Passed Your ACCA Exams? Congrats! Now, definitely DON’T...... by Barden

Superb. Well done. A massive achievement. A milestone in your professional career. And a great night out in celebration ahead!

But guess what? This is only the beginning. You have earned your stripes but you have many more years ahead of you than you have behind. The next few years will be critical. Over the next while there are some things that you should definitely not do:

#1 Don’t take your foot of the accelerator – it’s easy to get left behind  

So much work and so much effort – you’re definitely due a break. So take one – use some holidays to kick back or let some steam out on a long weekend – but then, get back on it.

For two reasons – the glory of passing your exams, while excellent, needs to be reinforced by solid work – so keep on track with work and the day to day stuff. Secondly, if you are looking to post exams (which anybody who has just passed their exams should be, at least, considering) this is your time.

#2 Don’t let opportunities pass you by – the early bird catches the worm!  

Equally, if you’re considering changing your role, don’t think ‘oh there will be plenty more roles, I’m going to take my time’. You’re right in one sense – accountants are in demand so there will be a selection of roles, but finding the ‘right’ role for you might dramatically narrow your options.

Everyone has different requirements and strengths, so once you find a role that ticks your boxes, give it your all. Don’t wait too long thinking that something else will come along that may be better (FOMO:) – in most cases, the in-demand roles with the companies everyone wants to work for will be filled first – and you don’t want other people’s ‘leftovers’.

#3 Don’t assume you’ll continue to develop in your current role – you may have reached your ceiling

Don’t use your current role as a comfort blanket. Unless you want to become a Finance Manager or CFO in your current department or firm, staying in the same department or firm will not provide you with the comparative experience you will gain externally, and when you do decide to move, you may find that your extra 6-12 months you stayed doesn’t command you any premium or advantage over others.

Some will tell you to stay, and will likely promise you promotions. The lure of becoming a manager may sound appealing (why not stay, and then move?) but remember when you do look externally, be it in another practice or industry, how will you compare with others who already have more varied experience. Don’t make the mistake of putting your career on hold for one more busy season.  Now is the best time to act.

The key takeaway here is that you need to act with purpose and clarity after passing your exams to discover your options and snag the best roles. Not for one second are we suggesting you should rush into the first role that is presented to you – by any means – but what we are suggesting is you act in the window of opportunity. List out what you’re looking for and seriously consider those roles that tick most, if not all, of the boxes!

Exciting times ahead.


Get In Touch

If you’re a considering your next steps or starting to plan your professional future talk to Dale Amond, Senior Associate, on our Part Qualified Accountant team in Dublin.




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