During my many years at Cummins, I’ve worked in a variety of different roles, each presenting new responsibilities, challenges, and rewards. I’ve also been involved in a variety of transitions during my time of service to IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)—first as a volunteer leader within my local chapter and then moving on to leadership at the council, U.S., and, eventually, global levels.

Some of us may be experiencing significant transitions right now, in part due to forces in the profession that are beyond our control. Disruptive technologies are affecting many management accountants, particularly as digital advancements such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotic process automation change the skills employers demand most. These changes are impacting entry-level accountants to be sure, but they also have the potential to shake up even the most senior professionals.

Here are a few recommendations to help you with your transitions in life:

  • Be a realist. It’s best to face up to the reality of the situation rather than deny that change is occurring. That doesn’t mean being overly negative or pessimistic but rather having a realistic, honest perspective on what’s really happening. It’s only then that you can identify and pursue solutions to address the situation.
  • Assess your skills accurately. This is related to being a realist and involves taking an unflinching look at your own abilities and seeing how they may fit the situation at hand. If you find you’re falling short, consider taking steps to gain additional training and expand your capabilities. IMA’s CareerDriver® career management tool is an excellent way to assess your proficiencies, and it can help you develop a plan to close your skills gap.
  • Remember that it’s the process, not the people. It’s never productive to blame others when transitions are occurring. Usually the fault lies in a system or a process—things that are often out of our control. By focusing on the process instead of the people, you can manage through transitions more effectively while collaborating with others to solve the problems that surface during this time.


, IMA has many resources available to help members manage transitions. From continuing professional education products to online networking communities to opportunities to gain additional skills through serving in leadership roles, you can rely on IMA to be there for every step of your lifelong career journey.

I look forward to hearing your comments about this or any other topic at gwhite@imanet.org.

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