Monday, 18 November 2013

Mapping your tax career for 2014 and beyond

Mapping your tax career for 2014 and beyond
A new year brings new career opportunities whether you are looking to move into the tax sector or a related field. By creating a career map, you can see where your knowledge and skills can take you and plan how to reach your goals.

Are you a planner or are you a ‘take it as it comes’ person? No matter which side you’re on, you can benefit from a career map, which takes into account your qualification/s and/or level of experience and portrays the career opportunities open to you in chart form.

There are a number of career mapping services available online, but you can easily develop one using a large sheet of paper, some sticky notes or a mind-mapping tool. Here’s where to start:

Drawing your map

In the middle of the ‘map’, put yourself and your qualification. Around this, write down each occupation currently open to you at this level, as well as the skills, knowledge and experience that you’ll need for the role, or will acquire on the job. Draw a line from the centre of the map (you) to each of those roles.

Moving on, treat each entry on the map as if you had achieved all that you could in that role and again consider each new occupation open to you from there. Continue repeating this process until you’ve reached the limit of your knowledge (or interest).

Choosing a path

The map shows you the potential opportunities open to you, and where skills, qualifications and experience may overlap. There may be, for instance, more than one way to get to a particular role. You can then use the map as a guide to make sure your next step is in the right direction.

Planners can trace a path from the centre to their ultimate career goal via all the other roles that precede it. Those without an ultimate destination should look at the elements of the roles that appeal to them – for example, if you like dealing with people you may prefer an advisory role compared to a number-cruncher role – and head in that general direction.

Once you have a path, set your course for 2014. Your goal may be to get a job, or to gain experience, or to acquire particular skills by the end of the year. Make sure your main objective aligns with the map and has milestones along the way so you can track your progress.

A career map should present the scope of possibilities open to you at any point in your career. Roles do evolve and new posts emerge – just look at the marketing sector, for instance, and the rise of social media-related positions – so don’t close yourself to opportunities that aren't apparent to you now. Revisit and revise the map throughout your career… you never know what exciting new possibilities lie just around the corner.

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