The Finance Leader Podcast

Bonus Episode 44: Career Advancement

September 06, 2022 Stephen McLain
The Finance Leader Podcast
Bonus Episode 44: Career Advancement
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Show Notes Transcript

This week, I am sharing an encore replay from Season 9 - Episode 77: Five Pillars of Career Advancement for Finance and Accounting Professionals

What does it take to advance your career? There are many decisions and pathways you can take. There are lots of choices, but how do you prepare yourself for the best chance of advancing to senior leader roles? In this episode, I will highlight the five pillars of career advancement which can help you move in the right direction, so you have the best chance for achieving your dream role. And what do you when you approach an obstacle in your career advancement? Do you accept it or do you keep going? 

Episode outline:

  1. Build your professional foundation,
  2. Ensure you have a growth mindset,
  3. Develop your leadership skills,
  4. Take risk, and
  5. Always advocate for yourself.


Please connect with me:

1. Instagram: stephen.mclain
2. Twitter: smclainiii
3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant
4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiii

Consider joining The Finance Leader Podcast Community Facebook Group, where we can talk leadership and the other topics I present here on the podcast. https://www.facebook.com/groups/financeleaderpodcast  This is a good time to jump in and start sharing ideas and thoughts about leadership so we can help each other.

For more resources, please visit stephenmclain.com. On the website, you can download the Leadership Growth Blueprint for Finance and Accounting Managers. You can use this guide to develop your leadership by focusing on communication, and growing and empowering your team.

You can now purchase a course to help you advance your career from financeleaderacademy.com. It's called Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.

Stephen McLain:

