If you are looking to advance your skills in your accounting career, there is no better time than the present to invest. You likely know by now that the economy is constantly shifting both globally and locally, and information is always changing. In such a dynamic field, career flexibility and continuous learning are at the forefront of success. There are many options for career advancement: gaining additional certifications, developing your brand, or sharpening your capacity for leadership. If the prospect of diversity and advancement excites you, here are the best ways to enhance your accounting career:

  1. Know Your Goals. Think about why you want to advance your career. Are you motivated by making more money? Developing a diverse resume? Attaining more responsibility and leadership? No matter which route interests you the most, it is important to establish your goals early. Perhaps you already have an idea of where you would like your career to lead, but you need to know how to get there. Reflect on this early and your path will become more clear.
  2. Discover Your Niche. For some accountants, their motivation to advance in their career comes from a lack of personal satisfaction with what they do currently. That disgruntled state can be caused by a simple problem: boredom. You will likely find that you are not the only one wishing to move forward for the sake of career diversity. Many accountants are forced to diversify because of the uncertain economy. Therefore, it is in your best interest to diversify your portfolio with unique opportunities.
  3. Involve Yourself in Diverse Financial Projects. If you want to gain a better footing in the finance industry, one of the best ways is to volunteer for a challenging assignment. By taking initiative, you are showing your peers and superiors that you are dedicated and passionate about progressing forward. It is, by far, one of the best ways to distinguish yourself among your fellow accountants. If you decide to further your education or move on, this will gain you credibility as you leave for better prospects.
  4. Expand Your Knowledge Base with Additional Training. Expanding your educational foundation is an instant boost to your resume. To remain competitive, it is often necessary to obtain an advanced degree in graduate school. The most common accounting certifications are the CPA and CMA. In order to obtain these, applicants must go through extensive training. Students may study for hundreds of hours and take years to complete either of these designations. The best way to complete your exam with confidence is to be as educationally prepared as possible. Study materials like those from CPA Exam Guy have been known to immensely improve a student’s chances to pass.
  5. Take on Leadership Positions. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Whatever you are, be a good one.” If you want to optimize your status, groom yourself to take on leadership positions. In order to gain these positions, you cannot just have the right skill-set; you must also have the character and personality to match. However, even though not everyone has natural leadership skills, it is likely that those skills can be developed. Some people find that observing and imitating their boss or supervisor is an efficient way to learn. Others benefit by reading books on leadership by established professionals. Find a method of learning leadership skills that works for you and implement it in a situation the necessitates leadership. This can come in a variety of forms: the ability to establish relationships among teams and the skill to create compromise are also essential tools that go beyond typical critical thinking skills. The most effective leadership comes from understanding your strengths and implementing them in the finest manner. Tools such as StrengthsQuest will reveal your strengths and show you how to use them. In fact, over six hundred schools (not counting business) use StrengthsQuest to help progress a person’s development and prepare them for success.

If you’re looking for ways to advance in your accounting career, consider these techniques and tactics and set yourself up for success.

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