Individual Leadership

In the quest for professional success, experience trumps all. Or does it?

Written by Megan Davis

3 Min Read

In an ultra-competitive world, it’s no longer enough to have done it before.

When it comes to getting ahead, do you know what you have to do? For many of us, it’s been pretty clear from a relatively early age that you needed to do more stuff to find success. That’s why we focus on all of our tremendous, incredible, eye-catching expertise when we update our résumés or are asked to summarize who we are.

Think about it – how much of your “elevator pitch” is about where you went to school and where you work?

But as competition in the accounting industry gets more and more fierce, we can’t compete with our strengths alone. Our technical strengths are very similar. With enrollment in bachelor’s programs in accounting at an all-time high[1], we need to embrace and work towards building more than our technical expertise.

It’s time to focus on what makes us different: our unique intangibles.

Unique intangibles

It’s not what you’re used to. It’s uncomfortable. It might even feel absolutely wrong to worry about the aspects of your character more than gaining additional experience. But at Siegfried, we live for people’s unique intangibles. Those qualities that give them shine, make them stand out, and leave an impression. Because at the end of the day, we know that intangibles trump experience.

Wondering what an intangible is? It’s those personality traits or as we sometimes call them – character ethic words – that define not only what you can do and where you’re going to go, but who you are.

Think about your favorite coworker for a minute. Or your favorite manager. What makes that person special in your eyes? There’s a really good chance it’s not their experience. Typically, this person is someone you admire because they are friendly, compassionate, ambitious, humble, empathetic, and can explain something clearly.

At the end of the day, although your experience and expertise come into play, people will remember you for your intangible strengths.

Identifying your intangibles

Have you ever really thought about your intangibles before? If you haven’t, it might be time. And if you have, are you constantly considering how you could build on them?

For many accounting and finance professionals, it’s difficult to step back and consider the personal qualities that can attribute to your professional success. For example, your undeniable courage to try new things, your soaring ambition to work harder than anyone else, your uplifting passion for helping others.

These qualities are the backbone of your ability to lead — not only other people, but yourself. Because before you can walk, you have to crawl. And before you can lead others, you have to lead yourself.

The power of Leadership Advisory

This ability to lead yourself, to transform yourself, is one of the primary services we provide at Siegfried. At its core, leadership advisory helps people find focused time to be more thoughtful and reflective about their thinking and feelings about their career, relationships, life, and success. Because when you’re more thoughtful and reflective, you’re able to identify areas of improvement, areas of opportunity, and areas of transformation.

Ultimately, your growth and success fall in your hands. What makes you happy? What and who inspires you? How do you want to be remembered? Once you can identify your unique intangibles and how they factor into your life, there’s no telling where you’ll go.

If you are interested in a career with Siegfried – a company that invests in YOU – please reach out! We are always interested and excited to meet passionate and ambitious accounting and finance professionals.


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