Leveraging Your Values and Strengths in Your Accounting Career

By Pamela Bradley, Talent Advisor

Leveraging Your Values and Strengths in Your Accounting Career

Career search tips that will take the sting of out of Monday morning

Here is a wake-up statistic: roughly half of your life will consist of your working years. 50 percent. 2,000 weeks. You can choose to spend those years dreading Monday mornings, or enlivened by what you do every day. It is your choice.

If you’re looking ahead at the years till retirement, here are some career considerations that may take the sting out of those Monday mornings.

What are your strengths?

This is a no-brainer, and it’s usually the place people start when considering career choice. Of course you don’t want to spend your work hours in a career that does not align with your skill set.

As you contemplate your career choices, think through all of your strengths. You don’t have to be PhD level at them. Maybe people tell you that you’re a good listener. Or maybe you have an artistic eye, and know how to decorate a room.

Identify your strengths in isolation first, and then consider how you will apply them on the job. For example, let’s say that you would like to be a tax accountant. Those listening skills will let your clients know that you completely understand their financial goals. And that artistic eye will help you explain complicated tax information in a way that they can understand.

What are your values?

In your career, you want to have the fuel to get through challenges. One of the most sustaining sources of energy is your system of values. Find a list of values, and identify those that really resonate with you. Next, figure out how you can live out those values in the work you do.

For example, maybe you identify fairness and justice as an important value in your life. You can pursue work that directly creates fairness and justice, like a lawyer or social worker. But don’t give up if the link between your chosen career and a value aren’t obvious. Maybe you live out your fairness and justice value by starting the first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program at your firm.

At Keiter, our core values are Collaboration, Accountability, Innovation, and Relationships. As a firm, we weave those values into all of the work that we do. They inform how we go about our work. We share knowledge and ideas (Collaboration), and build trust and respect through our actions (Relationships). We leverage our experience to anticipate needs (Innovation) while delivering the highest quality work (Accountability).

The important thing is to deliberately recognize how you can live your most deeply-held values in the work that you do. It will build resilience and give a sense of purpose to your life.

What are your motivators?

A lot of people think that strengths and values are naturally motivating. Sometimes that is true, but not always. I can tell you that I am a good project manager, but a little of that goes a long way with me. Similarly, one of my values is frugality, but that particular value does not propel me out of bed on a cold morning.

As you craft your career, spend some time identifying what really lights you up. Now connect that to what you would like to do for a living. For instance, maybe you like to play tennis on the weekends. You have an office job, and your boss isn’t about to re-design your job description so that you can hit the courts regularly.

But what is it about tennis that makes it so fun? Is it getting together with people? Getting outside? Maybe, it’s the fun of competition. Whatever it is, you can work towards getting more of that in your career.

Let’s be honest. Work can be challenging, and you will have highs and lows in your career. But if you make your career about your strengths, values and motivators, you will spend your working years filled with pride, living out a sense of mission, and just plain having fun.

Keiter has many exciting career options for those passionate about accounting.

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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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