6 Career Development Strategies for 2024

Continuous learning enriches every career path. With technology evolving at a mind-blowing pace, ongoing skill development is critical to career success.

Whether or not your position uses technology, versatile soft skills are highly sought after and will help advance your career. Here are some strategies to help you level up professionally this year:

1. Develop Niche Skills

Specialization can set you apart. Identify a niche within your field that interests you and dive deep.

Having specialized expertise can put you in high demand. It positions you to be known as an expert in your field and command a higher salary.

2. Network and Build Relationships

Your professional network can be one of your greatest assets, especially if they know your capabilities. People you know can connect you with information, insights and opportunities you may not otherwise find.

Your network also provides opportunities for mentor-mentee relationships. Whether you are ready to mentor another professional or seek an experienced mentor, the relationship benefits both parties.

3. Step Up and Take On Challenging Projects

Volunteer for projects that are a step out of your comfort zone. Taking on challenging projects demonstrates your abilities and shows you are capable of more significant responsibilities.

Innovation, problem-solving and adaptability are all highly valued in the professional world. By stepping up, you develop yourself professionally while contributing to the success of your team and organization.

4. Build Your Professional Brand

Developing visibility helps the people around you recognize your potential. Don’t hide your ideas and abilities; speak up and offer your thoughts and solutions.

Many professionals wait to be asked. Instead, you can become known as a strategic thinker by proactively adding value with suggestions and solutions.

Another strategy for developing visibility is to take on speaking engagements. Being recognized as a thought leader can accelerate your advancement.

5. Sharpen Critical Soft Skills

In today’s collaborative work environments, strong communication skills make you a valuable asset. There are many ways to develop your written and verbal communication skills, from daily journaling or taking classes to joining a local Toastmasters club.

Other in-demand soft skills include problem-solving, critical thinking, adaptability, leadership, emotional intelligence, collaboration, and innovative thinking. Identify the soft skills that will most benefit you in your career and set and follow a personal development.

6. Maintain a Positive Attitude

A positive and professional attitude can open up opportunities. It makes collaboration smoother and more pleasant. People are drawn to positivity and professionalism, making you a preferred colleague, leader, or partner.

A positive mindset makes you more open to new ideas, spurs creativity, and can increase your performance by keeping your energy strong and steady. Positive people are more resilient and adaptable and even have better health.

Let 2024 Be a Year of Advancement

Century Group supports your goals, whether you’re looking to take your career to new heights or seeking the perfect candidate to complement your team. Connect with us and let’s make 2024 a milestone year.

Level Up Your Job Search Game This Fall

Are you embarking on a fall job search? Some times of the year are more fruitful for job seekers than others, but the real game changer in your job search is a personal one: your confidence.

Here are insider tips on timing your efforts for maximum impact and how to level up your fall job search game.

Seasonal Hiring Trends

Understanding the ebb and flow of the hiring cycle helps you leverage your efforts and improve your response rate. Fall can be an excellent time to find a new job, but only if you get it going before the holiday rush.

Companies are gearing up for the year-end in the fourth quarter. If they have vacancies, there’s usually a push to fill them before the holiday slowdown. This rush makes fall an opportune time for job seekers.

If your fall job search doesn’t yield the position you want, January and February are considered the best time to find a job. The post-holiday positivity, combined with new budgets and projects, means many employers are searching for qualified candidates.

Conversely, summer, particularly August, can be as challenging as the holidays for job hunting. Between vacations and the back-to-school rush, hiring takes a backseat.

Know When To Submit Your Resume for Maximum Impact

While your qualifications, experience and skills distinguish your application, knowing when to hit that “submit” button gives you an advantage.

Sending in your resume over the weekend can backfire. Resumes sent on a Saturday or Sunday often land in a stack of other applications.

Like most professionals, hiring managers have a weekly rhythm. The best time to send in your stand-out resumes is Tuesday through Thursday, when hiring managers have gone through the weekend pileup and can review incoming resumes with a focused mind.

You can use the weekend to find job listings and prepare your applications, but strategically wait until Tuesday morning to submit them. The exception might be a time-sensitive posting where you can be one of the first submissions.

The Employment Edge

When is the best time to find a new job? When you already have one.

Whatever time of year you’re looking, the best moment to land your dream job is when you feel empowered and self-assured.

