Are you a part qualified accountant and planning your professional future? If so, then this is the perfect blog series for you. Over the next few weeks we’ll share some excellent insights from the Barden Part Qualified Career Guide, which will help you plan and navigate your professional career.
Next Up…Meet One Accountant Who Made Change Happen…
You make your own luck, as the saying goes, and Siobhán McCarthy is a perfect example.
Siobhán McCarthy is a Group Financial Accountant with Peninsula Petroleum. She started her accounting career with a practice firm in Dublin. During her time there she decided she wanted a change and worked with Barden Accounting & Tax, who helped her make the big leap from practice to industry, mid training contract.
Here she talks with Barden about that experience…
Starting out Siobhán’s work in practice followed the traditional practice career. “I worked mainly on the audit side of things, and more specifically in industry audit. The breadth of the practice’s client base enabled me to work with lots of different clients, which was a great thing.”
During her time in practice, Siobhán was lucky to gain excellent experience and had exposure to a variety of tasks and projects. “There was great variety, you could be placed on a big client job, or a smaller one where you were literally given a tin of receipts. I also gained experience in accounts preparation with clients, which covered lots of different aspects. This experience definitely helped when it came to making the move to industry, as I had the best of both worlds – audit and prep.”
Really? You Can Switch Mid-Training Contract?
For a lot of people in a training contract, the thought of switching mid training contract often doesn’t even cross their mind, and initially Siobhán was no different. “There is a perception out there that people don’t leave, or switch, companies during their training contract. Although I was happy in practice, I wanted more and a different experience.”
Siobhán saw some members of her team make the move and decided that the time had come for her to broaden her experience also. “It was a difficult decision to make, especially as everyone says not to do it, or that it can’t be done! However, once I had made the decision a weight lifted off my shoulders. I knew then that it was the right decision for me. It was a leap of faith, but it was so worth it.”
Once the Decision was Made…
So, with the decision made, what were the challenges that Siobhán faced? “To be honest one of the hardest parts was getting myself in gear and writing my CV. That took me so long to do. I also updated my LinkedIn status to “looking for opportunities” so that recruiters and companies knew I was available.”
The job search took time, with Siobhan even referring to it as a “full-time job”. What was key to Siobhán was that she understood the merit and saw the value in getting advice and support from an expert. From someone who understood the market, what she was looking for and how best to align and achieve these. “I spoke to 4 or 5 different recruiters, many of who didn’t even get back to me. Most of them also told me that it looks really bad to leave the company mid training contract. Those who I did speak to didn’t give me a sense of confidence…not very encouraging at all.” However, having met with Barden, Siobhán found that they were “the only ones who kept in contact with me, didn’t fob me off, and supported me.”
Now She’s Made the Move…
Having made the move, Siobhán has already seen the positive impact on her career. “I’m responsible for a number of different companies and work mainly by myself. However, I have to link in with other teams from time to time. I also deal directly with the management team, which is great, and we have a great relationship too. It’s a very flat structure in here. We’re colleagues, we’re not employees.”
Not only that but there’s been an immediate and positive impact on Siobhán’s day to day life… “I am also seeing opportunities to develop and advance. I spoke with my manager and said I’d like to get involved in other aspects, such as cost of sales and consolidation, and they fully support that, which is great.”
Need help achieving your ambitions?
Are you a part qualified accounting professional looking for help in achieving your ambitions? If so get in touch with our expert team today at firstname.lastname@example.org. They’re ready with lots of CV, LinkedIn, interview and career advice, along with cutting edge market insights to help you achieve your ambitions.