Hi, this is Steven McLain of the finance leader podcast. This is bonus episode number 44. Last week, I shared a few thoughts on a trending topic, quiet quitting. This is a huge topic right now. Now if you missed it, please go back to bonus episode 43. It has really resonated with all of you. It was a very popular download, and I only talked about it for a few minutes. So please go back and listen if you missed it. I am working on season 12 of the podcast which will debut on September 27. In that first episode, I will be talking about productivity hacks I can't wait to share. This week I am sharing an encore episode from season nine. The five pillars of career advancement for finance and accounting professionals. Now what does it take to advance your career? There are many decisions and pathways that you can take. There are lots of choices, but how do you prepare yourself for the best chance of advancing to senior leader roles? Now the outline for the episode is number one, build your professional foundation. Number two, ensure you have a growth mindset. Number three, develop your leadership skills. Number four, take risk. And five. Always advocate for yourself. Please connect with me on social media and LinkedIn. My usernames are in the show notes with this episode. Again season 12 will debut on September 27. Please enjoy this encore replay. Thank you what does it take to advance your career? There are many decisions and pathways you can take. There are a lot of choices. And how do you prepare yourself for the best chance of advancing to senior leader roles. Today, I will highlight the five pillars of career advancement, which can help you move in the right direction. So you have the best chance for achieving your dream role. What do you do when you approach an obstacle in your career advancement? Do you accept it? Or do you keep going? Please enjoy the episode. Welcome to the finance leader podcast where leadership is bigger than the numbers. I am your host Stephen McLean. This is the podcast for developing leaders in finance and accounting. Please consider following me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. My usernames and the links are in this episode's show notes. And also, please join the Facebook group I have for this podcast community. Thank you. This is episode number 77. And I will be talking about the five pillars of career advancement. And I will highlight the following topics. Number one, build your professional foundation. Number two, ensure you have a growth mindset. Number three, develop your leadership skills. Number four, take risk. And five always advocate for yourself. civil rights leader Gandhi said the future depends on what you do today. We are all trying to figure out how best to advance our careers. You have to make a lot of decisions, you have choices and those choices can lead you to different results. So what do you do? How do you form a plan and know where to focus? This week, I'm talking about the five pillars of career advancement, which are your professional Foundation, having a growth mindset, developing your leadership skills, taking risk, and always advocating for yourself. There are so many combinations of circumstances and decisions that need to happen. Also, the opportunities need to be open and available, or do you need to go find an opportunity and even better than that, create an opportunity. This last option requires you to be bold and to take risk and to advocate for yourself. If you fear asking for what you deserve, you won't get it. If you don't take risk, you won't reap the bigger benefits, any act of complacency or feeling doubt about yourself and you may not advance or get compensated properly. Now let's talk again about goal setting. Do you have written goals last week I talked about developing and writing out an effective Individual Development Plan. This is a huge component of what I'm talking about today. Write out your goals and write out your plan. That written plan helps you visualize where you're at and where you want to go. As you know, the goal of this podcast is to grow leaders within the finance and accounting profession. I want you to embrace leadership. I want you to lead throughout the company. Don't just report the numbers. But as you discuss those numbers, ask yourself how you can influence positive change. How can you make a difference regarding strategy execution? Go beyond the numbers. What do those numbers mean? And how can you use them to better understand what happened and what do you need to do different to achieve the strategy to advance you need to set yourself apart Even if you are seeking a new role and a new company, you need to set yourself apart from other candidates. How do you do this? Use this model I am talking about today. Earn your professional credentials. And sure you can handle adversity, become a leader and take a risk and everything you do. You have to own your career starting today. And you have to advocate for yourself, know your worth, and don't settle for anything less. I want you to build confidence. And that comes from our mindset. I want you to build your credentials. So you are seen as a professional, and finance and accounting, who knows what they're doing, who is an expert when they walk in the room, I want you to take a risk so you don't miss out on a project or a role, or another opportunity that can propel you to greatness. And I want you to be a great leader who is prepared to set an excellent example and can prepare their team and organization for adversity to come and ensure always you're getting results. Now let's talk about the five pillars of career advancement. Number one, build your professional Foundation, your professional foundation and represent your credentials, your skills, your knowledge and background as a finance and accounting professional. These credentials determine your expertise level, and how others may view your ability to perform in the field. We all should be striving to complete an advanced degree. Additionally, I want you to earn a professional certification. When combined with an advanced degree. This signals your expertise, which is the basis for our professional foundation. At the beginning of your career, you should have a significant set of technical skills. To be a skilled advisor you need to know business beyond finance and accounting. You need to know about marketing and operations, and lot more beyond what you do every day in your finance or accounting role. A professional has a written plan with goals and a timeline, and a professional achieves results. I talk about achieving results in episode two. As part of the four responsibilities for finance and accounting professionals. Our ultimate credibility rests whether we achieve results if we do deliver with excellence and if we meet all of our deadlines. Number two, ensure you have a growth mindset. I have discussed mindset many times and we'll continue to talk about mindset in every episode of the podcast if I need to. Mindset is key to everything you do. It guides you through