Being employed provides a safety net and boosts your confidence, making you a more attractive candidate to potential employers. When you feel secure, you communicate more positively and are better in interviews.

If you don’t have a job, you can still give yourself an edge by maintaining a positive mindset or by leveraging the expertise of a recruiter. Harnessing this “Employment Edge” can tilt the scales in your favor and help employers see your strengths.

Ready to boost your job search? Connect with one of our recruiters today.


3 Red Flags to Recognize Before Accepting a New Job

Searching for a job in the accounting and finance space can be exciting. But while you’re being offered positions, it’s crucial to remember that not every offer will necessarily be the right fit. Fortunately, when you know what to look out for, protecting yourself from a negative experience can be easier than ever. Here are three red flags to recognize before accepting a new job.

Unclear Job Descriptions

Make sure you understand exactly what is expected of you before accepting the job. Consider this: the job interview is when the company is on their best behavior. It’s during this time that they’re actively trying to impress you in hopes that you’ll join their team. If during the interview stage they’re unable to provide a clear outlook on the job you’re applying to, it could be foreshadowing what it would be like (if not worse) should you accept the position. Plus, if you’re having to ask questions to get this information from the hiring team, that’s also a bad sign. It’s standard practice to have clear expectations of what the job entails in the job posting.

Consider Salary or Lack of Benefits

Often when we think of salary as being a red flag, our minds gravitate toward the company offering too low of a salary. While that is a red flag to consider, a salary on the opposite end of the spectrum should also raise some questions. Typically, when applying for jobs, you’re well-versed in what the going salary range is. (If you’re not, check out our Salary Guide.) When a company offers a number far beyond that threshold, it can be tempting to accept it without any second thoughts. But you need to question why they would offer such a number. Ideally, they really just want to hire you. However, they could be signing you up for a role that stretches beyond the normal 9 to 5 schedule; a role with expectations that are greater than you realized. To reiterate point 1: there’s great importance in fully understanding the job description.

No Career Growth Potential

What will this role look like in the future? If career development within a role is important to you, you’re not alone. A recent study found that 83% of employees noted improving their skills as one of their top priorities. The role you’re applying for might be the perfect fit. But what about in three to five years time — will the role grow with you? Will you have opportunities to be promoted? If the answer is unclear on either of these questions, you might need to dig a bit deeper into the company culture. Accepting a job with little to no promised opportunities for growth is a temporary joy —  it’ll be great in the short term, but you might need to consider other options in the long term.  

Looking for more insight in the interview process? Check out these job search etiquette rules.

Work Smarter, Not Harder This Summer

It’s no surprise that those in the fast-paced industry of accounting and finance are expected to work efficiently and productively. However, proverbial burnout is proving that working harder is not always the best strategy for long-term career success. The alternative? Making the most of your time and resources to achieve and maintain peak performance. A.K.A.: working smarter. Here are some tips on how to do it.

Improve Your Surroundings

If you’re noticing your productivity levels are depleting, the first step is to check in on your working conditions. Key descriptors of an ideal working environment include spots that are quiet, comfortable and free from distractions. If working remotely, try a change of scenery like a coffee shop or library. If you’re going into an office, try to make the space more enjoyable and comfortable with a plant or bring some nice headphones with you to “get in the zone.” The main goal is to achieve a state of mind where you’re completely absorbed in your work; that’s where you’ll be able to reach maximum efficiency. It’s also important to take regular breaks, stretch your legs and get some fresh air to help alleviate the risk of burnout.

Gamify Your Time

We live in an era where digital rewards are plenty. One strategy to increase your productivity at work this summer: gamify your time. Apps like Forest turn focusing on work into a game, limiting access to distractions on your phone to reach a goal. The app rewards you by growing a virtual forest the longer you stay focused. You can even share your progress with friends.

If you’re more of a pen-and-paper person, consider tracking your daily accomplishments. Adding a quantitative element to your daily goals provides a sense of fulfillment, which ultimately fuels productivity.

Reset Your Mindset

One shared characteristic of those that work smarter: they maintain a positive mindset. The way you treat yourself via thoughts and reactions plays a big role in your confidence level. Focus on the positive aspects of your work and remind yourself of the ultimate goal that’s being met because of your efforts. Celebrate your wins, learn from your setbacks and continually find ways to learn and grow.

What Does Success Look Like to You?

