Learn a second language to boost your accounting career.

Why Knowing a Second Language Can Help Your Accounting Career

Learn a second language to boost your accounting career.
In an increasingly competitive market, it helps to have something that differentiates you from other candidates. In this case, speaking a second language fluently, particularly ones such as French, German, Spanish or Mandarin, can definitely make you stand out. Here’s why all of those second language lessons can help your accounting career.

Connecting with Clients
For companies that regularly deal with international clients, having someone on the team who is fluent in a second language is a valuable asset. After all, a true understanding of someone’s language typically translates into an insider’s view of their culture.

Marketability
Bilingual candidates are at a premium. Being able to connect with colleagues and vendors in their own language can lead to better relationships, service and sales.

Travel Opportunities
Have you ever wanted to immerse yourself in another culture? As companies continue to service a more global audience and extend their international reach, opportunities to land lucrative work abroad are available for those who can speak the language fluently.

Promotion
Being able to speak a second language can position you for promotion. Keep in mind that you don’t have to work for a large company to reap the benefits of speaking a second language. Small organizations need multilingual people who can help them explore new business opportunities in foreign markets.

Improvement of Other Business Related Skills
There appear to be other benefits to learning a second language beyond the obvious. Research reveals that those who receive second language instruction exhibit strong creativity and complex problem solving skills. They also demonstrate a high degree of mental flexibility, and excel at planning, prioritizing and decision-making.

Read:Why Learn a Foreign Language? Benefits of Bilingualism” to read more about the cognitive advantages of learning a foreign language.

Languages Worth Considering
In Canada, it clearly pays to be able to speak French fluently, but what other languages offer the greatest return on investment? According to this article in Forbes, Mandarin, Spanish and German are the 3 languages that offer the greatest boost to your career. “Mandarin-Chinese and German are especially helpful to know if you work in the manufacturing or the financial sphere.” And it’s not surprising that since Forbes is an American magazine, Spanish also gets the nod as a language that can pay positive dividends. 

Key Takeaways
Learning a second language does more than boost your resume. It makes you more marketable, builds business-related skills and opens up opportunities for you in an increasingly global marketplace. And while not all of us want to spend hours conjugating verbs in various tenses, the payoff for the hard work and determination that comes with learning a second language is evident for your accounting career.

Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.


How to determine your market value.

How to Understand Your Market Value

How to determine your market value.
While there is no such thing as a perfect job (really there’s not), one that offers us respect, engagement and a salary commensurate with our skills and experience can be rewarding. But how do we actually understand our market value? 

Here’s how to determine what your work, experience and skills are actually worth.

Step 1: Build Your Job Description
Build a job description of your role so that you can use it as a point of comparison. 

  • Make a comprehensive list of your responsibilities 
  • Include extras like ad hoc duties, process improvements and anything else that you’re regularly asked to do
  • Make sure to list the requirements for the role including the minimum years of experience needed, specific areas of expertise such as systems knowledge, and any education like a designation required to do the job well
  • Identify challenging areas like communicating with multiple stakeholders, including non-finance people, or having to navigate ambiguity

Step 2: Locate Similar Jobs
Take a look at recruiter websites, or other job search websites such as Indeed to locate jobs that have very similar responsibilities and requirements (you’re looking for about an 80% overlap). Often, salary considerations will be listed at the top of the job posting, or mentioned somewhere within it. If you’re using this information as a point in negotiation, pulling the specific data from various sources will help support your cause. Websites like salary.com and glassdoor.ca can add additional market data.

Step 3: Consider the Employer
There can be variability in salary depending on industry, company size and geographic location. More profitable industries can afford to pay more for an employee and generally larger organizations pay more than smaller organizations. The trade-off for working at a smaller company is greater access to senior level decision-makers and the potential for exposure to other areas of the business.

Step 4: Evaluate Your Performance
Be realistic in evaluating your performance. Are you someone who consistently hits deadlines and receives positive employee evaluations? Are you new to the role and still developing skills? If you’re a more experienced employee, it’s likely that you’re operating with a greater degree of efficiency than a newer hire. This, naturally, increases your worth. Don’t forget to include soft skills such as communication, motivation and teamwork. After all, if you have qualities that are important to your team and organization’s success, that has value.

