It’s a New Year: Take a Step back and Reflect on Your Career

By Steven E. Sacks, CPA, CGMA, ABC

With millennials representing 35 percent of today’s workforce and 50 percent in the next 10 years, the career mindset will shift even more toward moving onward and upward — or out. Unless you are a business owner, the days of 40-year employees have disappeared. There are more work options and vastly different work cultures and philosophies. Today’s young professionals have no preconceived notions of following a traditional career path, including waiting 10-12 years to become a partner in a CPA firm. If there better options out there, these young professionals will take them in a heartbeat.

Loyalty? Not so much.

And forget about coffee table firm brochures with stock photos of happy faces and best places to work awards.

For the Gen Xers who are moving into leadership roles, they become obsessed with the next rung on the career ladder. They may not have taken a step back to assess their firm or organization. Is it benefiting from their efforts? Is it positioned for more growth and profitability? The number of existing clients or current market share will not tell the whole picture.

As someone who may be on the partner or C-Suite track, you want to see that your firm or organization is leveraging its talent and branding its image effectively. Is the firm attracting new types of clients and employees?  Will senior leadership be open to suggestions or be receptive to a slight change to the characterization of the practice? Has the managing partner or CEO shown an interest in acting on feedback?

How willing is the practice or organization to invest in your professional and professional development as a future leader? Does the senior leadership provide you with relevant information, guidance and feedback so you can excel?

If you hesitate to answer in the affirmative to any of these questions, maybe it’s time to reflect, react, re-energize and redirect your career.

About Steve

Steven Sacks is the CEO of Solutions to Results, LLC, a consultancy that specializes in helping individuals, firms and organizations meet the challenges of communicating with clarity and purpose. Visit his website at