Five inspiring career tips for new members

Professional Development Careers
By Lesley Stewart, CA Today

20 March 2017

You've achieved your hard earned CA qualification and you're embarking on an exciting journey. So what's next? Here's our top five tips for climbing to the top. 

Your professional journey has admitted you into an exclusive profession and this is an exciting chapter in your career. You know that it's time to take your career to the next level and setting goals for the future has never been more important.

For our newly qualified members this may seem like a daunting task, but don’t worry - help is at hand. Here are some tools and guidance on how to how to plan the next steps and achieve your career aspirations.

1. Set a goal

The first stage in achieving your career aspirations is defining what success looks like for you. Is it a move to business or practice, are you an aspiring entrepreneur, or do you see CFO in your future? Goal setting is essential for developing a clear vision for your future, and discovering what you need to do (and what you need to stop doing) to achieve your ambitions. It'll help you work out realistic time lines and set short term targets.  Document these objectives, develop a practical strategy to achieve them, and then plan what actions you need to take.

2. Create a strategy

As a CA you’ve worked extremely hard already to gain an internationally recognised and much respected qualification, and you have the professional expertise to succeed in any path you choose. Stay motivated, and build an action plan for the future. You are accountable for your own success - so aim high! Take your first-class business skills and apply them to making your career thrive.

We have a professional development offering that will help you create a careers strategy, a range of training courses and specialist programmes to help you build on your skill set, and mentoring support available exclusively for you as a CA to help you realise your potential. And there’s a host of careers focussed content to keep you motivated, and CA Jobs for the latest career opportunities.

3. Amplify your skills

When you think about achieving career success, you need to think outside the box. Keeping up-to-date technically is one area where you'll be expected to be professional adept, and attaining new skills and applying new concepts are an absolute necessity for a CA. 

But also take time to focus on the non-technical elements. Focus on skills such as communication, emotional intelligence and adaptability - these are just as likely to get you noticed, if not more so. "Communication is the most important any leader can possess", says entrepreneur and all-round business guru Richard Branson.

If you're looking for skills that will set you apart from the crowd, speak to us. ICAS and training partners BPP are offering a new package, exclusive to newly qualified CAs: a specially selected and extensive online course pack free for newly admitted members, and 50% off your first face-to-face training course.* We also have free resources such as webinars and video updates for quick and easy development.

4. Career mentoring for CA gold dust

Chances are you're at the crucial point in your career where professional guidance could help you with creating a vision for your future. The advice from a fellow CA could prove to be the catalyst that will change your career for the better, allow you to set goals with long-term vision, and provide motivation to aim high. The ICAS Career Mentoring Programme is virtual and global, and will connect you with fellow CAs who can give you focussed advice - gold dust for new members.

Mentoring has challenged me to think about the things that matter in my career. Alexandra Black, CA

5. Build a professional network

Update your LinkedIn profile with your newly achieved CA designation, attend events and conferences, make influential connections, and expand your sphere of influence. Make sure you do your homework in advance and look prepared. Ask for a list of event attendees and highlight the people you want to make a connection with -  and have a list of insightful questions at the ready. 

And make the most of your new ICAS membership and connect with us. We have a knowledgeable team on hand, and we'll be there at the 2017 Admissions Ceremony – come and say hello to the Professional Development team.

You can also chat to us on Twitter or contact us at

* To book your first face-to-face course you can either email or call 0330 060 3303, quoting your ICAS membership number and code “PDICASNEW”. The BPP online course pack is subject to BPP Terms and Conditions. You must be an ICAS member to take advantage of this offer.


  • Career mentoring
  • Leadership and management
  • CA life

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