Key Takeaways
Any conversation about pay should never be an ultimatum, but rather a discussion. It’s important to understand your employer’s pay philosophy – there may be factors you’re not clear on. Similarly, your employer may not understand the true market value of your skills, experience and intangible qualities. Bringing concrete data to the conversation can definitely help your cause. Make sure that you compare the job description you’ve built for your role to ones that are similar to ensure that the data has validity. Consider employer factors in your evaluation such as industry, company size and geographic location. Finally, realistically evaluate your performance. If you’ve consistently hit deadlines and delivered for the organization, taking on leadership roles when asked, or working extra hours, that has value. Fundamentally, understanding your market value allows you to have better discussions about pay increases and potential promotion.

Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.


Team players may not be what you think according to Toronto recruiters.

Tips from Toronto Recruiters – Being a Team Player

Team players may not be what you think according to Toronto recruiters.
As Toronto recruiters we regularly see job postings that ask for candidates who are team players. But what makes a strong team player? Interestingly, it’s not as straight forward as you might think.

Here are the 7 characteristics of people who make a real difference to their teams.

They Speak Up
True team players understand how their responsibilities advance the team’s objectives. And although it may not be a popular position, they’ll respectfully seek clarification if they’re asked to do something that’s not in alignment with this goal. Self-confident managers will see this as a constructive checks and balance system where leadership comes from everyone. 

They Encourage
Have you ever been staring at your computer in dismay because you don’t have the energy for one more pivot table? A great team player is the kind of person who offers a few words of encouragement at times like these.  

They Listen
Job postings are increasingly looking for accounting and finance professionals who are active listeners. This is because active listening leads to better communication and performance. Why? Because people learn to listen to understand, not just to reply. 

This results in an increase in team performance as people gain knowledge of each other’s individual drivers and how to present information so that’s it relevant to that person.  

Resource: Here’s an article from Forbes called “10 Steps to Effective Listening” to help you learn how to be a more active listener.

They Deliver
Sometimes a team’s outcome really is riding on a particular person’s shoulders.  A team player works the extra hours to make sure that the team achieves its objectives – and they don’t complain or look for praise as they do it. To a team player, it’s all part of the process.

They Don’t Gossip
Gossip is the poison that can undermine a high functioning team. Team players don’t talk about their colleagues behind their backs, and they’re willing to have honest conversations to resolve problems.

Read: That being said, everyone has had to work with challenging team members. Here are some tips for dealing with them.

They Have a Good Relationship with Their Manager
Sometimes you have to work with a finance leader that you don’t believe in. Part of being a team player, however, is to build relationships with everyone, including ineffective leadership. In an ideal world, a give-and-take of feedback could result in positive steps forward, even for a less than ideal manager.

They Set Boundaries
Strong team players set boundaries respectfully – and adhere to them. This doesn’t mean that they don’t go the extra mile. It means that they are respectful of those on their team and their time. Consequently, they expect a similar level of respect.

Key Takeaways
Being a team player doesn’t mean saying “yes” to everything. Instead, team players understand the alignment between their role and the team’s objectives and they’re willing to seek clarification if something doesn’t seem in the team’s best interests. They have good relationships with their manager and are willing to have honest conversations with their fellow team members if there is a disagreement. They set boundaries and treat people with respect. They encourage others and listen to understand, not just reply. They don’t gossip, knowing that it’s the poison that can erode a team’s cohesion. These qualities are why true team players are in such high demand.

Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.


Tips for dealing with a micromanaging boss.

How to Deal with a Micromanaging Boss

Tips for dealing with a micromanaging boss.
When you interviewed for your job, your manager told you that they liked to stay on top of things. What you didn’t understand at the time was that they would be micromanaging you.  Each step you take is double (or triple) checked and you feel that you don’t have the autonomy to make regular day-to-day decisions.  But don’t despair, there are ways to deal with a micromanaging boss and gain the independence you need to enjoy your role.

