Uncertainty over how to balance work and family life is one of the biggest concerns among female accountants who aspire to senior roles.
However, many professional women who secure senior roles are able to balance a fulfilling family life with a successful career. Seeking advice from these professionals can be the best way to understand the strategies they used to succeed.
Finding a mentor or sponsor in a senior role can help you in a number of ways;
- Providing support and advise you when applying for promotions
- Offer advice on how to progress in your career
- Put you forward for new projects or challenges
- Help you gain an awareness of the business at a senior level
While women in senior roles may be able to offer you specific advice on how to approach challenges unique to professional women, male senior managers can also offer much of the same support.
Cathy McGlynn, Financial Controller, Robert Walters, comments “Finding a mentor you feel comfortable going to for support and advice is key. Don’t limit yourself to building relationship solely with sponsors who work in the same field as yourself. Senior staff from a range of backgrounds will have experience of a different career path that could still yield important lessons. They are also likely to have a broad contact network; even if they do not seem in a position to help you directly they can open doors to those who can.”
There is no need to limit yourself to a single mentor either. Developing these kinds of relationships with colleagues at different stages of their careers will ensure that you have the broadest range of advice and support to draw on. If your first contact is unable to help you with a particular challenge, ask them if they can introduce you to one of their contacts who might be better placed to offer advice.
Cathy McGlynn is Financial Controller at Robert Walters and is based in our head office in London.
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