Practice or industry? This is the vital career decision most newly-qualified accountants face as demand increases for their skills. Newly-qualified accountants are often keen to explore the opportunities available to them after qualifying, so we invited James Hilton, Finance Director at FTSE 250 recruitment expert Hays to speak to a group of part and recently-qualified ACAs about his own career and the pros and cons of each career route. Below are his top five tips:
- Know why you are moving- Once you’re qualified think about the experience you want to get and where that can take you, as what might seem appealing now could limit your future career choices. Think long term. The job market for newly qualified accountants is on the move and there is more opportunity than has been for a number of years; and whilst this is set to continue improving, don’t just move for the sake of it. Think about why you’re moving.
- Broaden your horizons- Right now is the best time to get as much different experience as possible, it keeps your career options open, and makes for a well-rounded individual who understands what it takes across the business not just in one area.
- Research- There are a number of different routes on offer to a newly qualified accountant, research what is on offer, check out what salaries are available in each, what skills are required and go after what you think suits you.
- Get talking- Research isn’t just online. Talk to as many people as possible to help make your decision; from your peers and colleagues to the institute, to recruitment consultants, everyone will have a different angle of looking at this decision and be able to advise your accordingly, till you have this 360 view you’ll never truly understand all the opportunities and what they can offer.
- Prepare now- If you really want to stand out start preparing now for that next role, have your CV ready, keep up to date on news, be clear what your strengths are, and not the night before an interview!
For newly qualified accountants, the dilemma they are faced with, and the decision they must make, will help shape the rest of their career in finance and business. For more information on future proofing your career, and to hear both sides of the business and practice debate join our webinar Qualifying in Finance: A World of Opportunities on 23rd April.