Accounting Career Development through Coaching

By Pamela Bradley, Talent Advisor

Accounting Career Development through Coaching

What if you could get career coaching at work for your career in accounting?

There is ample evidence that professional coaching works. Studies conducted by the International Coaching Federation found that career coaching recipients report improved relationships, communication skills, interpersonal skills, work performance, work/life balance, and wellness.

Historically, career coaching opportunities were reserved for professionals at the executive level. Below are some FAQs regarding career coaching and how it can benefit accounting professionals in their early career.

Q:  What could a career coach do to help me as an entry to mid-level professional?

A: There are many ways a career coach could help you early in your career, including:

    1. Managing your time in order to have a healthy work-life balance.
    2. Developing your career growth plan.
    3. Developing strategies to build a supportive network that goes beyond the office.
    4. Helping you to be more influential and get your voice heard.

In short, a career coach can help you drive your career to the destination you plan for yourself.

Q:  What’s the difference between a coach, a manager, and a mentor?

A: Think of it in terms of a professional athlete. Very often an athlete has multiple coaches with different focal points, all with the goal of helping the athlete succeed. It’s not a matter of one type of advocate being better than another; each one can help with different things.

    • Managers will serve as your resource for information about the organization, your department, and the projects on your desk. They give guidance and direction to help you succeed in your current role, to move forward within the organization, and to align your work with the firm’s objectives.
    • Mentors give guidance and support from their depth of experience. They can serve as a sounding board and be a champion for you.
    • Coaches support you in developing skills and reaching the goals that you have chosen for yourself. Coaches will leverage their skills to deepen your awareness of how you can best reach your goals, and they will help you plan the actions to get you there.

Q: Could a career coach help me with mental health and wellness?

A: Yes and no. A career coach can help you align your work with your personal goals and values, which leads to flourishing. They might help you discover your best strategies for stress management, or other health-promoting habits like sleep and exercise.

If you need help dealing with difficult emotions such as depression, anxiety, and trauma, though, it would be best to seek out a licensed therapist or counselor. A trained career coach will know if the coaching starts to veer into the territory of therapy and will be ready to refer you to the best resource.

Q:  How could a career coach help me if they are of a different generation or professional background?  Will they be relevant?

A: The word “coach” refers to professionals who perform a wide range of duties. Some coaches are subject matter experts who provide guidance from their area of expertise. These coaches would share a professional background with their coaching clients.

Other coaches specialize in working with clients at the inner level. These coaches have expertise in how individuals are motivated, how they make positive changes for themselves, and the nuances of what it takes to succeed in one’s environment. Even though the coach may have a different professional background or may be of a different generation, they can be useful because of their expertise around topics such as communication, career growth, relationships, and other career success skills.

Q:  How can I maximize my experience working with a career coach?

A: To draw the benefits of career coaching, you should be willing to learn and have a desire to be better than you were the day before. You should be willing to experiment with new behaviors that might initially feel a little clunky. It’s also important to remain mindful in key moments, making deliberate decisions about your behaviors. Overall, the most impactful way to maximize your experience is embrace the time coaches give you and use it to help grow in the way you’d like.


Career coaching can be an important part of a company’s leadership development program and also an invaluable resource for entry level accounting professionals looking to grow in their selected field.

Read more about entry-level audit and tax career development on our blog.

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About the Author

Pamela Bradley

Pamela Bradley, Talent Advisor

An accountant for 12 years, Pamela transitioned to training and development where she helps lead the human resources function at Keiter. Since joining Keiter, Pamela has been instrumental in building the learning and human resources functions, revising the evaluation process, streamlining HR procedures, and leveraging technology to boost efficiencies. In 2024, she transitioned to the role of Talent Advisor, with the goal of expanding the program by crafting customized and individualized strategy for team members.

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The information contained within this article is provided for informational purposes only and is current as of the date published. Online readers are advised not to act upon this information without seeking the service of a professional accountant, as this article is not a substitute for obtaining accounting, tax, or financial advice from a professional accountant.


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