After 26 years in public accounting, on top of 15 years in the private sector, I recently decided that it was time to retire. Faced with a new chapter in my life, I thought it prudent to take a moment to look back at my career path and identify what life lessons I learned along the way that enabled me to be successful throughout my career and to become a leader at Kreischer Miller.

Here are several important traits that I would like to share that may be useful as you pursue your career path, whether in public accounting or in the private sector.

  1. Listen: Listening carefully is an art form. It can often be very difficult not to talk while others are speaking, but I can attest that listening is the best way to learn. It is very important to listen to everyone: clients, colleagues, resources, and family, to name a few. Do not be afraid to ask questions, but remember to listen closely to the answers. Encourage other opinions; learn as much as you can and accept that education is endless.
  2. Communicate: Along with good listening skills, there is also a need to have good communication skills. It is very important to be able to properly communicate: verbally, non-verbally, and in writing. Whether you are communicating to your boss, colleagues, clients, or staff, strong communication skills are critical to any business and career.
    For many, these skills do not come naturally, but they can be learned. There are many books and articles that you may find helpful as you strive to improve your communication skills. Also, consider volunteering to write articles or offering to be an instructor for in-house or external training seminars, and working with others who are good communicators. Throughout the years, I have learned that it is important to be direct, stay on point and coherent, and when communicating in writing, self-review your work several times or have others review it prior to sending it out.
  3. Respect all of your relationships: Do not make demands on others just because they may think differently or because you have a CPA license or a master’s degree. Listen and offer to help. Flip conversations around to be about them and how you can help. Take responsibility for your actions. Show empathy for others and be kind.
  4. Mentor/Educate: Assist others in developing their skills and achieving their goals. Again, listening is important in order to provide constructive feedback. Be honest. Do not be afraid to share your knowledge and experiences (good and bad).  Do not forget to offer encouragement and to advocate on others’ behalf.
  5. Be a Team Player: Motivate others and be willing to help. Be selfless, flexible, and open-minded to others’ ideas. Help keep the team focused on its goal; remember the need to compromise.
  6. Take Charge of Your Career: Be the best “you” that you can be, and continually develop your skills. Do not try to be someone you are not; it will not make your path to success any easier. Explore all career opportunities; never pass up an opportunity to try something new. Take advantage of various industry training seminars and spend time with successful colleagues. Learn all you can about your clients and continually develop your skills. Find a profession or specialty that you enjoy; if you enjoy what you are doing you will become the best at it.

Please keep in mind that you are responsible for your career path. Do not solely rely on others to assist you. Set goals, listen intently, communicate clearly, respect others, improve your skills, never stop learning, and adapt to change. I wish all who are reading this blog the best of luck in life and with your career path.


Maxine Romano is a former Director at Kresicher Miller. Contact Maxine at Email.


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