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Hollywood bigwigs have been busy defrosting a geriatric Sylvester Stallone ready for the latest instalment of the never-ending Rocky franchise, which is looming large on the box-office horizon.

While boxing and accountancy may be worlds apart (even if audit season can leave accountants feeling like they’ve done ten rounds with Mike Tyson), the films’ central message can serve as an important lesson for accountants in terms of career development. The film’s focus on the necessity of resilience should inspire accountants to get tough when things get hard at work – “It ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

Indeed, in the stories of many business leaders a one or even two-time failure is a blip that provides them with the motivation and grit to be extremely successful in their fields. However, in order to ultimately do this, they needed to demonstrate the resilience to be able to dust themselves off and try again. It is very important that professionals are open to learn from such situations, as highlighted by Matthew Syed in his exploration of how a desire to protect egos damages doctors’ ability to learn from their mistakes. 

In our experience, accountants are high achievers who set themselves lofty targets. As a consequence, many professionals’ confidence can be knocked somewhat by constructive criticism and setbacks experienced in the workplace. However, it is important that those hoping to advance within the industry maintain a positive mindset, and roll with the punches. While challenges in working lives may cause worry in the short-term, they can contribute tremendously to personal and professional development. 

The fruits of an accountant’s hard work and resilience may not suddenly appear after a three minute glamrock soundtracked montage, but the potential payoff from sticking in through tough times will definitely be worthwhile. 

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