Over the last few weeks I have received lots of queries from recently qualified/soon to be qualified tax consultants who are considering their options on how to progress their careers in tax.
As a qualified tax consultant, I am more than aware of how daunting it can be when your training contract is coming to an end and you realise that you are now in control of your career. While you are in a great position and have lots of options open to you – how do you decide what is the best route for you?
Firstly, you need to think about whether you really want a change; it can be easy to get caught up in what others in your intake are doing – perhaps they want to leave their training firm but maybe you are enjoying your role and would like to progress your career in practice. There are excellent opportunities to grow and develop in practice so it is important to be open to this. It may also be the case that you enjoy practice, but want to develop in a new area – explore options in different departments in your firm, a move from Employment Taxes to Corporate Tax or (vice-versa) may open up more options for you down the line.
Of course there are also options to move to a new practice, sometimes it can be refreshing to join a new team and see things from a different perspective. If you did not specialise in one particular tax head in your training firm maybe you would like to now specialise in a larger firm or maybe a broader tax role is more appealing.
Another interesting option for tax consultants is in-house. Many tax consultants are keen to move into a Tax Accountant/Tax Manager role in industry where they can get involved in business strategies and develop an understanding of the importance of tax planning first hand. These roles will vary depending on the company size and structure. Most in-house tax positions are in large multinational companies, often these roles will be quite specific – either corporate tax/VAT/employment tax. Recently we have seen an increase in the number of tax manager positions in large indigenous companies. These roles are often much broader and the tax manager is likely to have responsibility for all tax heads and be very involved in advising on the tax implications of company transactions.
And sometimes you just need a break…after 3-4 years of working hard and studying for what feels like an endless number of exams a lot of people (including myself!!) choose to take a break and go travelling. The natural break after your training contract can be a good time to do this to take an extended holiday or maybe gain international tax experience! When you do return you will be available immediately to start in a new role with a fresh perspective!
If you are interested in chatting further about how to progress your career in tax or would like some general advice about your job search including CV preparation, updating your LinkedIn profile, interview preparation tips and how to identify the best role for you, please do feel free to contact me.