Why Micromanage
Most people who micromanage do so because they fear a loss of control. They have a general belief that work will not be done to their standard, and so have trouble trusting that their direct reports will be able to deliver. Remember, this has little to do with your competency and everything to do, likely, with your boss’ internal stress. 

Read: Do you think you might have micromanaging tendencies?  Read “How to Stop Micromanaging Your Finance Team” for practical advice on giving your direct reports more autonomy.

Identify the Cause
By recognizing the root causes of your boss’ anxiety you can figure out how to respond. Are they faced with unreasonable expectations from above? Were they burned before by offering too much latitude to previous employees? Is their job on the line because of an upcoming merger or acquisition? Is this a cultural issue, where this kind of behaviour is encouraged? 

According to this article in Forbes, the irony of being a manager is that “the higher up you move in the hierarchy, the less direct control you have. This loss of control often comes as a shock to bosses and that, in turn, sparks their anxiety.”

Build Trust
Identify what your manager cares most about and show that they can trust you to deliver. Openly seek feedback at critical junctures of a project or report.  Most of all, ask a simple question, “How can I help?”

Establish Expectations
Establish expectations in advance if possible.  Asking questions that show a collaborative approach right off the bat can alleviate your boss’ stress.  

  • Who would you recommend I approach to source this data/information?
  • Is there a former example of how you liked this done that I can refer to?
  • I want to make sure I prioritize what is important to you and the team. In your opinion where does this fit in the big picture?  Is it prioritized ahead of a, b or c?
  • What is most important to you about this project or initiative?

Reinforce the fact that you know that your boss has a lot on their plate. State that you are focused on meeting their expectations.

Timelines
Take the initiative and schedule specific times for when you will check-in. Keep your manager informed and consider sending an unprompted email or two updating your progress on a project or report. If you need clarification on an issue, don’t wait until the 11th hour to talk to your manager. This will only increase their anxiety. 

Should You Give Feedback?
This is tricky. If you express that you are feeling micromanaged, you may simply get more of it, particularly if it’s based in anxiety or power. If you think your manager is well-meaning and open to hearing feedback, however, consider asking for a one-on-one. Focus on presenting your message positively, “What I value about you is how committed you are to going the extra mile and how you inspire me to produce my best work.  I like that you see the big picture and help me see it too.  One of the things that makes me really enjoy my job though is autonomy – the ability to make decisions freely within the guidelines of the team and organization. It’s helped me grow a lot in past roles. Is there anything I could do to earn your trust even more and gain additional autonomy?”  The most important thing is to make it a collaborative conversation, where you are leaving the ball in their court to meet a reasonable request.

Key Takeaways
Use strong, proactive communication skills to deal successfully with a manager who is overly controlling.  Try to understand the source of the anxiety that is fueling the need to control. Attempt to alleviate that anxiety by delivering in areas your boss is most concerned about. Proactively seek out their feedback, and make sure to keep them in the loop.  This will help you build trust and hopefully earn you the autonomy that you need.

Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.


Things that successful accountants do at the end of the business day.

The 10 Things Successful Accountants Do at the End of the Day

Things that successful accountants do at the end of the business day.
The minute hand seems to be creeping towards 5 o’clock. You’re tired, irritable and still have an impressive list of things to do. If this sounds like you, then you’re not alone. Most of us run out of gas before the official end of the day. But there’s another group of people that use that final hour to set themselves up for success.

Here are 10 things that successful accountants do before leaving work.

Review Your Calendar
Review your calendar for tomorrow. Do you need to do any last-minute preparation for meetings or phone calls? What absolutely has to be in place for the next day? Are there blocks of time for you to move forward with important projects or tasks?

Make Your Calls
Perhaps the last thing you want to do is call the final three people on your list, but what doesn’t get done today, has to be done tomorrow. 

Take Note of Achievements
We often feel like there’s too much to do and too little time to accomplish it in. Taking note of what we’ve achieved in the day is a way to counteract that feeling. Plus, on a brain chemistry level, crossing off things on a “to do” list can cause a dopamine surge, which leads to feelings of calm and well-being.

Read: Check out this blog about the psychology of checklists and how they can fuel productivity.

