I’m sure if you ask finance people if they wouldn’t mind improving their chances of career success they would almost all respond with a resounding YES! The big question is, of course, how? I will explore this topic in my new series aiming at giving tips and tricks for finance people to make small improvements every day that will eventually help them achieve more success in their careers. While my previous series was about the big lines of finance transformation and what strategies the CFO should follow this one will be much more down to earth. This is due to the simple fact that we can’t all make groundbreaking changes all the time and more often it’s the little things that make a difference. Hence, over the coming weeks, I will discuss with you about things like how to avoid having bad data kill your presentation or how to use storytelling to help non-finance people better understand your numbers. I hope you will also involve yourself and ask questions so we can discuss even more ways for everyone in Finance to do better in their job every day.
It’s the execution, stupid
Most professionals probably have a plan for their career but like with company strategies they can be the greatest plans in the world but if you or the company can’t execute well they will always fail. Execution is what we do every day to deliver on the plan hence if you need to adjust they are likely to be small and incremental. Here’s my list of the small incremental improvements to make.
- Bad Numbers Are Killing Good Finance People
- What Accountants Must Do To Stay Alive
- Creative Accountants Are No Longer Banned
- Don’t Measure Finance’s Value Creation
- Finance Needs To Clean Up Its Menu
- To Add Value Finance Must Become Storytellers
- We Need More BUSINESS In Business Partnering
Each article aims at giving you a handful of concrete tips and tricks that you can implement the next day. I will invite you to try them out along the way and share your feedback with me. I will then use your feedback to co-create even more tips and tricks for finance professionals. Using these will not only help you in your own career but also help you create an impact for your company.
Sometimes the little things matter more than the Big Bang
Most often I write about the big lines i.e. transformation, automation, Big Data, finance business partnering etc. and they can be difficult to relate to if all you’re looking to do is make small improvements in your way of working. After all, that’s probably why you come to read content on LinkedIn to find ways of improving your productivity and if what you’re suggested for making such improvements seems like a daunting task to implement you probably won’t get it done. However, if it’s something small and easy I’m sure you’ll do it right away. To give you a concrete example of how to increase your productivity just look at how you organize your incoming emails. Do they all flow to your inbox directly or have you set up filters to ensure they are sorted into topics, by the sender or by where you’re placed in the recipient field? If all emails come to your inbox directly it’s no wonder you end up having 1,000s of seemingly unread emails because you’re not able to prioritize. Just think about the ten-15 emails you get from LinkedIn every day. Are they worth prioritizing vs. the important mail from your boss? Probably not but if not filtered properly they will all clog up your inbox and feel overwhelming. Therefore, use simple rules to sort your mailbox and your workday will be much more manageable. I know this has nothing to do with Finance as such but I wanted to use it as an illustration of what tips and tricks you can expect. Easy to implement so they’ll make an impact for you immediately!
So, what are your tips for how finance professionals can improve their career little by little and be more successful? Did you ever feel like you went to a training that was supposed to make you a better worker but failed to change even a single thing? I know you want to improve and so do I hence let’s get to work and make our careers better!