Finding the perfect job

content telescope space stars

After years of hard work and dedication, becoming a qualified finance professional will be an exciting accomplishment. The next step will be to find the perfect job in the perfect industry that aligns with your skills, interests and aspirations.

While the job market can be competitive, with the right approach and mindset, you can increase your chances of securing an ideal position. So, what practical steps and strategies can help you navigate the job search process and find a fulfilling career that matches your qualifications?

Cash is not king

The first important thing to remember is that it isn’t all about money.

‘Although salary remains an important factor for applicants, our Michael Page Pulse data indicates that job seekers prioritise a range of other perks and benefits,’ says Rachel Campbell, managing director at Page Personnel, part of FTSE 250 PageGroup.

Among those other benefits, she continues, are: ‘Achieving a good work-life balance, having opportunities for career progression, and the expectation of flexible and remote work options are consistently at the top of the list,’

Michael Page’s recent Talent Trends research shows that 60% of workers ranked a good work-life balance as being a key factor in their job satisfaction. Competitive salaries (43%), positive relationships with co-workers (40%) and hybrid/flexible working arrangements (34%) also contributed significantly to people’s happiness at work.

Elliot Sayers, an accounts trainee at McBrides LLP, agrees.

‘What I look for, and what I am hearing more and more in my social circle, is people are looking for a good work-life balance,’ he says. ‘And I think, ever since the pandemic, this is becoming more important to a lot of people. People are re-adjusting their priorities and want to work for an employer who allows them to have a healthy work-life balance.’

A moral fit

Finding a job that aligns with a candidate’s beliefs, passions and interests is equally important, adds Campbell: ‘Not only will this bring more personal fulfilment, but it can also enhance their professional performance by keeping them engaged and curious about their work.’

And Sayers vocalises the evolving passions of the workforce in 2023, particularly Gen Z.

‘ESG and CSR credentials are definitely becoming more important,’ he says. ‘With climate change being a huge issue, which is dominating the news, people want to do their part to help, whether that’s cutting down on their emissions, recycling or a range of other things you as an individual can to do to help become more sustainable.

Search hundreds of roles from all over the world on ACCA Careers

Sign up for a job alert tailored to your desired location and role

‘That also translates to employers, where people want to work for companies that are actively working to become more sustainable. Many people my age are also very aware of social issues and would like to work for employers who give back to society, such as raising money for charities, or providing opportunities for employees to do some volunteering work.’

When looking for the perfect job, it is equally important to identify boundaries and dislikes, which can be transformed into a personal set of red lines. The answers to the questions in the following box should help narrow down the options for the type of career you really want and make it easier to identify if a job will be right for you.

As an applicant, it’s crucial to take some time to reflect on what you genuinely want from a job and an employer.

Consider the following questions:

  • What are you passionate about?
  • What are your long-term life goals and does this role align with them?
  • Is flexible working a deal breaker?
  • How far are you willing to commute?
  • What kind of company culture are you looking for?
  • Is career progression a priority for you?
  • What company benefits are important to you?

Get out there in person and virtually

Don’t underestimate the importance of networking while looking for the perfect job. Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, start researching industries and companies that match your criteria. Attend industry events, join professional associations and connect with individuals who are working in your desired field. Networking can help you uncover hidden job opportunities, gain industry knowledge and establish meaningful connections that can lead to job referrals.

In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is also crucial for job seekers. Create or update your professional profiles on platforms like LinkedIn, ensuring that they showcase your qualifications and achievements. Use keywords related to your industry throughout your profiles to increase visibility.

Finding the perfect job in the perfect industry after qualifying requires a proactive and strategic approach. But by taking a pragmatic and holistic approach, you can help secure a fulfilling career in your chosen field.

Author: Beth Holmes, writer

More information

This article was first published in Student Accountant in July 2023Get the SA app now

Back to listing