Going forward: CFOs share their strategies for advancement - Canadian Government Executive
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July 20, 2016

Going forward: CFOs share their strategies for advancement

According to Canadian CFOs, change is good. In fact, says Dianne Hunnam-Jones, Canadian president of Accountemps, “Successful individuals know that growth is often synonymous with change."

In order to find out which strategies and priorities CFOs are using for success, Accountemps polled 270 CFOS from a random sample of Canadian companies.

They asked: “Which one of the following characteristics do you consider most necessary for an employee to succeed?”

(CNW Group/Accountemps)
(CNW Group/Accountemps)
  • 31 per cent of CFOs said: “Adapts easily to change”.
  • 29 per cent: “Motivated to learn new skills”.
  • 23 per cent: “Strong interpersonal skills”.
  • 13 per cent: “Welcomes increased responsibility”.
  • 4 per cent: “Willing to work long hours”.

Interestingly enough, the results parallel those gathered from the same 2002 study. Although the times have changed, change certainly has not.

“In a world that’s moving quickly, professional success is dependent on being open to learning new skills in order to adapt and excel in evolving business environments,” says Hunnam-Jones.

While new establishing new skills is critical to growth, there are some things that ought not to change. Even in a world that is becoming increasingly automated, Hunnam-Jones says interpersonal skills can give employees a competitive edge.

“Demonstrating how you can clearly communicate complex information and strategies will set you apart when being considered for career advancement and leadership potential.”

As for extended work hours, Hunnam-Jones points out that “longer hours don’t always equate to greater productivity.”

“Managers should help set realistic schedules by defining priorities and creating a collaborative team culture in which workers feel supported and encouraged.”

In response to the survey, Accountemps has listed five tips for career advancement.

  1. Join industry associations.
  2. Volunteer your expertise.
  3. Further your education.
  4. Perfect your communication skills.
  5. Think about the big picture.

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