Be stubborn about your goals, but flexible about your methods. While managing a full workload, the best accounting and finance professionals can adjust to new tasks that get added to their plate. Reprioritizing and pivoting with poise are essential skills to demonstrate early in your career. Your day to day is bound to be filled with multiple projects and deadlines. Effectively managing the moving pieces for each is critical. As a result, management will appreciate your ability to adapt and come up with creative solutions.
Here’s a resource to learn it: LinkedIn Learning: Agility
In accounting and finance, it’s no secret that an analytical mind and love for data will take you far. Propel your career by demonstrating an analytical prowess. Certifications like a CPA and master’s degrees in accounting or finance can help illustrate these skills. If you don’t yet have them, show that you are working towards these milestones. Highlight classes you’re taking or plans to accomplish them down the road.
Here’s a Resource to learn it: Northwestern Online CPA Preparation
Big data touches all disciplines in both accounting and finance, and a solid understanding of computer science can help you shine. Technology is constantly shifting and changing, so staying on top of trends in the space is imperative. In today’s accounting and finance landscape, being savvy in accounting software like SQL, R and Power BI will give you a leg up on the competition.
Here’s a resource to learn it: SQL Certification Program
While hard skills, education and certifications are important, they aren’t everything. Soft skills like strong communication are key for accountants. You’ll need to be able to tell the story behind the numbers in a digestible manner as you explain complex ideas to coworkers and clients. Clear, concise communication will take you far in your career as you work with diverse groups to help them understand accounting initiatives and contribute to the organization’s culture.
Here’s a resource to learn it: Toastmaster’s International
Critical thinking/detail oriented
A flair for strategic thinking can turbocharge your career. As you work with managers and leaders on financial strategies and goals, you’ll likely be expected to interpret and analyze data relevant to the business. Strategic planning, critical thinking and a laser sharp attention to detail will help you not only evaluate your company’s value in the short term but forecast for the future. Whether you want a promotion, raise or land your dream job- critical thinking in accounting and finance will elevate your career.
Here’s a resource to learn it: Harvard Business Review: 4 Ways to Improve Your Strategic Thinking Skills