As a CA(SA), you have an eye for detail, you understand the importance of delivering quality work on time, every time, and have plans for your future. Your ambition results in a strong work ethic, and it directs your energy in a constructive way. Despite all these positive attributes, however, you may still find yourself in the position of not having achieved the goals you expected to have attained 5 years into your post-qualification career.

Now comes some pretty shocking news: if, after 5 years, you are still not earning R1m per annum, something is wrong. Take a moment and let that sink in.

Before throwing your arms up into the air in exasperation, though, let me qualify the above statement by pointing out that there are a few mitigating factors that should be taken into consideration:

  1. If you are still in the Profession and intend on remaining in it, you should only expect a seven figure package once you’ve reached the level of associate director at a reputable firm;
  2. If you lingered in the Profession for some years before making the leap to commerce, you have to deduct those years (however valuable they may have been) from your total work experience;
  3. Unfortunately, owing to BEE stipulations, if you are a national from another African country, your employer may be paying you less than your peers (and yes, this is exploitative).

With those factors out of the way, we can now start to unpack why many highly capable Chartered Accountants, perhaps including yourself, are not reaping the rewards that should be forthcoming.

Firstly, let me state very clearly and emphatically that the typical knee-jerk response of moving to another company will not solve the underlying problem. Hoping that a symptomatic treatment will cure the frustration simply won’t address the fundamental issues at hand.

So, what could be holding your progression back? The following problems cover a large portion of the challenges that I’ve seen in my experience, but the list is not exhaustive.

  1. Your superiors see you as a weak manager. Like patients with a common cold in a doctor’s waiting room, this problem is widespread and certainly deserves to be mentioned first.
  2. Your self-confidence is lacking. A lack of self-confidence is often interpreted by others as weak managerial skills; this may become especially pertinent in organisations (like banks) where structures are very flat.
  3. Your EQ could be worked onin order to reduce the behavioural pattern of being temperamental and argumentative.
  4. You miss deadlines and make mistakes. Needless to say, these are rookie short-comings and should be dealt with promptly and effectively.
  5. You need to develop your executive presenceor have made the error of engaging in approval-seeking behavior.

A good mentor will help enormously with the latter difficulties as they can, from an objective distance, pick up on what is working against you and advise you accordingly. If you don’t have the privilege of accessing the thoughts of an experienced mentor, however, you’ll feel that you’re out on the icy tundra battling against the forces of nature. Moreover, a busy superior may all too often not have the time to develop you further. This is where an expert coach can add immense value to your career trajectory.

A good coach does more than simply work to achieve a better work-life balance and set goals. A good coach goes beyond the expected and mundane, and strives to address, in a meaningful way, the issues that are holding you back from actualising your latent potential. A good coach will do the following:

  1. They will see more in you than you may see in yourself– this is crucial because if they are going to get you to the next level they need to see your next level;
  2. They will understand the work you doand identify the requirements necessary to succeed;
  3. They will have a bird’s-eye-view, and help you to see what things look like further down the road;
  4. They will have a thorough grasp of work place dynamics, including a deep understanding of the personality types in play;
  5. They will be sensitive to your unique situation, and show you the compassion that you, as an individual, need when facing challenges.

This is all to say that an experienced, knowledgeable and enthusiastic ally in your career development efforts can be an exceptionally powerful asset. For further information, please contact Green Mind Capital and start a friendly conversation.