5 Personal Branding Tips for a Successful Career

A career in accounting can be rewarding and fun!

Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) play an invaluable role in the success of any business. They are the ones who consult with management on when to invest capital, or when it is necessary to downsize. They dictate when a company can afford to give raises or provide more time off, and identify cost savings to increase profits, all while working with other departments to ensure the financial success of a company.

Think accounting is something you would enjoy?

Here are some tips on how to set yourself up for a successful career:

1. Start Preparing for You Career Early

Participation in high school clubs, civic organizations and other community activities will help you learn how to work well with others, develop your leadership abilities and teach you how to be a respected teammate. Also, participating in competitions offered by many student organizations will help you implement the skills you learn in your business classes. Early involvement will lead to better opportunities for leadership positions – which looks great on college applications!

“He who fails to plan, plans to fail” – Winston Churchill

2. Build Your Network

Regardless of which area of accounting you go into, there will be times you need help or guidance. Having a network of other professionals willing to lend a hand will make difficult times seamless.  Start building your network through job shadowing, mentorships or schedule an informational interview with a business or person you find interesting!

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie

3. Integrity

As a CPA, you are a trusted advisor and therefore, much of what you produce should not only adhere to specific standards but include ethical guidance to better the client or business. Establishing yourself as a trustworthy, kind individual will help you expand your network, and ultimately your business. The ability to be flexible and trustworthy is key to success in any business related role, but is especially important when it comes to accounting. Since you’ll be dealing with and have knowledge of other people’s money, it is critical that coworkers and clients trust you.

“In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.” – Warren Buffett

4. Study

Similar to taking exams to be a doctor or lawyer, many accountants ensure their stature and viability by taking the CPA exam. As with other tests, taking the CPA exam requires an immense amount of knowledge and hard work in order to prepare and pass. Learning which study techniques work for you early on will provide a strong foundation for academic success in college and in furthering your career. “Your personal brand is a promise to your clients… a promise of quality, consistency, competency, and reliability.” – Jason Hartman

5. Learn from Your Mistakes

As with all successful careers, continuous learning is welcomed and required when you become a CPA. You are required to have a minimum number of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits each year to remain licensed. Additionally, learning from your mistakes, will help you progress in the profession. Use constructive criticism as a learning tool – you’ll be better for it.

The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing. – Henry Ford

Want to learn more about the accounting career and the skills that you’ll need? Visit www.StartHereGoPlaces.com!

AICPA-logoThis article was written by DECA NAB partner, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). For more information on AICPA, click here, and follow AICPA on Twitter @startheregoplcs.

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