Five Tips that Can Benefit Any Job Position 

    by Scott Auer, CPA, CMA, CIA 

    Many of my past work experiences have helped me be more effective in my current position, even though those experiences are not directly related to my job function. Volunteering, participating in Toastmasters and finding a mentor have all benefited my career. I hope that you find the following tips as helpful to you and your career as they have been to me.

    1. Find a mentor. Many people believe that mentors are only needed before you start your professional career. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you know someone—at your company or another company—in a position that you aspire to hold , consider asking that person to be your mentor. There is no better person to tell you how to get where you want to go, than someone already in that position.  Also, people often get stuck in their own way of thinking and a mentor can help you see things from a different perspective. When matched correctly, a mentor/mentee relationship is a very rewarding proposition.

    2. Communicate effectively. You will not get your message across if you can’t articulate what you mean. People often don’t get their point across because they speak before they think about what they are going to say.  Sentences are filled with um’s and other crutch words that detract from the key message. To succeed professionally, you have to be concise and focused when you communicate. Mid-way through my career I decided to participate in Toastmasters. Not only did the program teach me how to communicate better, it also improved my listening skills, which is just as important as oratory skill. If possible, consider joining Toastmasters or another program that will provide you with opportunities to improve your communication skills.

    3. Reward a job well done. We often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of work and forget to give positive feedback to our co-workers. When someone has done something well, tell them. It cost nothing to tell someone they are doing a good job and can be a great motivator. This type of positive feedback also builds a good work environment.

    4. Volunteer. Giving your time to a not-for-profit or professional organization is not only a great way to network and meet new people, but it can be very rewarding. When you align your passions with an organization that has the same focus, the fulfillment you receive is insurmountable. Financial literacy means a great deal to me, as I feel most people don’t learn about personal finances until after college—usually when they are already in debt. For that reason, I volunteer for Junior Achievement and teach children about financial matters. It is fun, fills my heart with joy and allows me to escape the pressures of my job so that I can recharge.

    5. Be a life-long learner. I strongly believe you should never stop learning. Whether it is professional or recreational, learning new things will always benefit you. Even the skills you acquire—such as patience, following directions and attentiveness -- doing things like learning to play the guitar or to scuba dive, can be translated into your professional life.

    Scott Auer, CPA, CMA, CIA is the Chief Financial Officer and Controller for Praeses, LLC, a small private information management company. He currently serves on the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana board, teaches for Junior Achievement and coaches soccer. Prior to joining Praeses Scott held positions at McKay Consulting, Affiliated Computer Services, and North Louisiana Regional Hospital.  He graduated from Centenary College of Louisiana Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Business.

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