Work for free and build your career!
No, that’s not a shady classified come-on. It’s a genuine career development strategy that advances women in public accounting, outlined in depth in the 2012 Accounting MOVE Project Report: Building Careers and Communities: How Strategic Community Service Advances Women in Public Accounting.
Here are some highlights of the report, which was designed and managed by my firm, Wilson-Taylor Associates, Inc.:
- 79% of accounting firms encourage employees to join nonprofit boards as a way to gain professional skills
- 71% of firms offer leadership training through volunteer programs they support
But here’s the missing link: firms rarely tie nonprofit service back to firm growth goals or even to talent development strategy. At most firms, employees are on their own: sure, volunteer, climb through committees to a board, and we’ll even give you paid time off to do it…but it’s up to you to figure out exactly what skills you need to get and how to integrate them into your career path.
Future posts will outline winning strategies for integrating community service with professional development.