A lot of advice is available for new professionals just starting their careers in accounting and finance. Accounting is a complex industry, even if it seems cut and dry from the beginning. Getting started in the right ways will help you establish a tone for your career in the future. So how can you be sure you’re stepping off on the right foot? Before you make any major career decisions, consider these four ways to start your accounting career in a way that is right for you.
Become a CPA.
Having the background as a certified public accountant is highly sought after by companies. Regardless of whether or not you do any work that would be considered under the purview of a CPA, companies view the dedication to study and sit for the exam an important accomplishment. On top of that, you will have knowledge that can help a business long term. Showing your flexibility to a company will be a plus on your job application.
Consider more than salary.
When you’re considering your first job, don’t only focus on the money you can earn. If you evaluate jobs based on the quality of life, the experience you’ll receive, the people you’ll be working with, and the long-term job growth you’ll be in a better position as you continue to mature in your career. It’s easy to sign the offer sheet that fills your bank account faster, but take into account the future and think about how you fit with the company in the future.
Find a mentor.
It is always helpful to work with someone who has been in your shoes. A mentor can coach you as you make important decisions. They can give you the tools you need, examples from their own experience, the ability to learn from their mistakes, and help you make other important connections. This mentor doesn’t have to be someone you work directly with on a daily basis. They can work in a different department, previously had your position or just have a connection to you because of some outside interest. Learning from mentors is invaluable for your career.
Learn as much as you can.
Never stop learning. Just because you’re out of school or you’ve already acquired your CPA, that doesn’t mean you can coast. Not only should you be keeping up with the latest information in accounting, but be willing to learn other aspects of the business. The more you know, the more valuable you’ll be long term. Whether it’s through finding great blogs, industry publications, current events or any valuable resource, staying knowledgeable about your industry, business in general and the topics affecting the world will make you appear dedicated to improving.
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