Five habits to improve your professional life

Abstract photo of using mobile technology
By Eleanor O'Neill, Professional Development

10 July 2017

Small changes to behaviour and routine can ripple out to make a big difference in your daily life. Here are five things you should be doing to boost your performance and mood at work.

1. Think of future potential

Even if you're in your dream job, it can be highly beneficial to think of the work you are focused on now as a stepping block to the next great opportunity of your career. Always be on the lookout for ways to innovate and improve what you are doing. 

Think in terms of building an impressive portfolio that could open doors for your career progression, both internally and externally. Similarly, it is important to recognise that professional networking is valuable outside of job-seeking or client acquisition. 

Establishing good contacts in your industry and even improving those within your organisation offers the chance to meet mentors, gain a broader insight on professional issues and find like-minded peers. Refresh your skills with our top tips for networking and be sure to take advantage of the CA community available to you.

2. Say 'yes' more often

This doesn't necessarily mean taking on more work. Rather, having an open mind to positivity will help you recognise opportunities and expand professional horizons. A growth mindset allows you more easily identify learning outcomes from professional challenges and obtain a higher level of excellence in your work.

Time is no doubt a precious commodity in your daily working life but that shouldn't be a blocker to developing your skills. Keep abreast of courses, seminars and events that may boost your career and make the commitment to attend.

3. Keep informed

Industry knowledge is a key component of staying at the forefront of your field and the developments wherein. Reading industry publications is an easy and convenient way to maintain an awareness of the biggest issues and competition facing your organisation. Review the latest news from your profession at your leisure on at least a weekly basis.

CA Today and the range of ICAS digital magazines (CA TaxCA Financial ServicesCA Australia and CA North America) make these insights easily accessible to CAs.

4. Acknowledge successes

Recording and communicating your achievements is important for the purposes of self-reflection and awareness of your value as a professional. A regularly updated list of your successes, big and small, is valuable for both your own goal setting and for wider recognition in your organisation.

Be proactive in self-promotion and broadcast your work to an engaged and influential audience. Social media is a great channel for professional use when utilised appropriately. Consider the online course 'The 21st Century workplace: Managing social media use' offered by BPP and ICAS.

5. Have a life outside of work

Making good lifestyle choices with regards to diet, exercise and routine will improve your mood and wellbeing across the board. The positive impact that a healthy and mindful attitude can have in your professional life should not be underestimated.

Taking the time away from work to be social, indulge in a hobby or simply enjoy a relaxing weekend at home will let you return to work refreshed with a more engaged and optimistic outlook.


  • Career development
  • Career mentoring
  • In-house training

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