Think back to the career your seven-year old self envisioned. Perhaps you saw yourself saving lives or performing to enraptured audiences. Maybe you simply imagined yourself swathed in a business suit with a briefcase. And while as a child you probably didn’t conceive a life of a Compliance Manager or IT Auditor before you; many auditors take on the role because it speaks to their strengths, talents, and values.
As an auditor, you take pride in paying attention to detail. You derive fulfilment in facilitating effective communication with clients and colleagues. You receive gratification from starting a task and seeing it through to the end to the best of your ability. At this point, remember to congratulate yourself on your personal skills and the hard work you have put in to get to where you are.
And now think to yourself, what were your other career goals? Do you want to work your way to the top, become a CFO of a multi-billion pound corporation? Is a work-life balance important to achieve, where your pay cheque and home time are mutually satisfactory for your family? What about expanding your horizons, have you ever dreamed of taking your audit career to exotic shores? Or perhaps you want to use your skills to make a difference in the world.
Working in the perpetual rat-race that is the Finance industry, it is easy to become swept up in the daily grind, where your intermittent reprieves include Friday night work drinks or a long weekend at a resort. As time passes us by, it is important not only to reflect on our progress but also to gauge how far we are from where we wish to go and what must be done to get there.
You can start by making small changes. Re-confirm what your goals are; it is not uncommon that they have shifted – remember when you wanted to be a pop star? Speak to people who have achieved what you want to achieve, perhaps your colleague worked a stint as an auditor in the Caribbean or an acquaintance on LinkedIn did audit work for a Not For Profit in Africa. Don’t be afraid to ask for a promotion or a pay rise if you feel you are entitled to it. Do research into audit jobs within another sector or country, wherever it is you wish to go.
If you have goals that you are yet to achieve within your audit career, it is always the right time to adjust your focus and shift your actions towards achieving them. You’re not starting from the bottom, you’re already an auditor! We all know about S.M.A.R.T. goals for a reason, because they help us to succeed. Decide on a specific objective, a time by when you want to achieve it, and determine the steps required to make it happen. And if you still want to save the world, it’s not too late for that either.