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Navigating Your Way to Career Success

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Navigating Your Way to Career Success
Chart A Sure Course
Steer Clear of Other Major Obstacles
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Don't leave your career on automatic pilot

By Tony Glennon, John Sicilia & Ray Pirre

ue Right is a 35-year-old accountant from New Jersey. Her palatial Georgian colonial home in Princeton provides her all the charm and prestige of a land baron. Her three car garage can barely accommodate her taste for the finest automobiles money can buy, which serve to transport her to and from the major financial services firm where she serves as senior partner.

Jim Dungeon is also 35 years old and is an accountant from Staten Island. He resides in a good neighborhood; he struggles to pay the mortgage and send his kids to private schools. Jim, an accounts payable manager for a small firm, takes a bus and subway to his office every day.
Both Sue and Jim have a bachelor's degree in accounting and both are CPAs and CMAs. The question, therefore, is what led to Right's success and Dungeon's lack of it?

The career success illustrated in Sue Right's story can be achieved through a well-planned, well-executed career management plan. Whether in the public or private sector, you, too, can develop this businesslike, planned approach to your career. And, by learning and applying the fundamentals of sound career management, you, too, can maximize the potential that the profession has traditionally offered.


oo often accounting and financial professionals leave their career on automatic pilot: they graduate, land a solid entry level job, work long, hard hours, and casually catch the next opportunity whenever and however it comes along.

While this technique may work for the lucky few, today's sophisticated, complex business environment dictates a far more deliberate approach. Taking control of your career early enables you to better counteract the destructive effects of factors beyond your control such as corporate takeovers, leveraged buyouts, or a major industrial shift - all of which could eliminate your position altogether or set your career back indefinitely.

Taking control early enables you to avoid finding out too late that you're marooned on a reef of salary and skill stagnation, watching those who have effectively managed their careers sail blissfully by.

A tip to help accustom yourself to career management responsibility is to assess the job as objectively as if you were your own employer. Consult the professional in you by asking, "How can I maximize my success and job satisfaction?" Ask this question now, just to see how you would answer it.