Look At Your “To Do” List and Prioritize 
Take a look at your “to do” list and prioritize. Is it possible to break down projects into smaller pieces? What absolutely has to be done, and what can wait? By taking some time at the end of the day to review which tasks you completed and what remains to be done, you can start to get organized.

Plan
Once you’ve prioritized, create a plan for the next day. Establish a primary objective so that you are focused when you walk in the door. 

ReadTime Management Tips for Accountants” to learn how to work smarter not harder.

Connect With Your Team
We’re not talking about a formal meeting, or scheduling one-on-ones. People are not typically at their best by the end of the day. Instead, take a few moments to connect with the rest of your team (this is particularly important for managers). Saying goodbye or extending the courtesy of asking about someone’s day can be a valuable relationship building tool.

Defer Sensitive Communications
It’s wise to defer any sensitive conversations for the next day when people are fresh. If someone really needs an answer, offer a specific time the next day when you’re free to discuss it. This will make the individual feel like you’re addressing their concerns and have set aside time to connect.

Don’t Leave People Hanging
You know that someone has been waiting for a file all day, or an answer about a specific data set. The reality, though, is that you just couldn’t get to it. Send a quick email apologizing and let them know that you’ll address it first thing tomorrow. Successful people don’t always accomplish everything that they set out to do, but they are mindful enough to know when providing a status update can prevent challenges down the road.

Organize Your Desk
It seems like a simple tip, but a clean, orderly desk will decrease your stress levels and help you find things the next day. This also applies to your desktop.

They Let Others Know About Accessibility
Take a minute at the end of the day to determine the balance between accessibility and “radio silence.” Than tell whoever needs to know. This will allow you the peace of mind to work when you need to (ideally) and help others understand when it’s best to approach you.

Key Takeaways
There are a number of things that successful accountants do at the end of the day. They review both their calendar and “to do” list to understand the demands of tomorrow. They take note of what they achieved and establish a primary objective for the next day. They let others know about their accessibility and make an effort to connect with their team before they leave. By using the final hour of their day wisely, they set themselves up for success.

Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.


How to become a better presenter.

How to Improve Your Presentation Skills

How to become a better presenter.
You may not be doing a TED talk, but there’s no reason that you can’t become a better presenter. Accounting and finance professionals today need to have strong verbal presentation skills. Whether it’s talking to a cross-functional business unit, or presentation in front of senior leadership, you need to be able to communicate clearly.

Here are 4 ways to substantially improve your presentation skills.

Deconstruct Great Speakers
Deconstruct great speakers. Sugata Mitra, for example, creates presentations that engage, inspire and educate. He creates a unified, consistent message, which he supports with visuals, stories and a small bit of humor. He keeps the audience in mind the whole time, while delivering his message in an accessible way.

Watch this TED talk to see Sugata Mitra presenting.

Structuring Your Presentation

  • Create a clear message – What is the message you are trying to deliver? What is the purpose of the presentation? If the material you include does not support your purpose, it needs to be removed. This will keep your presentation succinct. 
  • Know your audience – Who is your audience and what are they hoping to learn?
  • Flow – Make sure your presentation flows smoothly from topic to topic.  Only use slides to anchor the presentation.
  • Get Comfortable – Get as comfortable as possible with your material. The more you know your presentation, the more confident you’ll feel and appear.

Read10 Tips for More Effective PowerPoint Presentations” to avoid creating the “death by PowerPoint” effect.

Desensitization
Desensitization is a type of behavioral therapy that, “aims to remove the fear response of a [trigger], and substitute a relaxation response” (from Simply Psychology’s “Systematic Desensitization”).  In other words, whether it’s fear of spiders (we are shrieking quietly to ourselves inside), or public speaking, there is a way to calm your nerves and move forward. Here’s what Simply Psychology recommends:

Step 1 – Stress leads to shallow breathing. This tells the brain that there is a dangerous situation afoot. Breathing deeply short circuits the stress response by letting the brain know that there is nothing to fear.

