By Rob Starr, Content Manager Big4.com
Alisa Cohn, a CPA and PwC alum, is an executive coach based in New York
City who helps executives and other professionals become more successful. She took some time recently to talk with us about time management techniques for Big4 career-minded individuals.
“The most important thing about time management to have a productive day, and therefore a productive week and career is to start by putting first things first,” she says adding the whole concept can be difficult because it requires some thought to sort through what needs to be done. And there’s always procrastination Cohn says further explaining why career-minded people need to learn about this critical aspect of the time management process.
“There’s two things to making sure you get those things done first. First of all, it really helps
you to accomplish the critical things that are really going to help you move the needle and make a difference for you and your career.”
The second reason is more physical in nature.
“Time management tickles the brain chemicals that help you feel euphoria and a sense of accomplishment,” she says, “because you realize that no matter what else happens, you got the most important things done that day.”
Prioritization is one of the focal points for professionals and executives who want to make sure to identify what those critical items are and accomplish them at least most of the time. There’s also a need to step back and decide what’s strategic as you move forward on a career path.
It’s important to look beyond the workload to see if the process works, if in fact you’re doing the right things like engaging the proper stakeholders. Cohn stresses that Big4 firms and all of corporate America is looking for their managers and leaders to be more strategic adding that networking falls under that umbrella as well.
“That’s important to keep abreast of priorities and culture and what’s top of mind with the senior people so you can make sure you’re adding value,” she says. “But also over time, good networking helps you to influence them and get their support by virtue of your relationship with them.”
Sense Of Community
Cohn also says that networking allows you to have a sense of community at work and a feeling of being connected and involved that can save you from burnout. We also touched on the need for delegating and how important that technique is so you’ll be prepared to take advantage of opportunities as they come along.
“Younger professionals in the Big4 are rewarded on how much they can produce, but as you move up the ladder in your career, it’s much more important to get work done through others,” she says adding that necessitates the need to develop delegation skills. It’s also important to build a team that can include interns and administrative support and to play to one level up as your career progresses.