Hey fellow accountants — Do you want to be the best, no matter where your career path takes you, but don’t know where to start?
I’ve done the hard work for you, and collected the top blogs, podcasts, books, and videos to help you at any stage of your career – Whether you’re a seasoned CPA, or fresh out of school.
Career Blogs Every CPA Should Read
Personal Branding Blog
It’s been said many times, but it’s a truth that bears repeating: “if you don’t control your message, someone else will.” Between search engines, social networking platforms, and other sites and blogs on the Internet, managing your message and your name are more important to career success than ever before.
Creating your own personal brand helps determine how others — like hiring managers, supervisors, and potential employers or partners — see you. Cultivating that image is critical to your career development.
Not sure where to get started (or don’t know what a personal brand looks like)? Check out Personal Branding Blog. The site was founded by Dan Schawbel, internationally recognized career and workplace expert. Personal Branding Blog provides information on expanding your reach and visibility.
Life After College
Jenny Blake’s Life After College blog covers a range of topics, including developing your ideal career. An entire series on the blog is dedicated to walking readers through planning and developing so you can examine where you’re at and compare that to where you want to go.
There’s a lot of emphasis on feel-good stuff, but that’s not always a bad thing. Jenny’s posts will get you thinking about why you need to identify what kind of work you’re passionate about and what jobs provide fulfillment and happiness. Even better, she suggests a number of ways to actually make it happen.
The emphasis on multiple roads to the same goal — career happiness — is refreshing when many blogs focus on running your own business or working for yourself as the only way to success and fulfillment.
Ready to become a professional powerhouse? The Muse is a great place to start some recommended reading. The site specializes in providing highly relevant tips and how-tos for modern-day job seekers and aims to share ideas and inspiration to get you on the right track to a dream career. The Muse aims to provide advice you can actually use in a way that’s fun and enjoyable to digest.
The Savvy Intern
The Savvy Intern is the blog at Youtern, a company known as a major influencer for young professionals looking to create standout careers. The blog is for more than just interns; it provides useful tips for anyone right on the verge of starting a career and covers a wide range of topics.
From job searching and networking to productivity and goal setting, there’s a little something for everyone. The Savvy Intern is a great source of general information and knowledge that every college student should have before setting off into the professional world.
College Info Geek
This fun and engaging blog is for current college students, but understands the importance of planning ahead and acting now to secure a dream job. While much of the content focuses on coursework and on-campus issues, plenty of blog posts and podcast episodes aim at showing students how to promote themselves, do more with their time to increase their experience, properly communicate their skills to recruiters and hiring managers, and manage finances to repay student loan debts.
More importantly, the site is dedicated to helping those in college find their sweet spot now. That sweet spot is the intersection between what you love, what you’re good at, and what you can do to help others. Figuring that out now will help future professionals identify their ideal career and how to secure it.
Evil HR Lady
Understand the mystery behind the inner workings of your new office. Suzanne Lucas spent 10 years in corporate Human Resource departments before starting Evil HR Lady, a blog that aims to provide insights on what goes on behind the scenes. In addition to giving out advice and tips for working professionals, she regularly answers reader questions on all things relating to corporate careers.
This is a great resource whether you have years of professional office experience, or you’re just getting started. It’s tough to figure out office politics and the do’s and don’ts of a professional career. Evil HR Lady is a great place to start.
Accounting Careers Blog by CPA Talent
Find tons of useful and actionable career advice right here on CPA Talent.
Books for Accountants
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
If there was a required reading list for success in life, this book would top it. It’s one of the best self-help books ever published, and includes suggestions on how to improve communication and social skills.
Applicable to both your personal and business life, How to Win Friends and Influence People can help in advancing and developing your career from start to finish.
The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
There’s a reason top surgeons and fighter pilots all use checklists every day – they work. This book explains the value of using checklists in your daily life, and how to do so without becoming a boring robot of an employee.
Getting Things Done by David Allen
The bible of all productivity hackers, and the book that kicked off a movement. “GTD” is a simple system you can use to stay organized, and keep your sanity in a fast paced work environment. Focus on the concepts (finding a productivity system that works for you) rather than following the GTD system to the letter.
Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
We always say that your career is defined by the relationships you build. Never Eat Alone offers a framework for thinking about relationships and a process to get out of your comfort zone, and start building more of them. It’s never too early to start building good habits.
Trust Me I’m Lying by Ryan Holiday
In his “Confessions of a media manipulator,” Ryan Holiday takes you behind the scenes of how the media and publicity really work today. Best known for his work promoting the Tucker Max books, holiday shares the dark side of the endless news cycle, and how companies take advantage of the free publicity.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Another resource for improving both professionally and personally, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People focuses on the importance of changing our mindsets if we want to better ourselves and succeed at our endeavors.
Covey also popularized the idea of “abundance mentality,” which states that there’s enough success, resources, and good stuff in general for everyone to enjoy. In other words, success is not a zero-sum game.
Other main themes of the book include moving from dependence to independence, working effectively with other people, and maintaining a balanced lifestyle by taking care of ourselves mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Getting from College to Career: 90 Things to Do Before You Join the Real World by Lindsey Pollak
Lindsey Pollak specializes in career advice for Gen Y, and she’s used her expertise to solve one of the biggest catch-22 problems facing any new college grad: how to get a job that requires experience, when you don’t have experience because you can’t get a job.
