PODCAST: Where do you want to be in five years?

Written on Feb 20, 2020

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager

The question of where you want to be in five years might seem like a cliché, but one professional development expert said you shouldn’t brush it off.

“It’s about helping people understand what their skills are and what skills they might want to take to the next level,” said Marc Ehrenreich, talent manager at Marcum LLP in Cleveland.

Ehrenreich joined The State of Business podcast to discuss the value of planning your development as an accounting professional, what that looks like depending on your career level, and more.

As you grow throughout your career, he suggested creating regular goals to hit and consider how they factor into the larger strategic goals of your organization. If you don’t have a talent manager or boss to keep you accountable for those goals, find someone else who will so they don’t fall off your radar.

“Ask yourself how you see yourself growing in the organization, developing the style you want to have as an engagement leader and manager.” Ehrenreich asked.

He said to consider things such as whether you want to be a specialist or a generalist, and what industries pique your interest. The goal is continual growth and to help you develop to your fullest potential, he said, and if that’s happening then you will contribute significantly to the organization.

As for those who don’t have an answer to the dreaded five-year question, Ehrenreich advised not to be too overwhelmed by the idea and instead focus on your interests and how those might evolve.

“I encourage people to be okay with answering ‘I don't know,’ or ‘I don't know right now,’” he said. “Which is why I also encourage them, especially earlier in the career to gain as many types of experiences as they can, so that they can see what they like, where they have passion, where they excel and where they feel good about what they do.”

Listen to the episode here.

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