The huge changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic here at home and overseas have thrown the plans of many newly qualified Accountants up in the air.
Many that were overseas have come back, many planning to go overseas have changed their minds, and a slower New Zealand economy means less roles on offer here at home. All in all, a lot of Big 4 first movers are wondering what is next for their career plans and how can they keep moving forward.
If this sounds like you, below are my tips to help you navigate your options in an unpredictable market.
Think longer-term – but be flexible
Your first move into industry will probably not be your last move. So, assess the current picture and think about where you see yourself in five years’ time: Are you within an organisation that can support your plans? Can you grow further? If not, what can you do to ensure you are on the right trajectory? What are your hopes beyond this timeframe?
Having a plan helps you to stay on track and it will provide a really useful barometer for assessing opportunities as they arise.
At times like this though with less roles being available, it does pay to be open to options that might see you deviate from your plan.
Expand your search
Don’t get too fixated on industry. Although you may have audited or worked on a certain portfolio in your current role, this does not mean that you cannot quickly learn another sector. This is a positive way of broadening your experience, which will be a fantastic addition to your CV.
Have a think about SMEs
Many newly qualified Accountants have their heart set on joining a big corporate but smaller organisations should not be discounted.
I have placed a few great candidates in roles at SMEs over the last couple of months – SMEs provide a fantastic grounding and a chance to gain broad exposure across a range of functions.
If you are still intent on heading overseas in time, look out for roles in organisations that have an international footprint. Companies are always keen to retain good people and there may be a chance to move to another country in the future.
Projects and secondments
At times of crises, priorities change, and new opportunities can arise.
If you are early in your Accounting career and want to stay with your current organisation, keep your eye open for projects and secondments that will give you experience in another area such as Analysis, Tax, Modelling or Business Advisory.
Although it may seem challenging out there at the moment, it pays to re-examine your options and take a look outside of the box – you never know what might crop up.
If you need advice or support, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.