What can I do to manage my career more effectively?
Even if you love your current job, It’s important to think strategically about your career so that you can protect your employability in a fast-changing workplace and position yourself for opportunities you are interested in for the future. Here are some tips to help keep your career in good shape.
The clearer you are about what you want from your career, the more likely you are to achieve it. What are the skills you are good at and like using? What type of company and role do you want to work in? What are your needs around salary, location, hours etc? If you have clear decision criteria then you can be more efficient in how you pursue those opportunities rather than waste time considering roles that are available but which might not be right for you.
Continuously update your technical skills and develop your soft skills too, especially those related to people management if you want to move into leadership roles. ACCA will provide a range of learning opportunities but also investigate any training or coaching available through your company and be prepared to fund relevant external courses yourself if necessary.
- Profile raising
Consider your career in PR terms.How can you establish a positive reputation for yourself and increase your visibility to recruitment decision makers?Actively seek opportunities to write or share interesting finance articles, offer to sit on committees both within and externally to your organisation, get involved with your local ACCA network, go to networking events.Get noticed and actively work on building new professional relationships as this is likely to increase the opportunities that come your way.
- Internal move
Before looking externally, don’t overlook the possibility that there may be opportunities for career progression in your current organisation. Have a conversation with your manager or others you would be interested in working with, to see what potential there could be. Even if it’s not a promotion, it could offer real career development. For instance, taking on additional duties, leading a cross-organisational project, or becoming a mentor will all enhance your CV, show your versatility and improve your visibility to senior decision-makers within the organisation, who you want to impress.
- Benchmark externally
Whatever your career plans, it’s important to regularly benchmark yourself as a candidate in the external job market to keep your employability high.Talk to recruiters and people who work in the types of roles you are interested in to assess what employers are currently looking for, and how you compare. This means you can start filling any gaps if necessary
Learn how to talk positively about yourself to others.This includes reminding your manager of your achievements and successes and what is going well on a monthly basis, as well as discussing any problem areas with them.Managing the perceptions of others is essential for successful career management whether it’s introducing yourself to a new colleague, networking at an industry meeting or trying to impress an interview panel.
At times, you may feel that you have little choice but to stay in the current job you are in, especially if you have financial commitments and you don’t have time to look for a new job.However, if you are unhappy in your current role then there is an opportunity cost of doing nothing as your confidence and sense of well-being can be affected.Instead, take the time to consider your options and explore what else is out there for you in the job market.You may well find something that is much better than where you are currently, but if you don’t start looking, you will never find it
Corinne Mills is Managing Director of Personal Career Management, the leading specialists in career management and outplacement services who are the official Career Management partners for the ACCA.
As part of ACCA Member benefits, Personal Career Management offer ACCA Members a free career conversation and a 10% discount off any career coaching or outplacement programme.
If you are looking for help in reaching your career goals, or assistance with a practical job search strategy, then call Personal Career Management on +44 1753 888 995 for a confidential discussion or fill in their online contact form