Deciding on a career path can be difficult at the best of times, with so many opportunities on the table, being sure which direction to take can often be stressful and not always clear.
Combinations of sector, industry and job role are almost endless, so once you've made your choice, how do you know it is the right one, how do you understand what a role truly entails and how do you map your progress to journey's end.
The 'how to become...' series explores a number of successful journey's and provide insights to aid your career decision-making. To do this we have interviewed successful business leaders, employees and employers to find out how they got to where they are today, giving insight into a range of different job roles, offering first-hand advice on how to improve your potential and employability.
Mark MacDougall -Assistant Accountant to Interim Financial Director
How did you decide that this career was for you?
Initially, so that I had some sort of 'professional qualification', which probably could be used across many sectors. Looking back, I guess that I really didn't have too much of an idea of what the work really involved. I did always know that I wanted 'to work for myself', not in an Accounting/Audit environment/Practice, but more where 'products are made'.
What is the best thing about your role?
Being able to use past experiences and tools to very quickly assess what's required to be successful, which are relevant to interim roles. Leaving a company in a better place n departure than arrival - this is usually a 'good test' if I have been successful.
During your development, what skills would you say are essential for your role?
Good people skills are essential - team player aligned with excellent leadership qualities. Ability to hit the ground running coupled with a fair degree of humility.
What advice would you give to someone looking to develop these skills?
Take yourself out of your comfort zone; don't settle for second best. At the same time don't be in too much of a rush - superficial knowledge and exaggeration will catch you out!
What are the biggest challenges you've faced during your development?
Finding the next interim role. Keeping calm when the tide is against you, which can happen, especially in the interim environment. Accepting that often an interim role can often be at a 'lower level' than the previous role.
How have you overcome these challenges?
Being positive - the glass is always half-full. The world doesn't owe one a living; it is about adding value and ensure that the benefits (to a company) are greater than one's costs.
Give one piece of advice for a potential candidate joining your business
Have a smile on your face; don't be mean nor miserable, as life is too short. Respect your colleagues. Don't be a show-off nor a 'know-it-all'. Know when your interim assignment is nearing the end: don't outstay your welcome.