Take These 4 Risks to Advance Your Career


When I told a good friend of mine that I was going to write my next post on how to advance a financial career by taking risks, he stopped what he was doing, grasped my arm and said earnestly, “Joe, risk is a four letter word.” And yet, each day we take risks, some calculated, some a bit more spontaneous. Why don’t more of us take risks to advance our financial careers? When I’ve spoken to my senior finance contacts, their message around risk taking is consistent – all of them, at one time or another, have taken risks to get to where they are today. What I’ve done in the post below is find the consistent themes in their stories around risk taking. I have to say, some of what they said surprised me.

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Ashley Dafel, MBA – On Collective Wisdom (Pt. 1)

In our first installment on Ashley Dafel we explore his upbringing and career choices. He is an interesting man and his story is equally fascinating. His road to success is not a conventional one. Filled with risks, including gunshots and near death (and no, I am not exaggerating) his story starts in South Africa, continues in Canada and astonishes as much as it inspires.

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Alison Spitzer, CA, Makes Consumers Into World Changers (Pt. 2)

Read Part 1: Alison Spitzer, CA, Makes Consumers Into World Changers

How did you get the job at Me to We? 
volunteered at We Day in 2010 with KPMG! I was volunteering on-site with the Director of HR for Free the Children and Me to We and before the event started she took the opportunity to have “a conversation” or informal interview. I believe that everything can be an interview and you need to be ready to market yourself at any time. I actually did some preparation beforehand so that if the opportunity came around, I was going to be ready.

I believe that everything can be an interview and you need to be ready to market yourself at any time.

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Alison Spitzer, CA, Makes Consumers Into World Changers (Pt. 1)

Many of us admire those who decide to work in organizations that focus on social enterprise.  While we admire them, however, we also think that such a life couldn’t possibly be for us.  “Not fast paced enough,” we think to ourselves. “I won’t have a chance to grow my skills” we insist.  Meet Alison Spitzer, driven, focused, and a former employee of KPMG. She has a very different point of view.  I hazard a guess, she will make you see social enterprise in a whole new way.

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Become Interesting: 3 Ways to Get Your Accounting Career Started

Somewhere along the way it became acceptable for us to think of ourselves as  walking resumes. While it is important to communicate our knowledge and experience during job interviews, the reality is that a large part of the hiring decision will hinge on your being memorable in a good way.

…the reality is that a large part of the hiring decision will hinge on your being memorable in a good way.

Want to be remembered positively for your dream job and get your accounting career started?  Follow these 3 steps:

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Outgoing? The 4 Best Jobs in Finance and Accounting for You


The post below offers an insider’s perspective on the four best finance and accounting jobs that might be a fit for your extroverted personality.  Of course, this is all a bit subjective. After all, what might be the right job for one person, is not necessarily the right job for another. An in-depth analysis should always be conducted with the customer (you) so that we know exactly what you are looking for.

That being said, when we surveyed a few of our senior contacts, there seemed to be certain positions in finance that lent themselves to an outgoing personality.  Here are the top 4:

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4 tips to get you from CFO to COO

I recently sat down for a casual chat with a friend who is now a COO, and as we talked I realized I was being given a playbook on how CA, CMA and CGA professionals like you can transition from finance to operations. During our lengthy conversation we talked about the beginning of his career all the way to the present day, and he spent some time outlining how his own work-life had taken different turns as he continually reinvented himself.   Read the  insights into making the leap from CFO to COO and get better equipped to make a career move.

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5 Tips For a Smooth Career Jump: Kevin Brockie, CA


As Chartered Accountants, it is important to remind ourselves that our designation is a highly recognized brand, both in the finance world, and in the business world in general.  Chartered Accountants are not only trusted for their financial knowledge, but also for their integrity, ethics, rigor, transparency, thought processes and problem solving skills. Because of these characteristics, CAs have the ability to change their careers and thrive in almost any industry.  There are many CAs in non-traditional roles such as wealth management,, marketing, insurance, general management, consulting, real estate, banking, recruitment, or small business ownership.  As a CA who has worked in finance, been an executive recruiter and who now works in wealth management at RBC Dominion Securities, I can honestly say that there are five things you can do to help you successfully transition into a different career.

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Mahmood Malik CGA/MBA Embraces Entrepreneurship


I always find stories like this fascinating. How does someone leave the risk averse finance world and make the leap into the insecure world of entrepreneurship? Meet Mahmood Malik, CGA/MBA who decided that the life he was leading, while providing material satisfaction, lacked something, and that ‘something’ was the risk and reward of owning his own business. Read below about Mahmood’s journey into the world of entrepreneurship with the opening of his halal grocery store Al-Jannat.

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Cosimo Pantaleo, CA, On Pumping Gas and Being the Head of Finance (Pt. 2)

Read Part I: Cosimo Pantaleo, CA, on Pumping Gas and Being the Head of Finance

How much time did you take off and where did you end up next?
I took the summer off and then somehow  landed in front of you.  Fortunately, you had me in front of clients within a couple of days and ultimately placed me in a fantastic contract financial analyst job within a week. The contract was at The Globe & Mail, a newspaper company going through an incredible transition  from a traditional media organization to a digital one.. I used many of the business skills that I learned at the ESSO to help me succeed in my role and responsibilities at The Globe.

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