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Rules of Engagement: 7 Proactive Tips for Maintaining Motivation in Accounting and Finance Careers

While workload and work hours both factor into your job satisfaction, two other essential indicators are even more important for Accounting and Finance professionals. These are your levels of involvement and enthusiasm, as reported by Gallup. Together, they point the needle in the direction of where you are right now in employee engagement and how you are feeling about the future of your career.

Though employee engagement must start with your employer, particularly your manager, you can take steps to strengthen the rules of engagement. If you are currently feeling detached from your work or lacking the energy — psychic or physical — needed to excel, here is a 7-point checklist of strategies to explore.

1. Determine what you really want, and make it known.

What are your current goals in contributing to and making an impact in your company? Let your supervisor know what they are, along with any untapped skills you can offer. Then go beyond skills to help differentiate yourself: Discuss how your personal values and aspirations dovetail with the company’s mission and vision.

2. Be deliberate in finding and leveraging advancement opportunities.

Pay particular attention to professional development opportunities that will benefit you at both your current place of employment and beyond. Research and build the case for coaching, training or learning programs and ask your organization to invest in your skills development. Clearly align your professional development aspirations with organizational needs and outcomes.

CFO and accountant discussion

3. Be part of your company’s mentoring community — or create it.

Mentoring in today’s business environment works both ways. Being a mentee helps you with the knowledge you wish to gain. Being a mentor helps you impart your own knowledge for other’s gains. Age no longer factors into the equation. Everyone can assume either or both of these roles, and the learning is reciprocated.

4. Identify the optimum moment to seek a promotion.

Be strategic in procuring a higher title and not just higher compensation (although that as well). A raise in both, along with the new challenges in the duties that they bring, can be just the recharge you need.

5. Feel better to perform better.

Join any wellness program your employer might be offering. Higher energy equals deeper engagement.

6. Seek out new ways to grow that other departments offer.

A secondary benefit is that you will be helping to knock down silos within your company. But a primary benefit is that, as with professional development, you’ll be expanding your skill set for the next step in your work journey.

7. Be attuned to the difference between chronic burnout and crunch-time frazzle.

Accounting and Finance are both deadline-driven fields. But if every day starts to feel like D-day, determine if offloading some of your workload is feasible. Explore new digital systems and processes that can help you, along with your coworkers, perform more efficiently. Or ask for additional staffing. Highly qualified consultants require less training and can quickly jump in to reduce burden and improve efficiencies.

Use Q4 to take control of your engagement and job satisfaction and know what you want to achieve in 2024. Alliance Resource Group offers resources for skills development, career planning and talking with your manager.

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