Yesterday, we shared Part 1 of Think Big – Tips for Your Finance Career from Kevin Hibbert, CPA, CA. Today, we’ve got more where that came from. Read on to uncover insights on the fallacy of work-life balance and the value of widening the scope.
Lesson 4: The Fallacy of Work-Life Balance
Contrary to bookstore wisdom, work-life balance may have questionable purpose in the real world.
“There is no such thing as career balance,” says Kevin.
But rather than doom yourself to the mutual exclusivity of jobless domestic bliss or solitary career success, you can acknowledge this discrepancy and knowingly make decisions that maximize time spent at work and at home.
“There is no such thing as career balance.”
“It all comes down to being the best person you can possibly be and being comfortable looking yourself in the mirror each night before bed knowing that you did the best you possibly could given the limited time and myriad responsibilities, both work and personal, you had that day.”
This point underpins the importance of decision-making and resource allocation across one’s personal life and career.
Lesson 5: Widening the Scope
In order to make career progress, you must continue to widen the scope of your thinking.
While juniors must focus on technical development, knowledge of hard skills, and computing on a narrower level, a rise through the ranks necessitates broader thinking.
When asked the difference between mid-level performers and high achievers in the finance world, Kevin suggests it’s “the ability to not only grasp technical complexities and esoteric concepts in finance, but to also be able to toggle in and out of the weeds. Being able to go deep into issues with your staff then climb high enough in concepts when dealing with others not in the know.”
Kevin notes that the ability for finance professionals to explain complex concepts in ways that business partners, staff and outside parties can understand and appreciate is a subtle, yet critical, skill to have. “Knowledge is one thing. The ability to disseminate it in a way that people can understand and appreciate is where the real value-add of a finance function resides”, says Kevin.
The development of soft skills such as people skills, leadership ability, political savvy, and an ability to inspire “become more paramount as you begin to reach the upper echelons of your organization.”
Kevin’s Final Thoughts
“My mother once told me to look at everything through the lens of good common sense. She would always say that common sense isn’t as common as one would think. If you use it consistently, you’ll probably end up doing pretty well for yourself.”