20 Things to Put On Your Finance Career Bucket List


The movie “The Bucket List” follows two terminally ill men who create a wish list of things they want to do before they die or ‘kick the bucket’. The movie reinforces the importance of living life, setting goals and doing what it takes to achieve them.

But what would a finance career bucket list look like?

What are some goals you might want to tick before you retire to Florida and take up fishing? We have a few suggestions.

1: Act as a Change Agent
Whether it’s working on process improvements, making upgrades to a team or re-working policy, be the person who strives to be a positive agent for change.

2: Take a Company Public
An initial public offering of stock is viewed as a sign of a company’s success. It’s the public market’s unofficial stamp of approval and something many entrepreneurial companies strive for. For you, it means working with the people who are underwriting the IPO, tapping into both your communication and technical skills.

3: Support an ERP Implementation
Taking the lead on an ERP implementation can gain the attention of senior management. It will also allow you to hone your problem solving skills and technical proficiency as you liaise between IT and Finance.

4: Find an Error
Find an error that is costing your employer money and offer a solution to fix it. You’ll increase your credibility and make a significant deposit into the good will bank.

5: Save Real World Dollars
Do something that reduces waste or speeds up production. These changes add up to real world savings.

6: Be a Better Team Member
Help a team member gain the promotion they’ve been gunning for. They’ll remember it and you’ll show that you’re a team player.

7: Create From Scratch
Build something from scratch, like a costing system for example, that either addresses a current challenge or helps with work flow. Through this experience you will learn the ins and outs of building something from the ground up, experience that will serve you well for years to come.

8: Help Your Boss Get Promoted
Deliver for your boss and help him/her get promoted. It shows your loyalty. Then follow in his/her footsteps.

9: Get Cross-Trained
Grow your point of view by learning someone else’s job. It will make you better at your own and more valuable to your organization.

10: Join the Executive Table
Get a seat at the executive table to take part in the decisions that shape your company’s future.

11: Get Yourself Promoted
Make a plan to get yourself promoted and then execute on it. Consider one, three and five year goals and carve out time to re-evaluate your progress.

12: Learn How to Ask for a Raise – and Land It
According to a recent study by Payscale, only eight per cent of people reported being satisfied with their current salary. Learn how to ask for a raise and then go for it. You might be surprised at the answer.

13: Support Your Team’s Growth
A VP of Finance once said to us that he didn’t judge his success by how many people he had working under him, but rather how many he had helped with their careers. If you’re a manager, focus on growing the skills of your team and helping them achieve their goals.

14: Work in Another Country
Open yourself to a new culture and grow your skill set at the same time.

15: Be Involved in a Merger or Acquisition
See the big picture and all its moving parts by being involved in a merger or acquisition.

16: Shift from Finance to Operations
Increase your chances of landing a seat at the C-suite table by showing your versatility. Moving from finance into operations changes your lens and broadens your skills.

17: Help Chart a New Course
Turn around a failing business and gain the long-term satisfaction of seeing a foundering company succeed.

18: Experience Hypergrowth
Work in a hypergrowth company. Test your ability to improvise and adapt. The fast pace can feed the right kind of person.

19: Publish Something
Build your professional brand and credibility by publishing something of note.

20: Get Your Professional Designation
Open doors in your career by making sure you get your professional designation. Employers want people who invest in themselves.

Your bucket list should be shaped by your own goals and dreams. Try and tick the list we’ve provided or forge your own path. Either way, setting a goal and accomplishing it can move your career forward.