Siobhán Sexton ACA is a Senior Associate with Barden and is based in our Cork office. She is an expert in recently qualified accounting careers and recruitment. Having trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant Siobhán decided to move into recruitment. 5 years on she gives us an update on her journey and shares a few things she’s learned so far…
5 Years Ago
5 years ago this month, I made the move from tax in the Big 4 into accounting and finance recruitment with Barden. While of course there has been ups and downs, it has been one of my better decisions! When I told people at the start what I was doing, some definitely thought I was a bit mad by working hard for the ACA exams and then technically going into a role where I would rarely need a calculator or apply what I had learnt in the day-to-day. But I couldn’t imagine being in my role without having spent my 3 and a half years in KPMG, getting the training I did and completing the ACA exams.
Barden Dublin and a Move to Toronto
I learnt so much during those 3 and a half years, a lot of which I still use on a weekly basis when I am talking to candidates, especially chatting through the specifics of each role and doing interview preparation with them. I spent 18 months with Barden Dublin initially where I learnt so much from the team there. Then I was lucky enough to make the move to Toronto where I worked again in accounting and finance recruitment. That opportunity to work abroad and build on my experience in recruitment is something I will always be grateful for. I learnt so much during my time there and made friends for life!
6 Months Travelling & A Pandemic
I then spent 6 months travelling South-East Asia & South America where I learnt even more about myself and life in general. And then our friend Covid arrived! And who could have predicted the last 2 years? I started back with Barden Cork in March 2020, 3 years after my first step into the world of recruitment.
I’ve learnt a lot over the last 5 years. The calibre of companies I have worked with here in Cork, in Dublin and Toronto across accounting, tax and practice is something I don’t take for granted. I’ve had the chance to work and learn from some brilliant people to-date. And since returning to Cork, I’ve been given the opportunity to work closely with CASSI (Chartered Accountants Student Society Ireland) and CASSC (CASSI’s Cork branch), from presenting webinars to writing blogs for newly qualified accountants coming out of their training contracts in both practice and industry. I hope that these will help guide newly qualified accountants to what the next step might look like, whether it’s moving into a finance role or making the move into something else entirely, like I ended up doing.
Reflecting on the Last Two Years…
Over the last two years, I’ve spent more time at my own kitchen table than I had ever thought possible, just like a lot of others. But now I am writing this on a flight to London, to visit friends. I can work from there for a couple of days and make the most of the weekend, so I guess there are some good things to come out of the last 2 years! 😊
I think we’ve all learnt a lot over this time – about ourselves, our 9 to 5 (and often later than that) jobs, and our personal lives. If you feel like you’re not entirely enjoying your current role, that there might be something more out there, or are thinking of making a change (maybe even a move into recruitment!), please don’t hesitate to reach out for a chat. Hopefully over an in-person coffee!
I have learnt so much over the last 5 years and I continue to learn everyday – from my colleagues and friends in Barden, from our candidates and clients that I get to work with, and I have no doubt I will continue to learn every day over the next 5 years and beyond. Without sounding too cheesy, sometimes we have to feel the fear and do it anyway! You never know where you might end up!
Need help achieving your ambitions?
Are you an accounting or tax professional looking for help in achieving your ambitions? If so get in touch with Siobhán at firstname.lastname@example.org, who is ready with lots of CV, LinkedIn, interview and career advice along with cutting edge market insights.