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The Art Meets Science Guide to Strategic Selectivity

opportunity-fitAccounting and finance are powerful career tracks. If you love working with numbers and leveraging your ‘left-brain,’ you’ve probably found the perfect fit. Even better, you’ll find yourself immersed in a highly robust job market — if you’re talented and passionate, employers will jump to bring you on board.

While the national unemployment rate remains stagnant at just under 8%, accounting professionals face a different scenario — a wide variety of available opportunities complemented by a low unemployment rate of 4.2%.

The Job Seeker’s Paradox

As a job seeker, you have complete control over where you’ll land. You have the power to shift industries, advance in your current track, or shift trajectories altogether — you can be a CPA, financial analyst, planner, business analyst, or data scientist.

Far too often, however, job seekers fall victim to the all-too-common ‘beggars can’t be choosers mentality.’

“What if nothing better comes along?”

Maybe you really have found the best-fit opportunity for you. But chances are, there’s more — much more that you have yet to explore. Quantitatively speaking, the job market to unemployment ratio puts the odds in your favor. Love what you do — it starts with being selective.

1. Selectivity Means More than Title or Money

If you’re pursuing your next big pay bump or title change, you’re probably on the wrong track. Being selective means sticking to a vision, not a number. What do you love to do? What is your long-term plan, and what steps do you need to take to get there?

Align your next gig with your ultimate life goals. Focus on the experience, and rest assured that with your credentials, money will materialize as a natural byproduct. And if you want to shift gears? That’s no problem — you have an entire lifetime to keep learning. Even if you take a wrong turn, you’ll bounce back.

2. Craft Your Job for You

It’s a harsh reality that your dream job just doesn’t exist — it’s up to you to step in and craft a position around your strengths, passions, and talents. That means venturing into new areas in your existing role or stepping up with ‘more to add’ when interviewing for a new opportunity. Be prepared to negotiate. As someone who is close to your organization’s financial health, you have infinite levels of influence.

3. Don’t Give In, and Don’t Give Up

Patience is your core strength. Take some time to live in the moment instead of bouncing from gig to gig. If you’re talented — yes, recruiters will seek you out. And yes, they’ll give you incredibly fancy offers. Instead of falling into a trap of perpetual job-hopping, take a step back to wait until the stars align.

If you’re in a good professional place, you have every opportunity in the world to make more out of what you already have. Have faith in yourself that your ‘big break’ will inevitably come. Why? Because your own smarts will bring you there.

4. Know Your World — And Be Agile

In 10 years, your job may be obsolete. Don’t be afraid because in 10 years, there will be plenty of new opportunities that complement your skill-set even more. Keep an eye out for patterns to pre-empt changes before they happen. Be agile, and choose career paths that help you navigate the technology-driven and perpetually changing world around you. If you want to direct your future, embrace change as your best friend.

What steps have you taken to build a meaningful career? Was selectivity part of the mix?


Accounting Principals

We're Accounting Principals--a leader in finance and accounting staffing. In fact, since 2010, we've been part of Adecco Group, a Global 500 company and leader in staffing services around the world. But this isn't staffing as usual. We take quite a different approach than most staffing agencies. A people-focused approach. We believe in forming real relationships with both our clients and our candidates. We want to understand the needs on both sides.