How To Review Your Career

Written by: Duncan Brodie
Published on: Apr 15, 2015

As a finance / accounting professional, I’m guessing that achieving success in your career is important to you. After all you will have invested a lot of time and energy in getting, or partly completing your studies and professional qualification.

Organisations review their performance regularly. Yet in my experience few of us take the time to review how our careers are progressing.

So how should you approach a review of your career? What I have found works well is to ask yourself a serious of open questions, reflect and answer them honestly. Some of the questions that you want to consider include:

What did I set out to achieve in my career?

You set some specific intentions for your career didn’t you? Maybe you did and if so this is easy to articulate. If not this might be something for you to do right now.

What have you actually achieved so far?

You probably spent more of your life in work than anywhere else. I am sure you were busy doing lots of things. On the other hand what did you actually achieve?

What new experiences did you gain?

Career success is obtained over the long term. Along the way you want to be adding to your list of assets. New experiences are a way of adding to what you can offer in the future.

What contributions did you make?

You received a salary and if you are accountant, probably a pretty good salary. But what did you contribute to the organisation that you work for in the last year or so? What is different as a result of your contributions?

What have you done to develop yourself?

A lot of people think that development is something that you have to really focus on in the early stages of your career. The truth is it is something you have to keep doing for the whole of your career. What have you done recently to develop yourself?

What value have you added?

Adding value is something that is talked about a lot and often people confuse adding value with doing the job. When people add value they go above and beyond the role they are in. They help the organisation or a group of people be better at what they do, they look for and make improvements. How about you?

Am I growing or stagnating?

There is nothing wrong with consciously choosing to stay in a role. On the other hand just bobbing along without much thought or consideration is never a great strategy. Really ask yourself if you are growing if that is what you want and if not do something about it.

The truth is doing a career review does require work and effort on your part but in my experience the benefits far exceed the time and effort it takes to do it.

Duncan Brodie is a CIMA Fellow and Managing Director of Goals and Achievements.  He specialises in helping accountants to achieve more career success.  You can learn more and sign up for his free report The 7 Biggest Barriers To A Great Career In Accountancy at