Updated: Jun 24
If you have ever looked into the different types of jobs offered in the accounting field, you know that the work being done in different positions can seem to be very similar. Financial accounting, public accounting, tax accounting, etc. all are doing similar work. The major difference is that the work is being done for different segments of people. Accounting helps keep a business’ financial records in check, along with providing an overall efficiency for the company.
When working in the accounting field it is significantly more difficult to differentiate yourself because of the similar skills being performed by everyone else. In any accounting position or job it is important to create your own brand, and it will always require extra effort.
I contacted a UBWA alumna, Samantha Borchers, to get insight about this topic. Samantha graduated from OSU in 2013 in accounting. She has given me a lot of good advice about how to achieve your own personal brand while doing very similar work to everyone else in this field.
I have compiled 4 different strategies to help you stand out in the accounting field with the help and insight of Samantha.
1) Develop an attitude of learning.
It is vital in your work to be willing to learn other aspects of business, not just in the sector you reside in. Being knowledgeable about other areas in the business besides your own (especially if you are working in accounting) looks very attractive to employers and other co-workers. Researching concepts you don’t understand or things you would like to know more about is very important for an attitude of learning. Don’t feel like you need to limit yourself to only knowing or learning about things in accounting.
2) Get involved in other things outside of work!
To further develop your personal brand in accounting it is especially important to define yourself as a person. The things that you are passionate about, in work and out of work are what make you, YOU. These things will be the major factor that differentiates you from your co-workers. Lots of people can have the same skills as you, but few people can have exactly the same passions that you do. Samantha stated, “But, don’t let your professional life be your only life. I believe getting involved outside of work can be a great stress reliever. Volunteer at a local charity or participate in a book club…whatever will help you reset your body and mind outside of work. A well-rounded life can bring confidence in interacting with new people, practice in time management, and empathy in difficult or unknown situations, all crucial in a professional environment.” The idea is that getting involved in things you are passionate about outside of work has many advantages that may help with relieving stress and creating your personal brand. After all, who you are as a person and what you enjoy defines your personal brand!
3) Put emphasis on what you want people to remember you by.
Recognize what you want co-workers and your employer to remember you by. Whatever it is, make sure you put more effort into working those parts of your persona into your everyday life while at work. Samantha said, “The accounting skillset I’ve learned since graduating has coincided with an attitude of empathy, respectfulness, and dependability. I want to make sure people are remembering me through positive contributions.” Determine what part of you that you want to stand out the most and cultivate a lifestyle of working to emphasize it. You can be remembered by your skills, personality, passions, knowledge, and many other things. For example, if you want to become a more diverse person and be remembered by your inclusivity, work to put yourself in uncomfortable situations and perhaps educate yourself on views totally different than your own.
4) Make your work ethic reflect your values personally.
As stated earlier, you will be able to stand out more with things that are personal to you. If you believe in working hard until the task is almost perfect, reflect that in your performance. If you believe listening to others and socializing is more important than working independently, cultivate those aspects into your profession. You can stand out if you shape the accounting tasks to be done in ways that reflect you and your values. If you try to differentiate yourself and let your true thoughts, values, and virtues be shown in your maybe boring or tedious everyday work, you will be able to stand out.
Even though I connected these tips mostly to accounting, they are important in any area of business to try to stand out and develop your own persona within the company. Accounting can be very tedious work that makes it hard for your personality to show. My hope is that these tips will help bring out your own personality in your work and inspire you to let your personal self show more in a professional environment.
Thank you to Samantha again for providing me with great insight into how she has developed her personal self in the accounting profession. If you have any questions regarding my post, feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.