By Jim Wong, CPA | December 10, 2014

Take this time of year to refresh your accounting, finance or IT career.

In many offices, the month of December tends to be filled with holiday cheer, shorter hours, vacation time and last-ditch efforts to finish up year-end projects. But as the New Year approaches and you begin to reflect on the past 12 months, take a proactive approach and amp up your productivity instead. Focus on you, your goals and your career by asking yourself:

  • How satisfied are you in your current accounting, finance or IT position?
  • What additional responsibilities could you take on in order to move into a leadership role?
  • How do you stack up with the organization as a whole?

Coming up with the answers to these questions can reenergize your work performance and your career at a time when others might be taking a mental break. You’ll be one step ahead of others in the workforce, long before they start to jot down their New Year’s resolutions.

So, how exactly can you revitalize your career with just a few weeks left in the year? Here are 3 Ways to get you started:

Communicate with other departments.

As accounting and finance professionals, you sometimes use your own jargon when talking about month and year-end close, taxes, reporting standards or other job-specific functions. As IT professionals, you tend to do the same when talking about java scripts, system configurations or network support. What happens when you need to meet with the Marketing department or the Customer Service team? How does your vernacular get in the way of exactly what your needs or questions entail? It’s important to effectively communicate company-wide in order to prevent silos, and more importantly, be seen as a strength within the business overall. Improve your potential for where you want to take your career — beyond your current responsibilities.

Have a road map.

If your ideal position is to be a Controller, Senior Financial Analyst or a Lead Developer, or if want to be a leader within the organization as a whole, plot out the necessary steps to get you there. Start by scheduling a meeting with a person currently in your ideal role and ask about that person’s journey. Find out what got them to where they are today. Additionally, you can research the skillsets and experience needed for those roles and see how you measure up, or discover areas you may need to further develop. Lastly, dive into your contact lists to network with your peers, colleagues and other professionals who can offer insight into higher-level roles and / or give you additional exposure you may need within your specific profession and industry.

Set goals.

Just as you have certain quotas to meet, projects to complete and reports to submit before the end of the year, you should enforce the same type of accountability with your own professional development. What achievements did you reach within your accounting, finance or IT role from a personal standpoint? How satisfied are you with your own performance and execution of your job-related tasks? What type of cross-functional projects did you volunteer for? Assessing yourself and doing your own self-evaluation can help you set short and long-term goals for yourself outside of what your manager or supervisor sets for you. Know what you’d like to achieve in the next month, quarter and year —even look at three and five years down the road. It’s important to stay on track with your goals both personally and professionally.

What are some other ways you can use this time of year to revitalize your accounting, finance or IT career? Comment below and let us know!

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