tough times. Your mindset helps during times of adversity and challenges. Your mindset determines how you view yourself in the world, and how you believe the world sees you. Those who believe in a fixed mindset believe they cannot grow and develop beyond what they are doing today. So that is why we must believe in having a growth mindset. A person with a growth mindset will engage in learning, growing and development and they will not fear taking risk so they can advance. What do you do when you hear a no when going after a new role or trying to get on a high visibility project or task? Do you accept the defeat and lose doubt? Or maybe your confidence gets shattered? Or do you keep trying? I want you to look for more opportunities and keep trying. Don't accept defeat. Don't stop trying and go after your long term goal. Number three, develop your leadership skills. Leadership will set you apart from your peers. Our profession creates many technical experts who can perform a variety of tasks that include accounting properly for business transactions, or performing critical financial analysis and projections. But learning leadership will help you grow into a more senior role, where you must lead technical experts and you have to inspire set priorities and lead your team through adversity. Your senior leaders are looking for those with leadership potential. Your spreadsheet skills do not outline how you can lead your team or a department and definitely not an entire organization. Also learn how to develop your executive presence. I talked about executive presence in Episode 19. Do others consider you to be a leader, it does not matter what your role is. Additionally, a leader shows respect for others. We preserve the dignity of the team we serve. A great leader ensures there's fairness in every action, and we look to grow others which is the greatest responsibility of every leader. Number four, take risk so you move forward without fear. You must own your career and own your future. No one will know what you're doing. If you're only performing your daily task list. You must do more to get recognized for your amazing skills and potential. So get out of your comfort zone. I want you to stop being complacent in what you do every day and how you think and how you view yourself. Take some risk by getting on a high visibility project or taking on a new role. All responsibility. Do not fear what you have not experienced. Rely on your amazing skill set. Challenge your mindset. If you're a feeling doubt, it is when we step out from the familiar to tackle something new, or something challenging, that we achieve our greatest growth. And we may see that potential realized through recognition, reward, and advancement. So always challenge yourself. Number five, always advocate for yourself, I am a believer that you have to tell your story, not from a bragging standpoint, but for your leadership team to know your contributions and what your potential is. Your leadership is busy too, they will notice you and working on a high visibility project. But you have to remind them who you are and what you can do, you must tell your story. And you must know your worth. You have to believe in yourself. And you have to get on the projects that will get you noticed, apply and go after the roles that will move your career. Don't be afraid to speak up for yourself, no one is going to hand it to you. So you have to go after what you want to accomplish. You have to own your career and intentionally shape the outcome. You must speak up for yourself and go get the experience that you need. I want to re emphasize that you need to be your own advocate because you can't rely on others to know and act on what you need in your career. You need to take action, you need to ensure you get on the projects that will set you apart and develop the skills you need to go into higher roles. What do you do when you're told no? Do you immediately accept the first? No? Do you continually go after those roles and projects that can help advance you? Or do you stop trying? I want you to keep going after them. Don't let a no stop you keep going and don't accept any defeat. And don't accept any obstacle keep moving forward. So for action today, using this model I presented here today, I want you to evaluate your career and the choices you need to make. Are you building your professional foundation? Do you have a growth mindset? Are you a leader No matter your current role? Do you take risk? And do you advocate for yourself? Do the assessment in each category and update your individual development plan? Additionally, I have four questions for you to consider and evaluate. So you can move forward with your career. The first one is how do you view yourself in the world? And how do you think the world views you? The next? What do you do when faced with a challenge or an obstacle or adversity? And the third question is, when was the last time you did something different than your usual daily task load? And finally, when discussing business related financial analysis or accounting related information, do you approach this discussion from a leadership point of view? Or are you only relaying information? Two of these questions are directly mindset related. The third relates to our ability to take on more risk and advocate for ourselves. And the last question relates to our ability to shape and influence positive outcomes in our organization. So please consider these four questions and use this model to shape your career going forward. Today I talked about the five pillars of career advancement and I highlighted the following points. Number one, build your professional foundation. Number two, ensure you have a growth mindset. Number three, develop your leadership skills. Number four, take risk. And five always advocate for yourself. You need to own your career and your own advancement. It is a series of choices and decisions that you must make that can affect where your career goes. Today, I offered you a model to follow to increase your chances of advancing to a higher role. As a finance and accounting professional, I do expect you to earn an advanced degree and a professional certification. These are the credentials of top tier specialists. And I do want you to become a leader in your organization. A leader seeks to influence positive situations, especially regarding strategy execution, and to help senior leaders make better decisions. Next week I will be sharing about how leaders should have a presence online and be publishing about their leadership philosophy. I can't wait to share. I hope you enjoyed the finance leader podcast. I am dedicated to helping you grow your leadership skills to change your mindset and clarify your goals so you advance your career. You can find this episode wherever you listen to podcasts. Until next time, you can check out more resources and finance leader academy.com You can sign up for my weekly updates so you don't miss an episode of the show. And now go with your team. And I'll see you next time. Thank you