After years of hard work, late night studying and dealing with all sorts of clients, you are finally a qualified Chartered Accountant and are ready to begin your journey in the competitive corporate world. If you are thinking of making a move to commercial accounting with one of the Big 4, there are a few things you should consider when making this very important first career decision.
You need a mentor. Hopefully, by this point in your career, you already have one, but if that’s not the case, look for a career counsellor who can give you objective advice and guidance when you are working towards a specific goal. Make sure this person is a high performing industry professional who you would aspire to be.
Look for learning and professional development opportunities. Understand even though you just achieved you CA qualification, you still have a lot to learn, so look for employment opportunities that will challenge you as a professional and help you expand your skill set and help you grow. Look for potential employers that run different development workshops.
Widen your horizons. Just because you have never audited a certain business or industry, you shouldn’t shy away fr1om interviews and opportunities. You have made it this far, you are intelligent and you can learn anything, so if there is a challenge, accept it – as long as it is a reasonable opportunity.
Be realistic. While it is important to set yourself ambitious career goals, you must be realistic and smart about how you can achieve those. Instead of applying for your dream job – and be rejected, maybe it is worth applying for a lower position at an amazing company. Once you have been working there and a new position opens up, they will recruit internally, and you will have greater odds of landing that job.
The company’s values and yours are aligned. After all, if you are going to invest at least the next 2 to 3 years working there, make sure you fit in.
Finally, keep in mind that this is your first career move, not your last. While it is a very important decision, you need to consider where you want to be in 5 years, and whether this company can help you get there.