What Stops You Building A Successful Career

As an accountant or other professional you have a lot of potential.  Of course there is a huge difference between your potential and what you actually achieve in practice.

Having spent 25 years in accountancy and the last 13 years helping accountants and professionals be more successful in their career, I’ve noticed several things:

  1. It’s not the smartest who necessarily make the most progress.  I started out in my career with little or no qualifications.  Others in my peer group who went on to be successful were similar to me.
  2. Waiting for someone to spot your potential is a risky strategy and one that rarely yields great results.
  3. The vast majority of people invest in everything other than themselves.  Even though the return on that investment is potentially huge.

The real barriers to building a successful career.

Barrier 1: The assumptions you make up about your career

Specifically about what you can achieve.  Things like:

  1. You need to be a certain age
  2. You have to have attended a specific university
  3. You need to have worked in a specific sector
  4. You need to have the right boss
  5. You have to be at a certain stage in your career by the time you reach 40
  6. And ……

Barrier 2: Underestimating yourself and overestimating others

In my experience accountants and professionals have this fantastic ability to underestimate themselves and overestimate others.

They assume when an opportunity comes up there will be others who are much better than them.

Of course those who you view as being so much better are thinking exactly same as you.

Barrier 3:  Self exclusion

Let me explain this one.  You see a job advert.  You download the job description and person specification.  The bulk of the requirements you can meet easily.

There are one or two you can’t meet or only partly meet.  So you don’t bother applying.

Barrier 4:  Fear of failure

Reality check.  If you fear failure you do nothing.  If you do nothing you achieve nothing.

You will fail.  You will get rejected.  You will be disappointed.  And it’s not the end of the world.  Just a temporary setback.

Barrier 5:  Unwilling to take personal responsibility

Once upon a time your boss or your organisation took care of you and your career.  This is no longer the case. 

If you try to outsource responsibility for your career, you will just end up disappointed.

So what barriers are you allowing to stop you being successful in your career?  Once you identify them ask yourself what’s the worst and what’s the best that could happen if you took action despite these barriers?