63.2 % of the accounting and finance community surveyed by The Outperformer in Australia highlighted that they do not have a well-developed professional network that provides effective support to the achievement of career goals. The underlying issues revolving around time and lack of knowledge.
In a career field that has traditionally involved limited network development until it is forced, many accountants do not have the range of contacts in their network to open new career doors, challenge their ideas, or support their professional development beyond their current place of employment.
This lack of network becomes particularly problematic during stages of change or career pressure such as redundancy or restructure.
Unfortunately, breaking the cycle to build new relationships, work with mentors and focus on personal development is often put in the “too hard” basket.
(I have) not invested the time and effort in development, external to my organization.”
Like most jobs, time constraints prevent this (networking). I know I should make more time but don't. "Always too busy".
Unfortunately, I spent all my time focused on delivering business goals that I neglected my own.
The theme is consistent. Time is seen as a barrier and neglect is consistent. Accounting and finance professionals position themselves as "too busy", yet there are groups that are getting it right and building sustainable relationships which pay dividends when it comes to career development and opening up new opportunities.
Mentors and Coaches
Mentors or coaches can challenge you to think more clearly about achieving your goals, and pressure tests the assumptions you make about your career, your decisions and the way the World might work. Often you know the answer to your problems, however, they will typically help you bring your thoughts into something you can act on, and become the mirror to explore who you really are.
The advocate is typically someone who can endorse you and has the reputation that supports their claims. It is likely they’ve been your manager or held a senior position that has had visibility of your performance and execution. The more influential and connected your advocates are, the better.
A connector is a person who typically has a large network of genuine relationships. People will trust this persons’ professional judgment and will typically listen to their recommendations. They have circles of contacts that may come in handy for you and don’t have problems helping credible contacts in their network. They typically feel a sense of pride in helping their colleagues and believe in the power of giving.
Trusted Peers are important contacts. They are often going on a similar journey to you; growing and developing, building clarity in their goals and dealing with similar professional challenges.
Subject Matter Experts (Executors)
When you are trying to get things done in any field, knowing subject matter experts who can make delivery easier or faster are important.
If you are someone who takes their career seriously and values the insights from other professionals, executives and CFOs, then we’d recommend you join The Outperformer to maximise your network and gain the perspective to help you make great decisions in your career.
How did the meeting with your mentor help you?
My meeting with my mentor provided me with valuable insight into the career progression of a successful finance professional. It was extremely helpful to be able to have a conversation that was not within a work context, meaning I felt more comfortable asking a range of questions. He gave me great advice on what he looks for in employees he manages, which gave me a better understanding of how I could improve my work performance.
What advice or decisions are you going to practically implement following the discussion?
Following this meeting, I felt much more prepared to start my new job. I had more confidence in how I should conduct myself at work. One particular piece of advice that really helped me was to clearly define my role and expected progress. I think this has really helped me clarify the key components of my role, as well as understand what others expect from me.
Would you recommend a mentor like yours to others? Why?
Definitely! I think having a mentor like mine would be incredibly valuable at any point of my career. I look forward to learning more from him in the future.
For many of our members, the services provided will cover your professional membership's CPD requirements when you participate.
Gaining exclusive access to mentors in our community would be difficult to almost impossible without this service. Through your personal development, we can guarantee that you will gain far more value than the $348 you spend on this membership. See this as a small gift to yourself!
NATHAN KEEN – GROUP COMMERCIAL MANAGER – GOODMAN FIELDER
“The Outperformer is a really valuable platform for accountants who are looking to learn from CFOs and Executives about real and practical decisions they have made in their career and how that has influenced their success. I believe in learning from these situations so that you can make the right decisions when faced with similar problems or opportunities. It suits someone who is proactive enough to take control of their career, not someone who needs their hand held every step of the way. It would have been great to have this around when I was starting out.
The Outperformer I believe is peerless, as it not only focusses accountants on careers within finance & accounting, but assists them to develop awareness of how to use their skills to develop & excel outside of finance & accounting.”
ANNA LAWLER – SENIOR FINANCE MANAGER - ATLASSIAN
“The Outperformer provides a valuable platform for finance professionals to take charge of their career in a structured environment. Navigating the corporate world can sometimes be daunting when you are looking to progress to the next level but are unsure where to start.
Through the Outperformer I have been able to learn from industry leaders through their webinars on the key traits and skills needed to progress your career. I have also been able to expand my network through their live events. For me, expanding my network through a platform like this has been instrumental in expanding my career opportunities.”
PAULA KENSINGTON – CFO & COO – REGUS
“I have a passion for future proofing not only my role and company, but also my career. I believe in the power of personal brand to drive the future and I use The Outperformer platform to gain clarity and exposure to leading Executives globally as well as a platform where I can add value to members. I use The Outperformer to let other high performing professionals know who I am and share insights to help others follow a successful career path.
The Outperformer gives me access to success stories, but also helps me to digest real methods and practices that have led to the career success of others. Being part of an online career management platform, these days and especially one that is dedicated to accounting and finance professionals is must for anyone to enhance their career journey and give them the tools for success.”
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