Thursday 27 April 2017

Making it in professional services - beyond the technical

When you embark on a career in an area of professional services, such as tax, you’ll naturally look for ways to gain value from every opportunity at work.

For example, performing technical tasks presents an opportunity to display your skills and enthusiasm, thereby impressing those who may help you achieve your future career aspirations.

Raising your profile

Enhancing your career prospects involves raising your profile internally and externally, among clients, within your industry, and within your organisation.

To achieve this, you should know how to use both social media and modern mainstream media to your advantage. And you should know how to build relationships as a trusted client advisor.

It’s also advantageous to know the role passion plays in performance, developing a real interest, better understanding and awareness.

Anticipating problems and displaying judgement

Another career-enhancing activity is to show good judgement and initiative with clients.

This involves knowing when to seek guidance and when not to, knowing what has and hasn’t already worked, and identifying the end goal in a matter (as well as your role in achieving it).

Over time, you will become increasingly skilled at anticipating problems before they arise.

Following through and showing resilience

How do you continually plan, think forward and meet deadlines without fail? How transferable are your skills, and are you able to use tax skills in different environments?

In terms of career moves, what’s acceptable and what is unacceptable? How and when should you advance by moving from one firm to another?

These are all decisions that require knowledge, nerve and the ability to take action at the right time.

Applying a professional approach

A professional approach involves knowing the best way to present research and advice within your organisation, and knowing how Partners like to be treated at any time.

You should also understand the relevant conventions in your firm, in terms of operational issues, file management and document development and distribution.

Office relationships and conflicts

It’s useful to observe and analyse your workplace culture to know which behaviours are appropriate and which are not.

To do this, you might ask what has and hasn’t changed in the last 30 years? Are there significant value differences between Partners and Millennial employees? How do you deal with difficult people and pressure generally?

In terms of support networks, you can consider what makes a good mentor and how you might find one. It’s also worth anticipating, in the event that an office conflict breaks out, the strategies you might employ and who you can turn to.


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