Finally, at the start of each work day, define what success will look like to you. Create a daily list of goals that could include breaking bigger projects into smaller, more achievable tasks. Also be sure to incorporate tasks that add a social element to your day, such as connecting with coworkers. Ultimately, by focusing on what’s truly important to you, you’ll boost the enjoyment of your work and be less apt to get distracted.
Find these tips a little too late? Check out these hacks on how to handle burnout.

The Job Search Etiquette Rules That Still Matter

Undoubtedly, job recruitment practices have changed and adapted over time – so too has job search etiquette. However, there are still some unwritten rules that have withstood the test of time. And, in the realm of accounting and finance where attention to detail is essential, adhering to these job search etiquette rules will ensure you leave no stone unturned. Let’s dive into the three rules to keep in mind before, during and after the job search process.

Before the Interview

Research. Before the interview takes place, it’s crucial to gain insight into the company you’re interviewing for. While it can be time consuming given all the positions you’re potentially applying to, coming into the interview with a few tidbits of insight in your back pocket holds benefits that are twofold. One, by taking the time to learn about what the company does, it shows your high-level of interest in the position. And two, it helps prepare you for the interview by learning about the company’s culture and values. 

So, when it comes to researching the company, where can you start? The company’s website, social media accounts and any recent news articles are all great jumping-off points. The key is to collect information about what the company does, their goals and their values. During the interview, connect what you’ve learned in your research back to you in a way that feels natural. Doing so successfully will highlight your qualities, show you did your research and create a connection between you and the company: a win-win-win.

During the Interview

One piece of etiquette that is often overlooked by the candidate, yet rarely missed by the interviewer: bringing your resume. While some candidates may feel it’s unnecessary to bring a copy of their resume to an interview, doing so has greater benefits than not. 

“I always recommend my candidates bring a copy of their resume to the interview, ” notes Deanna Gutman, Senior Director of Executive Recruiting. “Even if the hiring manager already has a copy on file, it shows them they are prepared and professional.”

Additionally, bringing your resume allows you the opportunity to reference specific details, making it easier to discuss past experiences. If possible, bring a few copies of your resume – that way the interviewer has the opportunity to share it with other members of the team should they want to. By printing them on high-quality paper and placing them in a portfolio, you’re adding to the sense of professionalism you bring to the interview room.

After the Interview

An attitude of gratitude goes a long way after an interview. Sending a follow-up email can make a significant impact by showing your high-level of interest in the job. In the email, thank the interview for the opportunity, reiterate your interest and mention one specific detail from the interview that you’re appreciative of. 

A follow-up email helps you stand out from other candidates and serves as a great reminder to the interviewer of your skills and qualifications. It proves you’re professional and can communicate effectively. 

Looking for more job interview hacks? Check out our tips on interview behavioral cues that hiring managers always notice.

Why You Should Wait 6 Months in Your New Role

Starting a new role is twofold: exciting and nerve-wracking. It’s an experience likened to being a new character on season four of an ongoing television series. Everyone seems to be in a rhythm and you’re trying to catch up. It’s no surprise that many new employees feel overwhelmed — or even unsure — about their new role. In fact, around or before the six month mark, many begin to question if they’ve made the right decision in accepting the job offer. However, before you consider jumping ship, it’s important to give yourself time to acclimate. Here’s why.

Patience Is Key

Statistics show that it can take one to two years before an employee reaches their full productivity potential. What does that mean for you? It means that patience is key during this time. Give yourself a grace period. Starting a new role can be uncomfortable — especially within the first year as you’re taking everything in. During this initial period, you’re going to face a learning curve as you familiarize yourself with company policies, procedures and culture.

It takes time to get acclimated, build relationships and understand the ins and outs of your new role. In fact, it can take up to six months for the “light bulb” to turn on — or for things to start clicking — and for you to begin to feel comfortable in your new role. “


It’s also crucial to remember that every company operates differently. No two workplaces are alike, which can take some time to adjust to. By giving yourself the full six months to acclimate, you’ll be able to reflect on whether or not this company and role align with your long-term career goals and work style. From there, you can make a more informed decision on whether or not to stick with it.

Building Your Resume

Another important consideration: your resume. Leaving a job too soon can potentially have negative consequences on your professional reputation. Future employers may see a pattern of consistently leaving jobs after a short period as being flighty, which can be a red flag for hiring managers.

