It is the rare CPA who does not want to become more skilled at accounting. It seems like the desire to learn, grow and prosper professionally is hardwired into everyone.
Whereas some individuals want to become more proficient at accounting and be promoted in the position they already hold, others are simply hoping to get hired after a long stint of unemployment.
The truth is, the process for becoming a better CPA is similar to the process for becoming a competitive job candidate. Why not kill two birds with one stone and do both?
How to Simultaneously Become a Better CPA and Job Candidate
If you are happily employed, you obviously aren’t worried about boosting your appeal as a prospective employee. However, good money says you wouldn’t mind becoming a CPA with an edge that is impossible to ignore. If you are an unemployed accountant, you are likely looking for quick tips to help you find a job, fast. No matter which category you fall into, these tips will help you achieve your goals:
1. Find a mentor – Being mentored by another CPA who’s been in the field longer than you is incredibly advantageous. Not only will you learn advanced career skills from him or her; you will also make new contacts and be presented with fresh opportunities.
2. Sharpen your soft skills – Generally, management, communication, leadership, and business development are considered to be soft skills. To sharpen your soft skills, Bill Tsotsos encourages CPAs to “read books on leadership and management and/or plan to take courses in these areas even if there are no continuing education credits available. Write blogs or articles and attach them to your firm’s website. Plan to do a presentation to a group. Learn to be a good storyteller.”
3. Connect with a coach – Have you ever considered meeting with a career coach? A coach can help you take your career to new heights, or to become a more competitive job candidate. Seasoned career coaches can be worth their weight in gold.
4. Get serious about networking – If you are unemployed, networking via LinkedIn and other social media sites can help you find the job of your dreams. If you are employed, networking will help you meet clients, mentors and peers. If you aren’t currently taking advantage of LinkedIn, now is the time to do so.
The secret to becoming a sought-after job candidate AND a promotion-worthy employee is to become the best CPA you can be. When you are at the top of your game, you’ll stand out to your current employer as well as to prospective employers.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started sharpening your soft skills, hiring a career coach, networking, and connecting with a mentor today!