You’ve just graduated from business school and are ready to begin your career as an accountant. It’s something you’ve looked forward to (and maybe dreaded at times) over the 4 years you’ve spent studying for it.
But how do you do that?
You’ve become used to your class schedule, your peers, your professors; the routine of it all. And now it’s time for a big change, and that can be overwhelming and intimidating.
Don’t worry; everyone goes through this.
Below, we’ve put together our top 5 tips every new accountant must know. We hope these tips will help give you a little direction going into your new career.
1. Don’t Stop Learning Just Because You’ve Left the Classroom
The end of your degree and your time in university should not signify the end of your education.
Not only is learning still possible outside of the classroom, but the opportunities for such are endless. If you are present in your day-to-day life, you listen to those around you, and you actively question things, you will continue to learn.
You can also work to continue your education in more concrete ways, through self-study, seminars, reading, and observing and learning from others in your field. Not only will this constant learning help keep your interest, but it is impertinent to the growth and development of your career and your person.
2. Follow Your Own Path
Traditionally, accounting has a rather linear career path.
You land a job with a good firm – maybe even one of the Big Four; you slowly but surely work your way up within the company; perhaps you even open your own firm one day.
You shouldn’t feel like you have to succumb to this expectation. The world is changing and so are the ways in which we work.
Make your career what you want it to be. If you want to work in industry, work in industry. If you want to work in public sector, work in public sector. If you want to work for a non-profit and travel the world, start your own online business providing service or consultation, or open your own firm – do it!
3. Network, Network, Network!
The bigger the network you have, the more opportunities will be available to you. These opportunities may come in the form of jobs, promotions, learning opportunities, new business ventures, and so on.
If you have a chance to expand your professional network, take it. Attend functions, hand out business cards, introduce yourself to people; put yourself out there.
4. Don’t Settle
You don’t have to settle for that path, that job, that salary, that city – none of it. This world has endless opportunities for those who fight for them and earn them.
If you don’t like where you are – whether it’s career-wise, location-wise, etc. – only you have the power to do something about it.
With that said, change doesn’t happen overnight. If you want change you will have to work for it. You’ll have to dedicate a large majority of time, work, and effort to it – you’ll have to truly want it.
5. Stay True to Yourself
There are going to be situations you may encounter where you will face moral (or maybe even legal) dilemmas. You are going to have to make choices.
These choices may have a number of potential outcomes or consequences, and it can sometimes be difficult to decipher which road you should take.
Our advice is to stay true to yourself, your morals, and your beliefs.
Embrace This New Beginning
Regardless of what you studied in school or what career path you have chosen, getting started on that path can be intimidating. It’s full of unknowns and what-ifs.
It’s important to not let this overcome you. This next step in your life is a big one – it can have ups and downs, successes and failures, but ultimately, it will be what you make it.
Make the most of this transition and this change; and try to enjoy this new beginning of yours.
Did this advice help you? Do you have any other pieces of advice you can offer to new accountants? Let us know below!