Financial Executives: It’s a New Year for Resolutions

The impending new year presents a perfect opportunity for financial executives to take stock of their management efforts and careers and make plans for 2015. This annual passage often serves to refocus one’s energies and aspirations.

Following are five New Year’s resolutions to consider.

1. Boost your team.

Staff management should be an ongoing priority, but look for ways to hone your efforts. Ensure your employees enjoy access to professional development programs, feel appreciated for their hard work and collaborate effectively with other business units.

You also can take this time to identify your hiring needs and how you can improve retention rates. With the majority of CFOs experiencing difficulty finding skilled job candidates, executives must proactively develop and manage their teams. Strong compensation packages, of course, will be one of the keys to your ability to attract and hang on to top performers.

2. Get a jump on continuing education.

Don’t wait until the clock is running out to meet continuing professional education (CPE) requirements. The sooner you earn the needed credits, the sooner you can start applying new knowledge.

Pursuing professional education tends to have a revitalizing effect, making it an ideal undertaking for a new year. You’ll also be able to point to your CPE efforts when it’s time for your annual performance review or salary discussion and set the desired example for your team.

3. Seize opportunities.

Resolve to create your own opportunities for greater professional responsibility and visibility in the new year. Look for initiatives your organization has wanted to tackle but hasn’t because no one has had the time, desire or courage to take them on. In the process, you can gain the recognition you need to advance your career.

4. Foster your network.

Networking is always important, no matter how solid your career may seem. Financial executives with strong networks can use their outreach for business development and enhance their reputation as industry experts.

With tools such as LinkedIn and Twitter, it’s easy to stay in touch with your contacts. But don't stop there. Also participate in professional groups and in-person conferences.

5. Consider the future.

Most financial executives have so much on their plate it’s hard to find time to contemplate their career trajectory. It’s essential, though, to consider where you want to be professionally, not just in the next year but also in the next five or 10 years.

Try to find time for a professional retreat of sorts. Maybe it’s just a dedicated weekend or period of time for reading, reflection and networking to feed your mind and gain inspiration.

Take stock of whether you’re putting the building blocks in place to achieve your goals, whether they consist of making partner at your firm, landing a lucrative CFO position or transitioning into retirement. Are you laying the proper groundwork? If not, initiate the necessary changes to get on track.

What management or career resolutions are you making for the year ahead?