Career Progression, Part 2: Create Value

By Samantha Taylor, PME, CPA, CA
Jun 18, 2021

In Part 1 of this series I discussed the importance of reframing “quitting”. This post will continue to discuss career progression, concurrently creating value for yourself and others.

Mindset shift: YOU are a business

We know businesses with multiple sources of income tend to be less “risky”. Ideally, those streams of income complement the natural business cycle, like a landscaper who in the winter, plows snow. As CPAs, we analyze the health of a business, conclude and advise ways to mitigate risks, yet why do so many of us choose to focus all of our efforts on one source of income? 

It is time to talk about practical steps to make the most of where you are, then build on it.

Maximize your current situation

Consider engaging in Intrapreneurship. You can start by creating a new data analytics dashboard and work up to creating a new month-end close macro. Without internal innovations, the world may not have Post-Its or Gmail. If your current company does not recognize these efforts, place them on your resume and know your next employer will.

Build skills while helping

Part-time consulting

Consulting is helping. If someone has accounting questions and you have answers, share them. Don’t know something? Admit it, offer to look into it and get back to them. Forget making it transactional and simply help when you can. If you have taken the steps above to treat yourself as a business, you will have time to build relationships, some of which may turn your helpful conversations into bank-able invoices.

Volunteer work

We have unique skillsets as CPAs: financial literacy. We can review financial statements and see business stories. There are many non-profit boards who could benefit from your expertise, and in turn, offer you a chance to “level-up” your skillset. These skills can be communicated to future employers and clients.

Consider your “why”

As a CPA candidate, you are choosing to devote evenings and weekends to weekly readings, quizzes, practice cases, and integrated problems to prepare for a series of exams that culminate in a three-day marathon exam.

What will your investment of efforts be, what doors will you smash through? Where will you take yourself as you journey through your career progression?

Closing time, open all the doors
And let you out into the world
-Closing Time, Semisonic

I look forward to discussing how these efforts and options can materialize into your life’s plan in the next blog post. No “master plan”? No worries! I’ll discuss that, too.

Do you have feedback on this post or a question you’d like answered by an experienced CPAWSB educator? Please contact your facilitator or send a question to the General Topic in the Candidate Discussion forum. 

Samantha Taylor, PME, CPA, CA, is an educator and lead policy advisor for CPAWSB and a Senior Instructor of accounting at Dalhousie University. She is on a mission to understand and enable learner efficacy while eliminating doldrums occasionally associated with accounting education. Read more of Sam’s posts at the CPAWSB blog.