Five early career milestones to hit

It’s never too early to start identifying or striving to reach career milestones. Here are five classic career goals you should aim to achieve during your first few years as a graduate.

1. Get really good at what you do

It doesn’t matter which tax courses you’ve completed at university or how much you think you know, as a new employee you’ll quickly become aware of just how much you need to learn. Seize every opportunity you can to broaden your knowledge, including gaining insight from bosses and colleagues, as well as sharpening your skills from the taxation education your employer offers. One day you’ll wake up and think to yourself, “You know, I’m now actually pretty good at my job.”

2. Get that first promotion (and the second and third)

No matter how minor it is, that first title bump creates the momentum that will hopefully push you all the way to the top of the tax industry. Don’t waste a minute starting your ascent up the ladder.

3. Work overseas

Take advantage of being young – and relatively commitment free if you’re working for a firm that offers overseas postings. Aside from the excitement of living somewhere such as New York or London, you’ll develop a new maturity and a broader, well-rounded outlook on life and work.

4. Manage others

Once you’ve learnt how to manage yourself, you’ll face the much more complicated task of managing others, which, depending on how good you are at it, can be either incredibly frustrating or wildly rewarding. Remember that if you’re good at managing yourself and your workload, you can always rely on having a job. But if you have the far rarer skill of also being good at managing others, you can rely on having a highly paid and high-powered executive position.

5. Add to your qualifications and expand your skill set

After spending almost a couple of decades in full-time education, it can be tempting to take a long sabbatical from study and focus on gaining real-world experience. However, you’re unlikely to reach many of the future milestones if you don’t expand your skill set, either by undertaking further tax training in the form of a CTA1, CTA2A, CTA2BCTA3, Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law or Master of Taxation, or by pursuing qualifications in complementary fields, such as people management.

In today’s crowded workforce, you need to demonstrate you’re a go-getter from the get-go. While you don’t need to adopt all the milestones suggested above, you should have a clear set of goals you’re actively working towards if you want to reach your full potential.


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