Sunday, 18 January 2015

5 Extra Ways To Boost Your Accounting Career

Are you still waiting for that phone call from your recruitment agent or from your potential employer? 

Did you wish you could have stood out more in the interview? What more could you do?


Here is what I have suggested to accountants in the past year on how they can progress in their career.  



1. Join a Freelance Website.

Work for yourself!  Sign up as a freelancer on one of these websites:


http://www.freelancer.com 

http://www.peopleperhour.com

I have seen projects such as, preparing internal business accounts, writing business plans, drafting bids and providing a financial review of a business. You earn as you work. You gain experience with international clients. 

For more general advice on freelancing, click on this link : 


How to make more money as a freelancer


2. Share Your Expertise.


You already have some finance knowledge. Share it now!  Answer questions in forums such as:


Try not to spend too much time on one question. 
10-15 mins is enough as these forums can be addictive! 

If you answer a question incorrectly, don't worry. 
Another poster or the moderator is likely to correct you. It's the best way to learn! 

After a while, you'll catch the attention of regular users. You'll become known as an expert

That's when you introduce yourself by private message. Ask about them : are they studying exams, what's the most recent project they are working on and how can you help them

Add them on your LinkedIn account and you can get to know their extended network. You can later extend your commercial opportunities or job prospects.


3. Get Blogging! 

If you start a blog, you can share your experiences and showcase your expertise

Write about recent articles and news reports on :

- the economy 
- changes in tax or accounting regulations
- how these might affect everyday people or businesses. 

You may well have predicted the credit crunch, as Vincent Cable did in 2008 and so you gain further credibility

If you get your facts wrong, then, you can always edit blog posts and remove the mistake :). 

Express your opinion, even if it is controversial.  If someone leaves a comment, interact with them. 

Remember to share your blogs in any way possible: on Linkedin, Twitter, Google, Facebook and even by e-mailing your existing contacts.  

4. Join a Not-for-profit Board

According to the last National Trustee's Week survey, 48% of charities in the UK have at least one vacant position on their board.  

Charities and not-for-profits will value your finance and business expertise.  Apply for a charity which is close to your heart. 

I did exactly this and when I was charity treasurer, I learned how to:-

- run an organisation with limited resources

- write bids and grant applications

- give advice on internal controls, solvency, investments, forecasting, budgeting and monthly cash flow accounts

- work with people from other diverse backgrounds

It took only a few hours a week and I attended a meeting once a month. I know Trustee experience certainly helped my career when I applied for jobs last year.

5. Unleash Your Sparkling Personality

Most important of all, you are selling:

BRAND YOU 

You will be working with people in your future organisation or with future clients.  They want to identify with you.  In the interview or sales pitch, the best examples come from personal experiences.  

Mention something unique about you. You might be the drummer in a band, a salsa instructor or a snowboarder.   You might have an unusual hobby such as mountain unicycling or stilt-walking. 

Tell a memorable fact about you. I always remember the New Zealand guy on the plane who boasted, "I have three passports from three different countries".

Your uniqueness will exude your personality and make you stand out from the crowd. 

SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Act on these 5 tips now and add your experience on your CV and to your professional online profile. 

So your future employer has two equally qualified candidates.  One candidate has listed their work experience with their previous employers.  Then you have added your new experiences.  

Guess who will look the more attractive candidate?  YOU! 

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