Gaining a Professional Accountancy Qualification whilst juggling a busy work schedule can be a real challenge for most aspiring Accountants. These exams are difficult that’s why reaching the strategic or professional level of the exams can feel like a real milestone, and it is something you should be proud of! The likelihood is that there has perhaps been a lot of blood, sweat and definitely a few tears involved.
Having specialised in the Part Qualified market for over five years I have frequently come across candidates, who at this stage are now feeling stuck and are facing the tricky decision of, should they stay in their current role, or should they move on? At this point in your career it is crucial to get the right experience and exposure in your role. Should you make a move at this point it will likely have a significant impact in the shape of the next five years. So, what do you do? Here are my top three things to consider when faced with this decision.
How much exposure are you getting in your current job?
It is important to gain an understanding of process driven work but there should also be a clear development plan to support you with your qualification. Consider the journey your employer is on and what the future may be; will there be opportunities to pick up additional responsibility? These extra responsibilities could help coincide with the practical requirements with your qualification. What about the size of the team, how is it made up and what is the dynamic? Sometimes having someone immediately above you can be good for development as you can bounce ideas off them and support one another.
Do you have a mentor that can help you develop and sign off your experience?
At this stage in your career is it key to be mentored by a qualified accountant who can support and guide with exams and practical experience. You don’t want to be taking on too much responsibility, too soon and without the correct guidance. Doing so could cause bad habits and create gaps in your experience. A good mentor will be different for everyone and what might work for others may not work for you.
Why should you move now - What do you feel is missing from your current role?
Gaining a variety of experience at any stage of your career is valuable, because you will improve your skillset and enhance your knowledge in different areas. You may feel like you have mastered your current role and are doing a really good job, but what are the new opportunities to develop? Staying in a role because it is comfortable, can have an adverse effect on your progression.
If you are satisfied that you have explored all of your current options, then it is not a bad idea to look externally - factoring in what is missing when you are looking for your next opportunity. On balance, if you are in a training contract at any stage, the likelihood is that you are in a really strong position to shape your career in the right direction. The career choices that you can make at this stage however could have a really positive impact on the trajectory of your career.
So, Stick or Twist? It’s a decision that you should always give due consideration to.
If you would like to have a confidential discussion regarding your career and how I and the team at iMultiply might be able to help, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me, Andrew Robinson on 0131 603 7747 or firstname.lastname@example.org