AICPA report: "You should never be here for lunch

That was the advice that Randie Dial (Clifton Gunderson) got from Jim Alerding the first year of his practice as an appraiser.  "And it's even important now.   When I started, we weren't hiring analysts out of college.   Now we are.   They need more coaching, and more mentoring."

"There's a rule of thumb that you need to check in with new staff as many hours as they have years experience--once an hour for first year, once every two hours in the second year," agreed Ron Seignuer. Whether or not that's accurate, the point is "you cannot leave new appraisers to fend for themselves."

"It worries me when a new staff person doesn't come in and ask me questions a lot, and challenge me," Neil Beaton concurred.   "If you don't see that characteristic, there's a good chance that person isn't going to make it in the practice."

Forming a BV network may not bring in new clients as quickly (though it helps), "but it's critical to becoming part of the next generation of  leaders," said Dial--citing his own career as evidence.  "I've got so much back from joining the committees, and speaking at the conferences."

And don't underestimate technology and professional development.  "Google and LinkedIn have barely 10 years in history, and now we can't live without either," said Seigneur.  "Technology is generally our friend, and though it never quite fulfills the promises that the vendors make, it's part of our practice going forward."