How committed are you to learning a new skill? Not convinced that new skills are needed going forward? You may not want to retrain as a piano accordion player but learning new skills is looming as one of the major challenges facing accounting and bookkeeping professionals. After all, nobody wants to be the next Kodak, destined for the scrapheap because the siren call of change was ignored.
How committed are you to becoming a better professional? This is a question you should force yourself to answer weekly because although you’re almost certainly busy, you should never be too busy to improve.

Chew over this…

It was once just media and retail companies that felt the harsh winds of digital disruption. But the dramatic rise of companies such as Uber and Airbnb has proven that any industry –even taxis and hotels – can be disrupted by digitally driven business strategies.
Being digital –ready for a professional does not mean re-training and learning coding skills – an ability to write basic software using languages such as Java, Perl or Ruby. Nor does it necessarily mean you need to do a Uni course in Big Data (although that is certainly a wise career move for a bright, young, professional); it involves the analysis of large volumes of data to define the underlying trends and insights, often used to predict future behaviours. Rather, we are speaking of social media skills – understanding that promoting your services and researching special niche industry sectors can be invaluable in building a professional practice and profile. And soft skills.

‘Soft’ skills

Hard, technology skill-sets, a capacity to interpret the ecosystem of cloud-based accounting software, working out what system best services you and which add-ons are the right tools for your SMB clients are a given these days.
Before you can ‘do better’ as a professional you have to ‘be better’, and in order to be better, you have to continually acquire, refine and master key core, ‘soft’ skills:

• Communication
• Negotiation and
• Persuasion.

These are obvious when you consider that you will be ‘selling’ yourself more in the future than ever before and, intentionally, negotiating fixed price agreements with customers.

Finally, is the BIG skill for a disruptive future – mindset. In short, having a ‘fixed’ mindset vs a ‘growth’ mindset can be the key to a prosperous future as a professional and business owner. Fixed mindset people look at abilities and skills as natural talents, unchangeable, and believe if something isn’t easy, that means they’re simply not good at it. Growth mindset professionals focus on effort, with the belief that any skill or practice can be learned. Exerting a great deal of effort is a positive for the growth mindset cohort, but a downside for the fixed mindset.