Step 2 – Create a fear hierarchy. Start with jotting down which parts of the presentation you find the least stressful, continuing to add to the list until you reach the areas that cause the most stress. For example, prepping the presentation may create stress, but only a small amount, whereas the presentation itself is likely the most stressful part of the process. 

Step 3 – Visualize yourself at each step of the presentation process. Breathe deeply and let your body become calm. Only move on to the next step of the process when you feel relaxed with the previous visualization.

Practice
The more you present, the less afraid you’ll become. Consider going to an organization like Toastmasters, where everyone is there with the goal of becoming a better public speaker. Go to the website and click the “find a club” button in the top right-hand corner to locate a Toastmasters near you.

Pro Tip: Practice your presentation in front of a friend and ask them to give you constructive feedback. Film yourself so that you can see any presentation missteps that need to be addressed.

Key Takeaways
Great presenters are great storytellers, even if it’s only helping people see the story behind the numbers. Create presentations that focus on a central message. Keep your audience in mind. Ensure that your presentation flows from one topic to another. Integrate slides with data, key takeaways and visuals. Desensitize yourself to the stress that comes with the thought of public speaking, and consider joining Toastmasters. Strong presenters are made, not born, and a determination to become a better public speaker can be the bridge to improving your presentation skills.

Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.


How to become a better presenter.

How to Improve Your Presentation Skills

How to become a better presenter.
You may not be doing a TED talk, but there’s no reason that you can’t become a better presenter. Accounting and finance professionals today need to have strong verbal presentation skills. Whether it’s talking to a cross-functional business unit, or presentation in front of senior leadership, you need to be able to communicate clearly.

Here are 4 ways to substantially improve your presentation skills.

Deconstruct Great Speakers
Deconstruct great speakers. Sugata Mitra, for example, creates presentations that engage, inspire and educate. He creates a unified, consistent message, which he supports with visuals, stories and a small bit of humor. He keeps the audience in mind the whole time, while delivering his message in an accessible way.

Watch this TED talk to see Sugata Mitra presenting.

Structuring Your Presentation

  • Create a clear message – What is the message you are trying to deliver? What is the purpose of the presentation? If the material you include does not support your purpose, it needs to be removed. This will keep your presentation succinct. 
  • Know your audience – Who is your audience and what are they hoping to learn?
  • Flow – Make sure your presentation flows smoothly from topic to topic.  Only use slides to anchor the presentation.
  • Get Comfortable – Get as comfortable as possible with your material. The more you know your presentation, the more confident you’ll feel and appear.

Read10 Tips for More Effective PowerPoint Presentations” to avoid creating the “death by PowerPoint” effect.

Desensitization
Desensitization is a type of behavioral therapy that, “aims to remove the fear response of a [trigger], and substitute a relaxation response” (from Simply Psychology’s “Systematic Desensitization”).  In other words, whether it’s fear of spiders (we are shrieking quietly to ourselves inside), or public speaking, there is a way to calm your nerves and move forward. Here’s what Simply Psychology recommends:

Step 1 – Stress leads to shallow breathing. This tells the brain that there is a dangerous situation afoot. Breathing deeply short circuits the stress response by letting the brain know that there is nothing to fear.

Step 2 – Create a fear hierarchy. Start with jotting down which parts of the presentation you find the least stressful, continuing to add to the list until you reach the areas that cause the most stress. For example, prepping the presentation may create stress, but only a small amount, whereas the presentation itself is likely the most stressful part of the process. 

Step 3 – Visualize yourself at each step of the presentation process. Breathe deeply and let your body become calm. Only move on to the next step of the process when you feel relaxed with the previous visualization.

Practice
The more you present, the less afraid you’ll become. Consider going to an organization like Toastmasters, where everyone is there with the goal of becoming a better public speaker. Go to the website and click the “find a club” button in the top right-hand corner to locate a Toastmasters near you.

Pro Tip: Practice your presentation in front of a friend and ask them to give you constructive feedback. Film yourself so that you can see any presentation missteps that need to be addressed.

