‘Successful people never stop learning’: Tips for career advancement

by L&D03 Aug 2016
These days, putting in extra hours at work doesn't necessarily lead to positive outcomes, according to Bill Driscoll, a district president for Accountemps.

“Managers can help reinforce reasonable work hours by prioritising projects, assigning realistic deadlines, bringing in temporary support and setting a good example themselves," he said.  

Driscoll added that the world is changing rapidly, and it's crucial to remain informed of the latest trends and sought-after skills in your industry.

His comments come following a new study which found that 30% of CFOs polled said the motivation to learn new skills is necessary to get ahead.

In fact, the survey by Accountemps found the ‘motivation to learn new skills’ to be the most popular answer when they asked respondents ‘which one of the following characteristics do you consider most necessary for an employee to succeed?’.

This was followed by interpersonal skills (27%), the ability to adapt easily to change (24%), welcomes increased responsibility (13%), and willing to work long hours (7%).

The survey featured responses from more than 2,200 CFOs from companies in over 20 of the biggest U.S. metropolitan areas.

Just like L&D Professional’s story yesterday about the increasing importance of soft skills to organisations, Driscoll added there's a growing need for finance and accounting professionals who are excellent communicators.

"The ability to convey complex information clearly and succinctly can lead to advancement opportunities," he said.

"Successful people never stop learning.”

Accountemps offers the following five tips for career advancement:

Join industry associations. Often, these groups offer training courses and seminars to help you acquire new skills and keep informed of trends affecting your industry or profession.

Volunteer your expertise. Non-profits can benefit from your guidance, and you may be given opportunities to grow and learn in return. 

Further your education. An advanced degree or certification in your industry demonstrates your desire to learn and reinforces your expertise in your field.

Perfect your communication skills. Pay attention to details when you communicate. Observe your body language, make eye contact, listen fully to what the other person has to say and rehearse before communicating to important audiences. Many professional organisations provide myriad resources to improve your public speaking skills.

Think about the big picture. The most effective leaders always keep long-term plans in mind. Adopting a similar mindset can help you make more strategic decisions and better position yourself for a promotion.