement, be sure to keep your eyes on the proper employment horizons. Search job listings, keep an ear out for promotion opportunities, and expand your skillset with freelance work on a website like Remote.com. Even just a few extra accounts per month, you can greatly supplement your income and get invaluable experience that will help you demand higher wages in the future.
If you’re looking for ways to advance in your accounting career, consider employing on or all of these strategies. Whether you choose to take on a certification course, foster your soft skills, or spend time networking with industry peers, taking steps to advance your accounting career can transform your job prospects and see you drawing in higher wages and more responsibility in no time.