Key Takeaways
Great presenters are great storytellers, even if it’s only helping people see the story behind the numbers. Create presentations that focus on a central message. Keep your audience in mind. Ensure that your presentation flows from one topic to another. Integrate slides with data, key takeaways and visuals. Desensitize yourself to the stress that comes with the thought of public speaking, and consider joining Toastmasters. Strong presenters are made, not born, and a determination to become a better public speaker can be the bridge to improving your presentation skills.

Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.


Job search tips for people who have been out of the accounting industry for a while.

How to Rejoin the Finance or Accounting Industry After a Long Break

Job search tips for people who have been out of the accounting industry for a while.
Long breaks from the workforce are not uncommon. But what happens when it’s time to rejoin the finance and accounting industry? Will your skills still be in demand?

Here are some tips designed to help get you back in the game.

Determine Skill Set Gaps
A long time away from work can lead to knowledge gaps. Reach out to your network, read up on current industry changes and determine how your job’s demands may have shifted. Identify the gaps in your skill set. How can you make yourself relevant again? What professional development opportunities do you need to become marketable? Are there any big transitions coming that you can develop skills for? 

ReadHow to Explain a Gap in Your Finance or Accounting Resume” for tips on explaining a period of unemployment and still landing the job you want.

Consider Interest
Many people who have been away from the workforce don’t consider if their interests have changed. You may land a new role, but if your passion or engagement for the industry has declined, you might find yourself job searching again in 6 months. If you’ve taken a break from work because of burnout or declining career satisfaction, it’s even more important to evaluate your current mindset.

Resource: Want some direction on changing industries as an accountant or finance professional? Read “How to Change Industries as a Toronto Accountant.”

Update Your LinkedIn Profile
Leverage the power of LinkedIn. Whether it’s writing a great profile, or updating your recommendations, LinkedIn is a way to say, “Look how great I am” without actually saying “Look how great I am.” 

Pro Tip: Consider joining LinkedIn groups. Those who do get 4 times as many profile views as those who don’t.

Network
Your next opportunity will likely come from your network. Reach out on LinkedIn, or, if you have a closer relationship, pick up the phone and invite a former co-worker for coffee. Make the best out of industry events, or other professional networking opportunities (and don’t forget to brush up on your Elevator Pitch)

Connect With a Recruiter
Recruiters who specialize in the finance and accounting industry can be valuable resources. Take the time to build a relationship with a recruiter based on mutual respect and transparency. Recruiters have current market insights, can offer resume tips and access to a broad employer network.

ReadNeed Help with Your Job Search? How to Identify a Good Finance Recruiter” to learn how to spot a recruiter who can help you achieve your career objectives.

Key Takeaways
If you’ve been out of the workforce for 6 months or more it can be a bit of a climb to re-enter it. Prepare by reading up on industry requirements. Identify gaps in your skill set and create a plan to address them. In a perfect world, you would be actively engaged in the necessary professional development before updating your LinkedIn profile or reaching out to your network. Finally, consider building a relationship with a recruiter who specializes in the finance and accounting space, as they have a broad employer network and extensive industry knowledge. 

Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.


Why complacency is bad for your accounting or finance career.

Why Complacency Can Kill a Finance Career

Why complacency is bad for your accounting or finance career.
You’re comfortable in your career. Each day is the same and you don’t feel any pressure.  You enjoy your job, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Unless there is.

If your feeling of comfort is actually complacency, it’s a different story. Complacency is defined as, “a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often unaware of some potential danger.” If the status quo remains in place and nothing changes, it’s possible that you’ll be fine. But in the fast-paced world of accounting and finance, where companies merge or are acquired, complacency can derail a promising finance career.

Here are signs that you’ve grown complacent.

Just Enough to Get By
You’re doing just enough to get by. But in a world where work ethic matters, and going the extra mile is noted, you make yourself vulnerable to downsizing. 

Not Learning Anymore
You used to be an IFRS whiz and the go to person for systems questions, but not anymore. You haven’t kept your skill set sharp and you’ve stopped learning. And yet, the number one way to avoid being impacted by downsizing is to be the resident specialist in something. 

Not Building Your Network
It’s likely your next opportunity to advance your finance career will come from your network. Have you stopped going to industry events, attending company dinners or after-work get-togethers? Are you inactive on LinkedIn and not using it to build your professional brand? Make it a point to reach out to your existing network and to add some new connections. 

