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The importance of career adaptability and skill building

How, in such a competitive industry, do you cultivate a successful career without the risk of complete burnout? The experts at CABA, the charity supporting the wellbeing of chartered accountants and their families, discuss the importance of career adaptability and skill building in professional development for accountants at all stages of their career.

The journey from student to chartered accountant can be as long as it is challenging, requiring years of study and vocational experience.

Following this significant investment of time and effort, it is crucial to set development goals for yourself on a regular basis and maintain a clear vision for your career path, as this will allow you to continue to feel fulfilled and challenged in your chosen profession.

Career Adaptability 

From globalisation to the rise of new technology, there are multiple forces that now impact our career development.
Career adaptability is important, as it involves developing the skills and abilities needed to successfully shape and adjust to an ever-changing professional environment, allowing you to build the career and future you want. By exploring the key areas of career adaptability – concern, control, curiosity and confidence – you can measure how adaptable you are and build on the skills you need to stay ahead of the game.


To be career-adaptable, a person must exercise a certain level of concern about their future. A desire to achieve certain goals requires you to be concerned and aware of what you need to do to achieve this, fueling your drive to eventually reaching it. 


In order to become ‘concerned’ about the future in a ‘controlled’ way, people need to set themselves clear objectives. A good way to do this is by talking about hopes and plans for the future with friends, colleagues and family, or someone with relevant experience in your desired role.


It is important that you dig deeply into your chosen sector of work so you can uncover any upcoming challenges, future changes to the industry and the career prospects which await you. The questions you ask yourself along the way will help to shape new goals and ambitions throughout your career. 


If you find yourself hungry for new information and keen to understand the inner workings of the industry, you will find that you are more confident with this deeper knowledge. This is the last piece of the adaptability puzzle: it gives people the courage to pursue new options and step outside their comfort zone.

Build on Key Skills

As an accounting professional, you will be confident with numbers and competent with complex financial models. However, to work your way up the career ladder, not only do you need sharp technical knowledge, but you will need to develop those soft skills that can help you to progress even further.

A recent survey of UK employers found that soft skills are prized more than technical knowledge in graduates. Desirable soft skills include good communication, flexibility, creativity and the ability to be a good leader. 

Being highly organised and having excellent time management is beneficial in any role, but being able to demonstrate these abilities will help show your company that you are proficient and capable of handling the added pressure of a managerial role.

If you are still studying, completing assignments on time and being ahead of the curve when it comes to starting a new task will help you to develop these skills so that you are equipped when entering your first role. 

You need to remain calm under pressure, deal with problems rapidly, and find suitable solutions. In doing so, you will start to demonstrate your leadership skills and your ability to manage calmly and confidently when faced with a crisis, even when others around you are panicking. 

For more information on how to get the most out of your career, and for tips and tricks on a range of topics from exam preparation to managing stress and anxiety, visit the Help and Guides section on CABA’s website:

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