Getting from College to Career provides college students with 90 pieces of advice to use before starting a job search. It’s a perfect resource for the proactive future young professional who wants to get a jump on building the experience and skills they’ll need to succeed in their ideal career.
What Color Is Your Parachute? 2015: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard N. Bolles
Known as the “world’s most popular job-search book,” the newest edition of What Color Is Your Parachute? provides those ready to launch new careers with information about the current job market. Accountants who appreciate claims backed up with extensive research will enjoy this resource; Bolles provides clear evidence on why to back up the what and how.
In addition to guiding candidates through their job search from start to finish, the book includes tips and advice on dealing with unemployment, developing additional skills, and discovering more about yourself and what you’d like to do with your career.
Lean In for Graduates by Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg’s 2013 bestseller Lean In might have been aimed at ambitious women, but this book isn’t just for female college students. Lean In for Graduates provides an exclusive letter from the author just for new grads and an additional six chapters focusing on issues that young adults entering the workforce and beginning their professional careers must handle.
The extra content addresses finding your first job, negotiating your salary, and learning about and taking pride in who you are and what you want to do. It also includes discussions on equality in the workplace and featured essays from readers who inspired the author.
The Millennial Game Plan by Laura Shin
This Forbes ebook is a quick read but an invaluable one. It’s a great starting point for college students wanting to make the most of their future careers and personal finances. The Millennial Game Plan explains why the world is different for Gen Y, what all the fuss over entrepreneurship is about, how to determine if graduate school makes sense for your situation, and the importance of getting your finances straightened out (with 3 easy-to-understand money management principles).
Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy
Some college students may be masters of procrastination — but successful, high-powered careers demand that we break that habit and master productivity instead. With a title that refers to the famous Mark Twain quote about getting the unpleasant things in your day out of the way first, Eat That Frog! teaches strategies and methods for beating procrastination, getting stuff done, and accomplishing everything on our to-do list and then some.
Career Podcasts for Accountants
The Abacus Show: Accounting Careers | Job Search | Lifestyle
Learn everything you need to know to have a successful and fulfilling accounting career. Whether you want to kick butt in your job (productivity, soft skills, communication), find a better new job (resume, LinkedIn, recruiters, how to interview), or plan your long-term career (goals, lifelong learning). Abacus is hosted by Bob the CPA, a Big 4 alum with over a decade of accounting/finance experience. Each episode we talk to really smart people so you can learn from their experience and avoid the mistakes they’ve made. Plus discover some of the most interesting accounting jobs you didn’t even know existed.
The Career Tools podcast helps professionals by sharing actionable tips you can use right now to grow in your career. Anyone, from entry-level worker to upper-level manager can benefit from the career advice here because the ideas and steps are specific, simple, and applicable to real-world situations. Practical and actionable advice (just the way we like it).
The Skeptics Guide to the Universe
This entertaining podcast promotes science and critical thinking while keeping you informed about current events that impact your life. Exercise your logic muscles and keep your professional skepticism in shape.
College Central podcast episodes give concise career advice from experts and professionals for those just starting their careers. You’ll find ideas and discussions on internships, networking, and job searching. Other episodes cover what to do if you find yourself unhappy in your new job or confused by etiquette, dress codes, and what happens when you need to relocate for work.
These podcasts provide college students with a well-rounded career resource thanks to the mix of conversational episodes and segments focused on providing instructions and how to overcome problems, challenges, or uncertainties in the workplace.
The Weekly Spark
If you’re looking for career and professional inspiration, tune in to The Weekly Spark. Although aimed at those in leadership and management positions, this podcast can offer college students motivation and insights into a world they aspire to enter.
Topics include dealing with burnout, increasing creativity, succeeding with entrepreneurship, developing ideal careers, and finding purpose in careers. It’s all great, upper-level inspiration for the college student who dreams big.
Career Cloud is worth a listen for anyone job hunting in today’s digital environment. Networking and social media play a greater role in our careers than ever before, and this podcast provides tips and information on trends in recruiting that shape the current job market.
Many episodes share stories from individuals on the steps they took for securing their job, which can be really informative and inspiring for anyone about to embark on a job hunt themselves. You’ll pick up a number of tricks for success to apply to your own search for your ideal career.
TED Talks and Videos
Why 30 Is Not the New 20
The Millennial generation is stereotypically known for putting off life milestones — like starting a career, getting married, and establishing a family — later and later. Many have embraced the new trend, claiming that life doesn’t really start (or matter) until your thirties. But clinical psychologist Meg Jay disagrees.
In this TED Talk, she explains the importance of your 20s and why this period of life isn’t a “throwaway decade.” Jay also provides advice on how to make the most of 20 through 29 as an independent adult ready to take on the real world.
How to Make Hard Choices
Deciding what you want to do with the rest of your life isn’t an easy decision for most of us. Establishing and developing your career comes with difficult choices — especially if we’re scared to make the wrong choice. Philosopher Ruth Chang uses her TED Talk to present a new way of looking at these hard choices.
How to Live Before You Die
You may have seen, heard, or read Steve Job’s now-famous 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University, but it’s worth rewatching. And if you haven’t? Make it the first thing you check out after reading through this list of resources.
Jobs urges listeners to tell stories, have fun, and stay true to themselves. He talks about the importance of pursuing our dreams and finding our passions. And, perhaps most importantly for those who are about to embark on a new chapter of their lives and start their professional careers, Jobs advises us to find silver linings in all tough situations and to view challenges as opportunities.