By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager
The number of opportunities available to CPAs is an amazing career perk, but CPAs need to be willing to seek out those new challenges themselves.
“I think a lot of times we get stuck in this thought process of ‘If I put my head down, and I work hard enough, my work will speak for itself,’” said Lindsay Stevenson, CPA, vice president of tax & finance at 1st Financial Bank USA.
But unfortunately for many professionals, this could mean missing out on exciting career opportunities. This isn’t necessarily the fault of the employer, Stevenson said; the workplace is busy, and colleagues are probably focused on finishing their own tasks.
Stevenson will present Choose Your Own Adventure: The Epic Journey of a CPA on Aug. 5, on finding and taking advantage of those opportunities while creating unique pathways in your career. She said while it’s valuable to learn to advocate for yourself, it’s also helpful to developing a relationship with a sponsor or mentor.
“Try to get into a habit of finding some allies, finding some sponsors that are further in the profession that will really see you and see what you're accomplishing,” Stevenson said on The State of Business podcast. “So, when they're looking for someone to promote, or they're looking for someone to take on a new project, your name is on the list, because you have a sponsor sitting at the table having that conversation about you.”
Stevenson said sometimes it can be difficult to put yourself out there, whether it’s to a new profession connection or a new opportunity, but taking chances and being vulnerable is key to career advancement.
“The advice I would give to young professionals as they consider putting themselves out there and taking that risk is you will mess up, there's no way to avoid that,” she said. “But when you do mess up how you respond to it will define where you go from there. The ability to own your mistakes, to strategize solutions for moving forward, to recognize the opportunities that are available as a result of those mistake are the things that set you apart and actually make you successful.”
Register for Choose Your Own Adventure: The Epic Journey of a CPA now.
And for learning on how to build your expertise to become a truly transformational CPA, consider taking the Transformational CPA Business Skills course bundle.