Don’t you often find that you are asking yourself the question “I’m a qualified CA, but am I making it? Am I where a CA with my years of experience, should be?”
It does not seem to matter how many years you have been qualified, there is always this nagging uncertainty that you are not as successful as you should be (usually measuring yourself against other CA’s).
The trap with this exercise is that there are just too many variables and, unless you are comparing like with like, your conclusions will be inaccurate. This results in misguided judgements on yourself and, unchecked, they will puncture your self-esteem.
Undoubtedly money is not everything. Job satisfaction and potential career opportunities are also important considerations.
But, if it is not through the money-scale, how else do you measure your progression? All you want to know that you are actualising your potential, right? And your annual package is one way of assessing whether you are ‘making it’ or not.
But, you have to start somewhere. So, this might give you a shock: if you are 5 years out of articles you should be earning at least R1,000,000 per annum. That is about R80,000 per month cost-to-company.
I have highlighted ‘cost-to-company’ as you might quickly alleviate the depression you have just fallen into if you do the proper calculation.
In order to calculate the correct number, you need to include the following:
- Your free company Petro Card for both petrol and repairs
- Your vehicle insurance
- Your cell phone allowance
- Your pension and medical aid company contribution
- Your bonus (although a conditional bonuses are usually excluded)
- Your share options (at a stretch!)
- Your leave entitlement if it exceeds the normal 15 working days per annum
- Any specially negotiated religious leave – some employers will give this leave over and above the normal leave.
- Your life and disability cover under your Group Scheme and, more specifically, the specialised cover such as dreaded disease, income protection and the like.
If you are not taking these into account don’t think that your employer is not!
Once you have done your sums and you still are under R1million you need to start feeling uncomfortable!
You might think that moving to another company will solve the problem but it won’t. Whatever it is that is holding you back will simply tag along with you.
So what could some of these issues be?
Here are some ideas but this list is not conclusive:
- Your superior sees you as a weak manager.This is probably the most common reason why people do not get the promotions they expect.
- You lack of self-confidence.This is closely aligned to the above but is a little more pronounced especially if you don’t have people reporting to you, which is often the case in the banking industry where they have very flat structures.
- You have low EQand are temperamental and argumentative.
- You miss deadlines.
- You make mistakes repetitively.
- You have a poor executive presence.
- You are in a big approval-seeking drama.
Of all the issues mentioned above, executive presence is more than likely the most important.
Now, if you are under the guidance of a mentor, you are lucky. He/she will help you with this by noticing what is not working for you and advise you accordingly.
If you don’t have a mentor you are out on the tundra – a big open space where the elements are working against you.
The thing is that, in most cases, your immediate superior has little time (or inclination) to help you with self-development. Usually the only time you get some sort of feedback is at your annual performance review. And, even then, don’t expect your boss to tell the truth. More often than not, bosses prefer to avoid confrontation and, if they don’t rate you, instead of telling you why, they duck the issue by blaming BEE or other unrelated matters. And then you arrive at work one day to find that you are reporting to a new managerwho appeared out of nowhere and whose job should have been yours!
So, what do you do?
The best solution is to get yourself a coach. Coaching is becoming more and more popular because it homes in on the particular areas that are not working for you and offers solutions. These changes can make an enormous difference! They can remove the barriers that get in the way of career development.
The thing is where do you find a good coach?
Working with a coach who focuses on achieving goals and finding a better work/life balance is not going to do the trick.
You are going to need a coach who has the following attributes:
- They need to see more in you than you see in yourself: This is imperative because, if they are going to coach you to the next level, they need to see your next level.
- They need to understand the work that you do and the requirements necessary to succeed.
- They need to be able to give you a bird’s eye view of your work and what things look like further up the line
- They need to understand the dynamics of the work place and the differing personalities that inhabit this domain.
- They need to be sensitive and compassionate to your circumstances and guide through your own unique issues to break through to the next level.
- They need to provide you with independent testimonials of previous clients who have had a successful experience working with the coach. The best source for this information is the recommendations that appear on the coach’s LinkedIn page as you can verify the validity of the source.
With all these aspects addressed, you should be able to find a way to move to the next level.
If not, make sure your coach gives you your money back!