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How to Develop Consistency as a Skill


It’s sometimes hard to get noticed when you are at a firm. Certainly, much depends on firm culture, but that’s not all of it. Other factors include:

  • Where you are in the firm’s pecking order: Are you a staff accountant or a manager?
  • Are you new to your firm?
  • Do you feel recognized or overlooked?
  • Have you developed special skills in one of the firm’s core niche or service areas?

Whatever your circumstances, you may be scrambling to find a way to distinguish yourself and show your value so others think of you when it comes to interesting projects and training programs.

Here’s something to think about: be consistent. In the quality of your work. In your reliability. In completing the tasks you commit to.

Consistency can be learned

You can argue that consistency is a trait and not a skill, and there are some aspects of it that are. But if you view consistency as always getting your work done before the deadline, volunteering for new projects, attending optional trainings or being part of extracurricular activities like charity days, it becomes a skill that you can learn and become good at. It’s a lot like developing a good habit.

That means you need to be aware of what is going on at your firm—watching to see whether a new niche is being developed, the types of training that is being offered, etc.

Perhaps the most important aspect for you, though, is that this consistency allows you to enhance your technical competence and develop better interpersonal skills. These are the kinds of talents that become part of you—and part of your résumé.

Consistency gets people’s attention

Over time, as others at the firm realize how consistent and reliable you are, these activities get you noticed. Along the way, you may even find a more efficient process or new procedure for doing something that adds firm-wide value and is sure to get you noticed.

Getting your work assignments done on time and to the best of your ability is simply a given. It’s part of your job. There is something to look out for, though: you definitely don’t want to become the dumping ground for jobs no one else wants to do. Which makes learning how to navigate the skill of knowing how and when and to say “no” quite important.

Navigating the more intuitive part of what it means to be consistent is more challenging. Sometimes you have to do the grunt work, especially if you are low man on the totem pole. And don’t forget to pay attention to the details. People may not notice when you do, but they sure do notice when you don’t.

Maintaining consistency is a skill too

Volunteering to be part of new initiatives, work-related or extracurricular, is where the value in consistency can work to your benefit. Taking charge of some aspect of the effort shows leadership. But be careful: don’t over-commit yourself to the point where it affects your consistency and reliability. That means considering your workload (especially during busy season) as well as any personal obligations.

You need to assess how to balance all of this with new, more difficult work. You need to be learning to grow professionally, but you also need to understand your strengths and weaknesses so you aren’t overwhelmed.

The important thing about showing consistency is being consistent. That’s not a typo. It’s a rule to live by.