For many, career advancement can be a tricky goal to attain. Often, it requires an artful combination of numerous different skills that may not be directly related to your primary job description. However, with hard work and persistence, there is plenty that an enterprising employee can do to seek out advancement in their current workplace and beyond. To help us learn some of the finer points of pursuing career success, we sought advice from Dabie Tsai, an audit and accounting expert with plenty of experience in the area. Read on if you’re looking for some tips to help you gain an edge in your own career aspirations.
Importance of Staying Involved
One of the key contributors to your ability to advance in your career is the degree to which you involve yourself with those you may not interact with on a day-to-day basis. In the modern office environment, which is often dominated by interactions via email or messaging apps, it’s far too easy to fall into a pattern in which you rarely see or meet people outside of your immediate network. While this can feel comfortable, it can also be detrimental to advancement simply because fewer people will have knowledge of how you may be a good fit for emerging opportunities. Becoming involved in organizations that interest you for other reasons will have the additional benefit of broadening your professional network.
During her career, Tsai has exemplified this level of involvement to a high degree. Stemming from a desire to help others and mentor talent, she served as the Partner Champion for KPMG’s Network of Women and its Asian Pacific Islanders Network. In addition, she has been a member of the firm’s Lead Partners Forum, International Banking Executive Programme held at INSEAD in France, and Executive Leadership Institute for Women. She also serves as the chair of the Audit Committee and as a member of the Board of Directors of Oxfam America and previously with the Kansas City Young Audiences Association. Though these organizational involvements originated from other interests she held, her exposure to a variety of professionals through this type of work has helped expand her access to opportunities.
Bring a Unique Perspective
Companies and other organizations often struggle with a certain level of “institutional stickiness,” or a tendency to do things as they have previously been done. Though consistency can be a blessing in many aspects of business, it can also be detrimental when it comes time for a company to evolve its methods of operation. During a time of such transition, leadership often looks to members of its team that have shown a proven ability to think differently than others and bring a unique viewpoint to the table. If you can show that you are a person who has new and different suggestions that can help a company succeed, you are leaving yourself well-placed to be considered for a promotion the next time one becomes available.
One of the ways in which Tsai has developed her own diversity of perspective is through her focus on international experience. Since she has lived in five countries on four different continents, the lifelong traveler has built a reputation for being able to draw on a variety of cultural experiences. Though international experience is, of course, not the only type of diversity valued in the workplace, it has become increasingly useful in a global economy that has grown more interconnected since the advent of the internet.
Keep an Eye Towards the Future
It’s easy to get comfortable in your current situation. Though this is natural and not necessarily a bad thing, it’s important for those seeking advancement to remain thoughtful of building paths forward in their careers. This might be as simple as checking in with your company’s HR department periodically to inquire about opportunities for advancement, or it may entail seeking positions outside of your current company. This process will be helped along greatly if you maintain a focus on cultivating career experience and skill sets that could help you further down the line. New certifications, languages, and functional experience are just a few things you can do to develop new ways forward for yourself.
By staying aware of how your current career can affect your career in the future, you’ll already have an advantage when the time comes to make your next move. Though career advancement can be difficult for many, there are plenty of things you can do to improve your results in this area. Looking to the examples set by professionals like Tsai, who has shown a high degree of success when it comes to advancement, will help set you up for success in your own career.
Professional Career and Advancement
A longtime provider of assurance services, Tsai has spent the bulk of her career with KPMG, one of the “Big Four” accounting firms. In her 23 years with the firm, she was a partner for 11 years. Over the course of that rise, she worked with not only some of the firm’s largest clients but also some of the largest financial institutions in the countries in which she operated.
Tsai’s rise through the ranks also saw her serve in a number of high-profile leadership roles, culminating in her position as Global Lead Audit Engagement Partner for KPMG Spain’s largest audit client. In that position, she headed a team of over 250 individuals operating in countries across the globe. From these experiences and additional individual training, she developed a range of expertise in areas such as SEC filing matters, credit risk, matters of corporate governance, financial reporting issues, and business process controls in both US GAAP and IFRS.
More about Dabie Tsai on Ideamensch