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Are You Missing Out on Career Opportunities?

Have you ever been the person who’s doing all the right things but getting nowhere fast?

You’ve gotten your certification, you started your social media presence, you’ve built your website—and nothing’s happening?

This has definitely been me. And let’s be real, it’s been a lot of other women in accounting, too.

But, after having my millionth frustrating day, I came to a realization: I’m not going anywhere unless I take myself there.

The growth I was looking for wasn’t just going to fall into my lap. Instead, I have to create my own space for success and build my own opportunities in my personal and professional life.

That sounds hard, right? Not only did I just go through all of this formal training, studying and exam prep, and the work it takes to build up my own business, but now I have to make my own progress too?

To that, I only have one thing to say: buckle up. Because it is going to be hard. It may be one of the most challenging things you decide to do in your life! But, pursuing your goals in real-time, taking actionable steps towards your version of success, going the extra mile is ultimately fulfilling—and will get you to where you want to be instead of waiting around for something to happen.

So, how do I build my own opportunities? With a two-part strategy: making your own space and optimizing for seasonality.

Now, these are both pretty related and feed into one another. To create your own space, you have to take the time to identify your own strengths.

This is as easy as pulling out a pen and paper and dumping out all the things that you consider your strengths. For example, an area that I’ve always dominated has been investigations and analysis, so I’ve built my firm around auditing and forensics.

As women in finance who are looking to establish themselves in this space, it’s important to build your career based on your strengths. Even if you’re working in a corporate position and you’re the most skilled in administrative tasks or streamlining processes, you should offer that inflation to senior management so your expertise is optimized—and you can move forward in your career.

You also want to evaluate your weaknesses. This is where I always tell my clients: don’t get shy! Be honest with yourself and really assess where your skills aren’t so hot.

A close up of a person's hand writing notes on a piece of paper with a pen. They're wearing a brown sweater with a ring on their index finger. The paper has what appear to be charts.
Attention to all women in accounting: it's time to break out your old school supplies and get honest with yourselves! Photo by Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash

Then, once you have a list of where your strengths are lacking, it’s time to decide how you’re going to bridge that gap. Not great at marketing yourself? Find an agency or a marketing professional to help you out. Terrible at staying organized? Outsource someone to do your administrative work. There are plenty of business professional women out there who can help you excel in these areas without taking your focus away from what you do best.

Now, when I say “optimizing for seasonality”, I’m not talking about calendar events.

I’m a Leo, so I get bored easily—with things I love and especially things I don’t. But, because of this habit, I try never to stay anywhere too long or past my season.

I’m a firm believer that we have seasons: in some seasons, we learn from others and in other seasons, we’re the teacher.

So, audit, audit, audit. Do regular check-ins with yourself about what you’re doing, the niche you’re in, whether there’s a new angle that’s interesting to you or a different venture you’d like to pursue.

Once ripe fruit is past its season, it begins to rot. Treat opportunities as ongoing work, focus on evaluation at every stage, and you’ll know whether you’re doing right for yourself.

In every setting, whether I’m at a new job, a social setting, or a professional event, I ensure I build my own opportunity because no one else will. No one will look out for you the way you will look out for you.

A disclaimer here: I am an optimist! I do believe there are people who come into your life specifically to push you, and they’ll be great contributors to your growth and your success—and that’s an opportunity you NEVER want to miss.

So, to all my women in accounting: how are you going to start building your opportunities today?


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