No Mentor
A mentor can be your advocate. They can also be a sounding board and give you timely advice to help you navigate office politics, or your next career step. If you don’t have a mentor, regardless of your level, consider who might be the person that could be a difference maker for you.

ReadHow to Ask Someone to Be Your Mentor” for tips on identifying and landing a great mentor.

Goal Setting
When was the last time you set a professional goal and created a plan to achieve it? If the answer is 2009, complacency has taken root. 

Resource: For tips on career planning as an accountant or finance person, read “Tips from Accounting Recruiters – Career Planning”.

Not Contributing During Meetings 
Not contributing during meetings can impact your credibility and perceived value. Speak up for what you believe in. Keep your tone respectful, yet assertive. If you think there is a process, for example, that is inefficient, it’s not unreasonable to highlight it and present potential solutions. Better yet, volunteer to take the lead on re-engineering it.

Key Takeaways
There’s nothing wrong with feeling content in your accounting or finance career. There is, however, danger in feeling complacent. If you’ve stopped growing in your role and can’t remember the last time you set a career goal and made a plan to achieve it, complacency has taken root. If you’re doing just enough to get by and aren’t contributing during meetings it’s time to re-evaluate your day-to-day work life. Fundamentally, complacency can make us vulnerable to downsizing. Don’t sabotage your career by getting a little too comfortable.

Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.


How to gain respect at work.

How to Earn Respect at Work

How to gain respect at work.
Part of achieving career satisfaction is the feeling that you’ve earned the respect of your co-workers and manager. Getting that respect is about more than projecting self-confidence. It’s knowing that people value and respect those that they trust. The question is, what specific behaviors and attitudes facilitate trust and ultimately earn the respect of those we work with?

Listen to Understand
The term “active listening” may be overused, but building trust and ultimately respect means that you listen to understand, not just to reply.  By listening actively we learn about people’s individual drivers, and consequently, how best to position information to maximize understanding and buy-in.

Show Humility
A little self-deprecation goes a long way. There’s nothing wrong, for example, with admitting to a mistake and speaking about how you learned from it. Humility, coupled with a natural self-assurance, creates respect.

Deliver
When Will Smith talks about his work ethic, he says the following, “You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me…[but] you’re not going to outwork me. The guy who is willing to hustle the most is going to be the guy that gets the loose ball.” Make a consistent effort to deliver, even under tight timelines, or with competing priorities. It seems like such a simple concept, but those who gain respect and get promoted have a formidable work ethic.

Be Professional
Be professional in all aspects of your role. Demonstrate patience with others, understanding that people learn tasks at different speeds. Treat others with respect. Enter every conversation believing that each role has value and contributes to the overall goals of the organization.

Avoid Office Politics
A certain amount of office politics is to be expected with any job. But try to avoid office gossip. If you repeat something that you’ve heard, you gain a reputation for not being trustworthy and this limits your ability to earn respect.

Accept Constructive Feedback
Accept feedback from coworkers and managers. Internalize the feedback and grow from it. Demonstrate that you’re listening and avoid getting defensive.

Read: To learn how to accept constructive feedback gracefully, read this blog.

Be Assertive
If you feel strongly about something, whether it’s reworking an inefficient process, or wanting to take the lead on a project, there’s nothing wrong with being assertive. It’s when we stray into an aggressive communication style that we risk losing people. Being assertive, has at its root, an inherent respect for others and their points of view. 

Read this article from the Mayo Clinic to learn how to communicate assertively.

Facilitate Success in Others
Help others succeed. Whether it’s pitching in on a project, mentoring, or giving credit where it’s due, facilitating success in others fosters respect.

Key Takeaways
To earn the respect of others at work, listen to understand and be as professional as possible. Don’t repeat office gossip, and try to communicate in an assertive, but respectful fashion. Be open to constructive feedback and demonstrate humility. And at the end of it all, have a formidable work ethic. This, combined with the other tips above, will help you get the respect of your colleagues, manager and senior leadership.

Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.