When it comes to career planning, there are a number of key questions all accountants need to address before moving forward into specifics.
These questions represent junctures in your career planning highway. Address the challenge (or question) one way and the direction of your career can shift dramatically. Choose a different path and suddenly alternative options appear. Fundamentally, there are three key career planning considerations for most accountants.
Specialize or Diversify
At some point in your career you will have to decide if you want to specialize in an industry or diversify. If you specialize, you risk being on the negative side of a downward trend, although you also position yourself as a guru, potentially reaping the monetary benefits that go with this.
Diversifying, on the other hand, allows you to transition into a different industry if necessary. Most importantly, employers like candidates who have demonstrated success in a variety of situations.
Pursuing International Opportunities
As accountants we may want to accept the challenge that an international opportunity presents. Accountants who work internationally demonstrate a high degree of adaptability, a quality highly prized by prospective employers. In addition, the exposure to different cultures and ways of doing business help you develop as an accountant and a business partner, enhancing your marketability.
As you plan your career you may want consider the world of entrepreneurship. Do you want to wait until you retire and then only work part-time as your own boss? Do you have what it takes to be successful? What are the steps you need to pursue to launch your own business? Questions such as these can pose a challenge for career planning.
While some of us like to go with the flow, others of us prefer a more planned approach. Regardless of which side of the line you fall on, be open to opportunities, reflect on what you need to be successful (and happy) and then move forward decisively in that direction. It’s unlikely you’ll regret it.