Life after qualification

Articles paper planes all directions

The opportunities are diverse and not everyone knows where they want their career to head, which is completely natural – after spending so much time focused on exams and the early part of your career, thoughts around your longer-term career aspirations tend to take a backseat.

If you are looking to explore new job opportunities once you have qualified, have a think about what sort of job you are looking for and what would motivate you. Now is the time to think about those longer-term career goals and where exactly you want to get to, and how.

The 'how' can be dealt with by making connections and expanding your network, which is essential whether you are looking for a new role once you qualify or not. Naturally, LinkedIn is a fine place to start. If you are looking to change jobs, then conduct a detailed search on LinkedIn for recruiters who recruit in the area you want to work in and whose focus is on the geographical location in which you want to work.

A good recruiter will not just launch into the jobs they feel are suitable for you but will also take the time to listen to your aspirations, offer advice and provide a tailored solution – whether you are looking for a job straightaway or not.

If you are not yet ready to make the plunge and start looking for a new role, LinkedIn is also a good place to read and share content and hear from others who have been in a similar situation to you in the past. It is also worth making the most of your own physical network – ie those you have worked with in the past, or friends and family who may be qualified accountants and have previously been at the same juncture in their lives. Their support and advice will prove invaluable, and making these connections will enable you to form a clearer idea of the sort of accounting career you want to pursue upon qualification.

Which sector?

Public practice offers challenging and rewarding work, with the opportunity to specialise your skill set, and develop your client and staff management skills. If you have qualified outside the Big Four, then adding one to your CV now can unlock a world of possibility within larger corporate organisations, and equally smaller firms offer considerable opportunities to specialise in both client work and advisory projects.

A career in banking brings with it attractive salaries and challenging environments for newly qualified accountants. Offering the opportunity to work alongside some of the best technical experts, the sector provides the infrastructure for career progression and mobility.

Commerce and industry is attractive as it offers the possibility of being at the heart of a business, maximising its commercial performance. This career path presents the chance to gain valuable commercial skills and work within multidisciplinary teams.

Candidates have plenty of opportunity to specialise further within tax, either through progression within professional services, or a move into a commercial in-house role within financial services or commerce and industry

Whatever you choose to do upon qualification, and whenever you choose to make the next move, the ACCA Qualification is a fantastic qualification that will open up many doors for you and allow you to follow various diverse career opportunities.

Thomas Wood, Morgan McKinley

This article was first published in the August 2019 edition of Student Accountant magazine

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