The first year in a new position is always full of unique experiences as you discover different ways of accomplishing your responsibilities. When I was promoted from tax senior to tax manager last summer, I knew that I would be learning a lot over the next several months. As I reflect back on the past year, I recognize how much I have grown professionally as a result of the challenges I have overcome. Here are a few of the most significant lessons that I’ve learned throughout my first year as a tax manager:
- Staying organized and following up with others is a must. Everyone is busy. Whether it is clients or co-workers, everyone has their own mile long to-do lists. In order to make progress and meet deadlines, I’ve learned the importance of staying on top of my own to-do list and following up with others to avoid bottlenecks in the work. When I begin to feel like the workload is piling up, I look ahead at the upcoming weeks to avoid scheduling conflicts and create a clear plan and timeline for each upcoming project.
- Learning is a work in progress that requires taking initiative. With the added responsibility of being a client contact, I’ve learned that being committed to expanding my knowledge, gaining exposure to a variety of situations, and staying updated on current events is critical in developing and strengthening client relationships. If a client comes to me seeking input on a topic, being able to provide them with a basic explanation and thoughts on how to proceed builds trust and confidence within the relationship. I don’t always know the answer, but when I don’t, I always make sure to do research, find the answer, and follow up with them. This creates a strong foundation in which the client is confident in my competence, and it’s very rewarding.
- Identifying areas in which I can give others the chance to grow and learn is a vital component of my role. As a manager, I work with a number of people at varying experience levels. I have the ability to introduce others to new experiences and give them a wider range of responsibilities with special projects. Not only does this assist in moving me along to complete a task, but it also brings about learning opportunities for myself and for others. As an organization, it is crucial to assist with the development of other team members and provide them with opportunities to build upon their knowledge and skillset. By sharing these learning opportunities with team members, I am able to help them grow and gain more experience, and oftentimes they teach me a few new things as well!
At the end of the day, I always feel as though I am constantly learning and challenging myself, in addition to adapting my leadership style as I see fit along the way. I look forward to all the exciting new learning experiences that I will be exposed to in my second year as a manager!
Andrew Berger is a manager in Kreischer Miller’s Tax Strategies group. He joined Kreischer Miller in 2013 upon graduation from West Chester University. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and cycling. Contact Andrew at Email.
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