#7 Sometimes Something’s Gotta Give!

You’ve spent the last 3-4 years working late nights and long hours in a pressurised environment and now the time has come – you’re making your move to industry, Congratulations!

We’re sure you have spent some time thinking about your dream job; it’s located 5 minutes from your house, in the Irish PLC you’ve always wanted to work for, in a Commercial Finance Business Partnering role, working no more than 35 hours per week and you’re getting paid €60,000 with a 25% bonus and 30 days annual leave. 

There are loads of those roles out there, right? Wrong!

Unfortunately, there are only very few (if any!) newly qualified accountants who walk straight into their dream job directly from practice. You are still relatively early on in your career, so there are a few more rungs on the ladder to climb first before you can have it all. When looking for your first industry role, you will have to prioritise the things that are most important to you at this stage in your career, thus compromising on other factors. 

Let us take you through the main considerations… 

#1 Role & Company   

In this series of articles, we have already discussed the main types of roles that are available to newly qualified accountants (see here) and the different organisational structures (see here). If you are intent on joining a Group Finance team – then let this  drive your search. It’s likely you will be targeting the Irish PLCs and the companies who have their Headquarters in Ireland. Most of these types of organisations nurture and develop their talent from within, so an initial Financial Accountant role in one of these finance teams can quickly progress to something more commercial once you’ve learned how the business works. 

#2 Culture 

If your dream is to lounge on beanbags during your breaks, have unlimited annual leave days and get all the free food you can consume, there are only certain companies that offer this to their employees; generally speaking, it’s the large MNC tech companies. As discussed here, this is likely to force you to compromise on the type of role you will get, as the majority of these MNCs have their shared service centres in Ireland. Your role is likely to be month-end heavy, with little to no commercial aspects; that’s the trade-off for beanbags and jelly beans!

#3 Location  

Some people are willing to commute up to an hour, whereas others prefer the extra 40 minutes in bed in the morning! Location of your next role is a straightforward one to consider as it generally depends on 2 factors:

  1. Where is accessible for me to travel to?
  2. How long do I want my commute to be?

If you live in Ballsbridge and only want to walk to work, but don’t want your commute to be more than 10 minutes, well you have essentially limited your search area for your next role to organisations in the south side of the city centre region. 

However, if you expand your commute time to 30 minutes and include the option to cycle or use public transport, you have expanded your search area to both sides of the city centre and the greater South Dublin region – where there are numerous business parks. Thus, there will be more roles and organisations for you to consider for the next step in your career. 

#4 Reward Package   

The market rate for newly qualified accountants in Dublin is around a €55,000 base salary plus a package. Generally speaking, there is no ‘standard package’; packages vary company to company and will include a mix/all of bonus, healthcare, pension, annual leave and sometimes a few added extras. Your recruiter should be able to inform you about the package on offer from the company you are interested in applying to BEFORE you decide to go forward for the role or not.

Demanding a higher salary than the client is willing to pay from the outset, or indeed later in the process, is not a smart move – you risk pricing yourself out of the market compared to your peers. A lot of businesses, particularly start-ups, are not in a position to offer market rate salaries, so a little bit of compromise is essential in these situations. However, in return, a role in a start-up business often has more commercial aspects, variety and long-term opportunity than that in a larger business. 

You might be lucky and your next role might tick all of the boxes on your “Dream Job” list! But it is worth mulling over these couple of points and jotting them down in order of priority for you. This ensures your next role is giving you what you really want right now and leading you towards getting everything you want in the future!


Not only are most of our recently qualified accountant recruitment team in Barden (meet our team) accountants just like you, we have all been trained in the Barden Career Model (TM).  This unusual blend of experience, knowledge and training allows us to provide a different type of recruitment service!

Contact dublin@barden.ie OR cork@barden.ie and our recently qualified accountant recruitment experts will arrange a time that suits you to start planing your future.

(Got another question?  Need a steer to keep you on the right track?  Check out the Barden Newly Qualified Accountant Career Guide right here>>>)

At Barden we invest our resources to bring you the very best insights on all things to do with your professional future. Got a topic you would like us to research? Got an insight you would like us to share with our audience? Drop us a note to hello@barden.ie and we will take it from there!

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At Barden we invest our resources to bring you the very best insights on all things to do with your professional future.
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