Preparing for a career move

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Career changes take commitment and it can be a stressful time if you’re not prepared. If you are looking for a new challenge, follow these tips to help give you the best chance of securing the right job.

Understand the job market

Fortunately with many companies expanding throughout Asia, accounting professionals are growing in demand creating a dynamic job market. The rise in internationally recognised designations has further allowed qualified accountants to transition between different markets and industries. By understanding the demand for your skills you can pick the best time to move.

Make sure you’re really ready to move

Before you seek a new career move, make sure you are changing for the right reasons - not just because you’re having a bad day. You will need to ensure that you are committed to the job search process and willing and able to conduct research, take phone calls and attend job interviews. Evaluate what you want out of your next role and ensure that changing jobs will help you realise your career goals.

Do your research

Once you are clear on the sort of role and employer you are looking for, research the organisations and available jobs that meet your criteria. Assess if the new position accurately matches your skill sets and interests, with your professional goals. Many senior positions, for example, may require accounting designations or a global firm may expect previous experience with International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) regulations.
You can also talk to your recruitment consultant about the current market, which organisations are hiring and how long the recruitment process is currently taking. Many ‘Big 4’ accountants are usually unaware of how they can transition their skills outside this circle of companies, so ask for salary information and sign up for job alerts that match your chosen job criteria.

If you are looking for a new challenge, follow these tips to help give you the best chance of securing the right job.

Tailor your application

While this may seem like common sense, many professionals can stumble at this hurdle. Your application should be achievement-driven and sell to a potential employer the benefits of hiring you as an employee. It should always be tailored to the selection criteria and explain why you are the right person for the role. Think of your CV as a sales document – it needs to sell how you can add value to an organisation and convince potential employers that it will be worth their time to give you an interview.

Consider contracting

If you’re unsure exactly what your next career move will be, contracting has become an interesting option for many accounting professionals. Contract work gives you the opportunity to test your capabilities in new environments, helping you to make the next all-important career decision. Contract roles can also offer greater flexibility, work/life balance and usually increased hourly earnings. Plus, the variety that comes with working in contract roles increases your skills base, industry knowledge and exposure to dynamic environments. And if the fit is good for both you and your employer, permanent job opportunities can often arise from contract placements.

For more hints and tips, visit the Career Advice section of the Robert Walters website.

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