Plus, leaving a job early on doesn’t allow you enough time to build valuable resume-building skills and experiences that can be beneficial in the long term. So, take the time to learn, grow and gain valuable experiences before jumping ship. In doing so, you’ll give yourself the best chance for long-term professional success.

Are you considering making a career move? Submit your resume today to connect with one of our recruiting experts.

Why You Should Pursue Senior Accountant Roles

If you work in the finance or accounting space, you know all too well how emphasized career growth is in this field of work. But — as broken as the record may be — climbing the proverbial ladder and reaching senior positions can unlock a number of benefits, including better job security and an increase in earning potential. In accounting, following the traditional career progression path from junior accountant to senior accountant is a well-trodden route; and it’s not without reason. Let’s dive into why pursuing a senior accountant role should be your next big step.

Greater Responsibility and Accountability

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of moving into senior accounting roles is the increase in responsibility and accountability. Senior accountants typically oversee teams of junior accountants and undertake more complex accounting responsibilities. As such, their decision-making skills are honed over time, making them valuable assets to any accounting team. Being a senior accountant also means more rigorous work and facing greater scrutiny, but with these comes greater satisfaction for a job well done.

Diverse Experiences

A senior accountant role can unlock a world of diverse experiences, depending on the industry, size and nature of the organization you work for. For example, you could work for a large corporation and then move on to a nonprofit charity organization. Having senior experience broadens your skillset to adapt to different environments. You’ll gain more insights into how different industries work, be better able to adapt to sophisticated accounting systems and build diverse networks.

Increased Earning Potential

Let’s talk about earning potential. Logistically, a more senior role comes with a higher salary, which makes a considerable impact given the demanding nature of the accounting profession. Senior accountants can more easily command higher wages given the high value they provide to a team. Generally speaking, senior accountants can expect a salary anywhere from $64,000 to $107,000. Ultimately, the pursuit of senior accounting roles is not without financial reward.

Frequently Asked Questions

What skills and qualifications do I need to become a senior accountant?

The qualifications and requirements for becoming a senior accountant vary based on the employer and the specific role. Typically, a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or a related field is required. Additionally, you’ll likely need to obtain a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification to increase your chances of landing a senior accountant role. 

Where can I find open senior accountant roles?

If you’re in the process of searching for open senior accountant roles, check out our jobs for our newest accounting and finance opportunities near you.

How to Handle Not Getting the Promotion You Wanted

If you didn’t get the promotion you worked so hard for, you’re likely feeling a palpable sense of disappointment. The good news? There are ways to use this situation to your advantage and move forward. Here’s how to handle not getting the promotion you wanted. 

Take Time to Reflect

A wave of unexpected emotions is likely going to come into the picture. And that’s normal. Once that wave settles, however, take some time to process what happened. Ask yourself questions like: “Is there something I can do differently next time?” and “What can I learn from this experience?” Try to keep a level head so that your emotions don’t cloud your judgment when making decisions moving forward. Once you have a bit more mental clarity, the next step will be to gain some outside perspective. 

Ask for Feedback

Once you’re emotionally ready, it’s a good idea to follow up with your manager. When they initially communicated that you won’t be receiving the promotion, you likely weren’t in a clear mental headspace. Once you are, pack some questions into your back pocket that will help you better understand the situation, and ultimately help you reframe this situation as an opportunity for improvement.

  • Ask why: “Would you be able to talk me through why I wasn’t right for the promotion this time around, so I can work toward getting there?”
  • Ask for specifics: “What specifically can I focus on in the next six to12 months that will make me more valuable in my role?”
  • Ask how to best upskill: “Are there any trainings that would make me better-prepared for the next promotion?”

Additionally, consider meeting with a professional mentor. Unbiasedly explain the situation and ask them to weigh in.

Finally, it’s important not to settle for being passed over for a promotion — keep looking for other opportunities within or outside of your company that could help advance your career even further. The good news is that the financial industry typically plays host to a lot of opportunities. There may be new roles available or open positions at other companies worth considering; just make sure they align with both your skill set and long-term goals.

Consider Other Opportunities

Getting passed over for a promotion can be discouraging — but with the right perspective, it can lead you toward the next great opportunity in your career. Take some time to reflect on what happened and focus on honing your skillset while looking out for other opportunities that could help further advance your career. 

