Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The X factor: Four ways to stand out in your firm

So you’ve blitzed the competition and landed a role at the accounting organisation of your dreams. Congratulations! But don’t get too comfortable just yet.

It pays to remember that winning over your employer is only the first phase when it comes to proving your worth. Taking the initiative and making regular contributions can go a long way towards helping you stand out as your firm’s newest shining star.

Here are four tried-and-tested strategies for moving past the first rung on your career ladder.

Be as proactive as possible

When you’re a new hire at the start of a learning curve, it can feel daunting to take the reins – you don’t want to appear like you’re overstepping your rank. But whether you offer to help an overworked colleague, volunteer for a new project or voice your opinions in a meeting, taking decisive action shows your employer you want to be considered a future asset.

Invest in your professional development

Few things impress a boss more than an employee who is committed to improving their knowledge and learning new skills – even if they already have a degree under their belt. Enrolling in a Graduate Diploma or applying to become a registered tax agent at The Tax Institute is proof that you’re willing to continually invest in your professional development. This sends the message that you’re unwilling to be complacent, and also increases your value as an employee in the process.

Flag issues as they arise

Although it’s tempting to take on tasks without thinking about the consequences, the ability to anticipate and articulate obstacles and issues is a powerful quality that will put you ahead of the pack. From a bottleneck sparked by a client project or a resourcing shortfall that will put your firm behind a deadline, flagging potential problems with your manager isn’t just testament to your skills as a communicator – it’s also proof of your commitment to doing the best job.

Implement a new initiative or system

Remember that star employees don’t just follow instructions – they’re team players who are unafraid to bring new ideas to the table and reinvent the status quo. Implementing a working method that eliminates reconciliation errors, coming up with a project-management system that leads to greater collaboration or simply suggesting a social activity that your colleagues can enjoy together are sure-fire ways to set yourself apart.

It’s important not to rest on your laurels if you want to prove you’re the kind of hire who is prepared to do whatever it takes to master your role.

Whether it’s showing you’re willing to make effective decisions or mustering the courage to talk about problems, stepping out of your comfort zone can help establish your professional credentials in a way that could see you climbing that career ladder sooner than anticipated.


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