Lifelong learning – where are you in your journey?

Sep 8, 2022

Lifelong learning is the foundation upon which your professional development goals should be built, and a concept that no professional accountant should take for granted. New knowledge should always be embraced, and existing knowledge can always be reevaluated. 

CPABC PD’s goal is to provide you with the skills and knowledge to create a smoother path on your lifelong learning journey.

At the starting line

You’re a fairly new CPA – what types of challenges do you face? This is a good time to take stock of any gaps in both enabling skills and technical knowledge that will help you succeed in your role.

Is communication the challenge? Do you find it difficult to get your point across or feel unsure about presenting? This may be the perfect time to explore how to create better outcomes when conversing with difficult people, or polish up your presentation skills. Or are you concerned about being an effective team member?

Maybe you need tools to improve work efficiency – especially if you’re working with budgets, forecasts, and projects that require intermediate use of spreadsheets. If technical information is what you need, CPABC PD offers a large inventory of accounting, management accounting, and taxation courses.

Make sure to note the course level – you may want to focus on those listed as introductory. In the end though, you are the best judge of your knowledge level, so don’t let yourself be restrained by a label. See more information on course levels, and course description terminology.

Making headway – what’s next?

Is it time for an upgrade? You’ve been given more supervisory and decision-making responsibilities – maybe it’s time to enhance your leadership and critical thinking skills. According to this Harvard Business School article, effective leaders consciously invest time and energy to develop skills that empower them to lead others. Explore how you can train your brain for leadership, influence without authority, and make a successful transition from subject matter expert to team leader.

Are you up-to-date on technology trends, threats, and tools? Keeping current in business technology and innovation produces a competitive advantage for organizations, and this is also true at the individual level.  Leverage digital transformation and discover how it’s reinventing accounting, be up-to-date on blockchain issues, and dive into data analytics. Or perhaps you need to re-learn certain tools to help you become more efficient and proficient at what you do.

Facing a roadblock – do you take a different path?

Are you thinking of making a detour? Or have you come to a junction and need to decide – stay on your path or make a turn? Regardless, most of the suggestions in the section above still apply. If you are thinking of a career change, it’s best to first evaluate the skills and knowledge required in the new role or industry you seek, then select the best learning options for you.

Here are a few more enabling skills that may help you on your new journey. Understand yourself better through emotional intelligence or ask yourself what you really want to be, learn how to communicate when you’re under pressure, enhance your ability to speak publicly and write with impact, and be the best negotiator you can.   

Is it time to stop and take a breath?

Remember that personal development and wellness are also part of professional development – you cannot succeed at work if you feel overwhelmed. If you feel engulfed by commitments, it could be time to evaluate what you need to do for yourself. Learn a new mind-set that will optimize your productivity, evaluate new ways to respond to stressful situations, or boost your emotional intelligence to manage stress. For a lighter take, learn how to save time by tripling your reading speed.

On cruise control

Are you in a period of stability? You’re comfortable where you are, but remember that as a professional accountant, you should still keep current on relevant issues that affect your work or profession.

If you work in accounting and auditing or taxation fields, consider taking update-style courses that will provide you with all the latest changes to standards, acts, and legislative updates. Or take a technology update to explore trends that may impact you. Our PD Nexus Days provide great opportunities to get bite-sized updates or refreshers on topical subjects.

Continue to identify gaps in your skills repertoire – and start planning for that next big step. If you have not already included leadership on this journey, consider that now. Stability should not equal stagnation – so now might be a good time to look into advanced level courses. 

Moving ahead and beyond

Are you confident that you possess higher-level leadership and strategic management skills that will propel you all the way to the front?

Our Strategic Management and Advanced Strategic Management programs focus on the critical components of leadership and strategy, while our Executive Programs will provide you with the leading-edge knowledge and skills you need.

Wherever you are on this lifelong learning journey, we hope you find valuable and engaging opportunities to improve your expertise.