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Expert career guidance for newly qualified accountants, from qualified accountants

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3 Mins Read | 18-10-2021
Submitted by Harry Double on Mon, 10/18/2021 - 08:58
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We recently hosted the 8th edition of our Life After Qualification series. This time, we delved into the different avenues your career can take as a Newly Qualified Accountant - either into practice, into industry or specialising within tax. You can watch the webinar recording here.

Below are the thoughts and views of the expert speakers from that event - Charlotte Ellis, Puvishan Rathakrishnan and Michael Dwyer.

Figuring out your next step as a Newly Qual...

  • An interesting decision upon qualification is to think about what kind of organisation you really want to spend your time with. Are you looking for a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment? Or a more stable and structured one?
  • Don’t be too set on having a clear career ladder mapped out. That concept is not really the norm any more - your professional journey is more thought of as a rollercoaster with ups, downs and even some loops. It can sometimes be scary, is likely to be exhilarating, and most of all, it will be a lot of fun.
  • The most important step to take is to figure out what it is exactly that you like doing both technically and within the organisation. If you are open about what the next step in your career could be, speaking to recruiters is an invaluable opportunity to learn more about the options available to you. 
  • Many people feel that they should look to move out of the Profession when qualifying. However, it is important to remember that working in the Profession (in an Accountancy Practice) is not for everyone - when you’re deciding which firm or role to take, think about what matters to you as that should shape your decision. Be honest with yourself about what your skills really are and what you want to do, and you’ll gravitate towards a job that is the right fit for you.

What to look for in your next role and from your employer…

  • Is it an organisation which you can align with in terms of values?
  • Analyse how people come across in your interviews - do they convey their ideas for the company, the role and the team? This should give you an accurate idea of the type of culture you will be becoming a part of.
  • Across all the large Accounting firms, Top 20 in the UK, all broadly offer the same services to clients; it's how they get there that’s different. Culture, hours, types of client really comes into it, even the way they interview will put you through your paces in different ways.
  • There are a number of key things to consider when choosing between potential offers: Team, salary, culture, flexibility, company’s ambitions and willingness to innovate all play a part in the decision making process
  • Staying in Practice offers a great variety of work. Many qualified accountants are likely to have the opportunity to get involved in ad hoc advisory projects. You can essentially have a totally new job every few years and have great exposure to work with other people (clients and colleagues).
  • If you want to fast track your career and be exposed to challenging, yet exciting, projects where there is less of a glass ceiling, then a move into a less regulated environment could be the best move.

Keep an eye out for the next of our Life After Qualification events in the near future!

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