Check out our latest jobs nearest you.

Networking Your Way to the Top: A Guide for Financial Professionals

Networking can be a key part of success in the financial industry. It’s important to network strategically and ensure you’re making a good impression every time you meet someone new. Here are some tips on how to do just that.

Ice Breakers

Ice breakers are a great way to start the conversation when networking with people you don’t know very well. Come up with some open-ended questions ahead of time like “What do you like best about working in finance?” or “What would be your ideal job?” These types of questions can help get conversations flowing and increase comfort levels among those involved in the discussion. Plus, answering these types of questions will help potential contacts gain a better understanding of who you are and what value you could bring to their organization.   

Talk About the Event

When networking at an event, it’s important to start off on the right foot. Talk about what brought you together — the event itself! Ask someone if they like the venue, find out what brought them there, or chat about an interesting topic that the speaker mentioned. Let the event serve as a common interest between you and the person you’d like to talk to.  

Come Prepared with a Story or Two

Starting a conversation can be intimidating, especially if you’re trying to think of what to talk about on the spot. To avoid this situation, come prepared with some stories or experiences related to your field so you can share them when appropriate.

For example, if you recently had a successful business transaction that went particularly smoothly due to excellent teamwork, tell them! This will give the other person insight into your competencies and accomplishments while also giving you something interesting to talk about.   

Alternatively, you could start the conversation by sharing a story from your personal life – something your kids did, for example. This could lead into a bigger conversation where your end-goal is to talk business.


Often overlooked, listening is one of the most important aspects of networking. People want to feel heard and understood — not just talked at — so make sure to focus on actively listening whenever possible instead of formulating your response while they’re speaking. Not only will this show respect but it will demonstrate your ability to think critically rather than relying solely on memorized responses and talking points. Moreover, by really listening, you can learn more about the other person which could result in increased trust between both parties as well as additional opportunities down the road! 

Networking is essential for success in many industries — especially finance. At its core, networking isn’t just about making business connections — it’s also about building and fostering relationships. And, when done properly, networking can be an incredibly powerful tool for any finance professional looking to get ahead in their career. 

Looking for industry-relevant topics to bring to your conversations? Check out our latest Accounting and Finance Employment Report.

Why Your Digital Footprint Matters to Your Career in 2023

Your digital footprint. It’s something you might not have given much thought to, but chances are your current or previous employers have. In fact, a survey found that 70% of employers “use social media to screen candidates before hiring.”

In 2023, it’s more essential than ever for everyone to keep their online presence clean before applying for jobs or other opportunities. Your digital footprint is the sum of your entire online activity — from the posts you make on social media to the information you store online and even the emails you send. It’s all a part of who you are and how potential employers view you as a candidate. 

Take inventory of your current digital footprint

Having a clean digital footprint can mean the difference between getting hired or not. Employers have access to more information now than ever before, including search engine results and social media accounts, so it’s important to ensure that everything looks professional and accurate. Taking proactive steps to update — and maintain — your digital footprint is crucial in order to avoid any misunderstandings or misrepresentations that could cost you a job opportunity. 

First things first: take inventory. Review all of your online profiles; this includes social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as any personal websites or blogs. Remove anything that could be seen as offensive or inappropriate by potential employers. Something you thought was funny in college might not reflect your current persona. If you aren’t sure about a post, consider archiving or hiding it instead of deleting it. That way, you can remove the post from the public eye without permanently removing it, giving you time to think about it.

Also take into consideration how much information you’d like to be public. Think about who you follow, and are ultimately associated with, in addition to what you’re tagged in. 

Update with positive information

The next step? Add positive information to your digital footprint. And this time of year is the perfect time to do so — your accomplishments are currently top of mind from doing year-end reviews. Update your social media profiles with current information and appropriate, professional photos. 

Optimize your social profiles — it’s important to have a clear and concise profile that accurately reflects your current skills, experience and expertise. Make sure you include any awards or accolades from past employers, as this will show recruiters that you’re dedicated and motivated when it comes to your work. 

Commit to maintaining a positive digital presence going forward. Perform an annual check-in of your digital footprint, including reviewing all posts that you created or were tagged in, using professional language in online communications, and ensuring your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date with your accomplishments.

Here’s a guide to get you started on highlighting your accomplishments.