Fortunately for today’s accounting and finance professionals, tapping into career resources and trends is easier than ever before. Cyberspace is a wealth of information from industry developments, the latest finance and accounting-related regulations, certifications and education courses to job opportunities and networking options. However, even the most ambitious finance professional can be overwhelmed trying to navigate the best pieces of advice or what steps to pursue in their career. That’s where mentorship can be a game changer. Experienced, trustworthy mentors can help catapult the careers of professionals at any level. Whether you’re seeking ways to advance your career, or you’re considering paying it forward by mentoring up and comers in your organization, here are five reasons to take the plunge:
1. mentorship drives engagement and a sense of growth within the organization.
The top two reasons accounting and finance employees leave the organization is for a better opportunity elsewhere or not feeling supported by management, according to a recent Randstad survey. Motivated finance and accounting professionals want to feel a sense of advancement and ongoing learning available within their firm or department. Mentorship is an effective way to convey to current employees and candidates that the organization is committed to their growth and supported by management.
2. gain credibility from a highly-regarded mentor.
You may have heard the phrase, “you are who your friends are.” The same concept can be applied to who you choose to mentor, or be mentored by. Select someone who is widely respected within the firm or the entire organization, not just the finance department. Align yourself with influential members who have a strong track record of success and experience, and not only will his or her credibility rub off on you but you’ll gain valuable advice from a tested veteran.
3. mentors are trusted allies who can identify areas for improvement.
One of the most valuable benefits of having a trusted mentor is a better understanding of your strengths, weaknesses and actions you should take in order to improve (and advance). Think of your mentor as someone who has your back, and is always looking out for your best interests. This can be particularly beneficial when navigating organizational politics or in dealing with a difficult co-worker. Tap into your mentor’s wisdom to adjust your communications approach or to gain perspective on rules to follow that may not be clearly stated.
4. mentorship can drive tangible, better-quality organizational outcomes.
Given that accounting and finance firms and departments face strict and crucial legalities and compliance, a mentoring plan can both curb risk within the organization and offer valuable guidance for future career development. For example, mentors can deliver advice on firm policies such as proper communication and document retention related to client engagements. The same holds true for improving client service standards and delivery. An experienced mentor can provide best-in-class strategies to manage client situations or concerns and ultimately deliver improved client service.
5. mentors can open doors to new job opportunities and build your network.
Mentors serve as an additional career agent for you, keeping an ear to the ground for current or future job openings within the organization. Through your partnership, mentors are keenly aware of your strengths, experience and professional goals so they are well-equipped to identify best-fit job opportunities for you. Effective mentors will also help expand your network by way of new introductions or referrals to visible executives within the profession. One of the most effective ways to secure a new position is with a referral from your respected mentor in hand.
Achieving your career dreams can sometimes be done alone. But, the most successful accounting and finance executives didn’t get there alone. Even CEOs seek out trusted advisors and mentors to further their career success. Now is the time to take advantage of mentoring and start putting your career into overdrive.
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