The decisions you make in your 2nd Year PQE are absolutely critical; here's why.... by Barden

Qualified accountants typically move 3 times, either internally or externally, in their first 5 years PQE.  Fact. If you’re in your 2nd year post qualified you should be eyeing up your next move. Here’s a few tips to make sure you keep your options open:



  • Your role can move vertically(taking on a more senior role in the same team) OR horizontally (taking on more responsibility in your current role).
  • If a vertical move is on the table then…. well… your move is obvious…. get involved.
  • If there’s no vertical move available (which can often be the case) then it’s up to you to take control and ensure you make a horizontal move.  Volunteer to take on extra responsibilities, put your hand up to be a part of the next project team or even suggest projects/efficiencies to your manager along with a solution on how you are going to put them in play.
  • If you spend your 2nd year PQE doing the same thing as your 1st year PQE (even if it’s for more money), you’re going to be less competitive in the market place come that 5-year PQE mark.



  • It’s busy out there right now so if you aren’t satisfied by internal options there is ample opportunity to move externally for both vertical OR horizontal progression.
  • There are plenty of examples including Group Finance Manager (new team/energy sector), Group Financial Analyst (planning & analysis/medium sized Plc), Senior Financial Analyst (business partnering/up close and personal with the business), FP&A Leader (technology/company that’s going places), Financial Reporting Manager (step up for a strong accountant/large multinational) and much much more….
  • You can take your time, gather information on the market from a good recruiter (we know one ;-), be specific and bide your time until that ideal role crops up out there.  If you’re ambitious and you’re not satisfied by internal options, don’t settle.  Get curious.
  • It all starts with a conversation.  Drop us a message and let’s get the conversation started…


If you don’t move in your 2nd year PQE you’re going to fall behind your peer group.   Make the move calculated, make it in your best interests and don’t leave it too late….


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

Contact OR and our qualified accountant recruitment experts will arrange a time that suits you to start planing your future.


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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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