Justifying my CV

Bookworm55Bookworm55 Trusted RegularRegistered Posts: 479
I have just had yet another conversation with a recruitment consultant in which I have had to attempt to explain my CV. I am well aware it isn't 'perfect' but it's the best I can do with what I have available. (more an issue of content than form)

After dropping out of university (doing chemistry) in 2003, I worked at a basic data entry job for six months. I wanted to get into accounting and so I did the AAT working at a small company which sponsored me. They weren't letting me get any interesting experience beyond basic ledger stuff, and there was no room for promotion, so I planned to leave after I had been there three years (early summer 2007). I went to university in the autumn of 2007 and did the second and third years of an accounting degree, graduating in summer 2009. Since then I have worked in basic data entry for four months followed by senior purchase ledger for another four.

What in that is hard to understand?

Now, I know I'm not doing a very interesting job at the moment. But it's the best I can get. It's also why I'm trying to get a better one, whatever that turns out to be. But there is a real shortage of 'graduate level' jobs on the market, and many have better A-levels and are only 21/22. Maybe it's because I went back to uni after finishing the AAT that's confusing people? Is it too much to ask for an assistant-management-accountant or (junior) business analyst position?

I am also well aware of this forums anti-graduate bias, but I'm cross-posting this thread to various locations.

I think I'm a little blind to my options because I'm in the middle of everything, so I'd like suggestions on where I can go from here. I'm not asking anyone to tell me *what* to do. But I am asking you to point out an option I might not have thought of. Even if it is obvious to you, it may not have been obvious to me.

Comments

  • anniemanniem Experienced Mentor Pewsey, WiltshireRegistered Posts: 1,325
    You could do with help from Blobbyh on this one I think. He's a good sounding board for CV and recruitment type stuff, being in that line of work himself.

    From what you've said though it does sound like you've 'hopped about' a bit, apart from the 3 years when you were having your studies funded. Gone to Uni, gone to work, gone to uni, worked somewhere 4 months, worked somewhere else 4 months - this is how it reads to me.

    Perhaps the recruitment companies think that you won't stick something if they find it for you?

    Have you got anything that you've done on a long term basis - even if it's helping a friend out with their books for a few years, something which shows some 'stickability'?

    Please don't try to think of this as being negative; how about we try and give your CV a makeover? I've just given mine a makeover and it's heaps better now.
    FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire
  • Bookworm55Bookworm55 Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 479
    You could do with help from Blobbyh on this one I think. He's a good sounding board for CV and recruitment type stuff, being in that line of work himself.

    Perhaps. But I doubt he'd be interested in helping me, based on some of his other comments.
    anniem wrote: »
    From what you've said though it does sound like you've 'hopped about' a bit, apart from the 3 years when you were having your studies funded. Gone to Uni, gone to work, gone to uni, worked somewhere 4 months, worked somewhere else 4 months - this is how it reads to me.

    Perhaps the recruitment companies think that you won't stick something if they find it for you?

    Have you got anything that you've done on a long term basis - even if it's helping a friend out with their books for a few years, something which shows some 'stickability'?

    But when I left uni (the second time), I had finished the course. It was over. I couldn't 'stick it out' as there was nothing to stick. I will admit from December 2003 it goes 6 months, 3 years, 2 years, 4 months, 4 months to present (excuse rounding errors and being unemployed last summer) Does this make it sound like I can't stick in a job. But I've never had a job good enough to be worth sticking around for.

    And after uni, I've only moved around because I couldn't get a permanent job. The first job I got was pure data entry (and temp), which I admit I did leave as soon as I could get something better. Which is still only a ledger clerk job, and also temporary.

    Is it really better to stick in a very low-level job purely to add some "stability" to your CV than try to get something better?
    Please don't try to think of this as being negative; how about we try and give your CV a makeover? I've just given mine a makeover and it's heaps better now.

    No, don't worry about sounding negative: it's fine. I've made my choices. I think I was totally wrong to go to university and it has seriously harmed my chance of having a career, but it's all done now and I have to move on.
  • anniemanniem Experienced Mentor Pewsey, WiltshireRegistered Posts: 1,325
    OK - so to put it another way;

    - you were at Uni and dropped out after 6 months

    - you were in a job for 3 years, but only stayed so they could pay for you to study

    - you went to uni for 2 years to study

    - you have worked for 8 months - in 2 different jobs


    It still strikes me that you've spent 5 and a half years studying (smacks of being over-qualified)

    and 3 years 8 months working - in three different jobs; one of whom paid for your training and didn't reap the rewards of their investment (bit of a kick in the teeth?)

    It would appear that on paper you are well qualified however, it would also seem that you lack much actual experience.

    I'm not sure I know what the answer to your dilemma is unless you put all your training into setting up your own business or setting up with a friend you have trained with?

    Whatever happens, it really is a difficult time to be trying to find a job at the moment; it isn't just you, honestly!!! There are so many people out of work at present, some have been made redundant from long term jobs having vast experience they're are much more qualified than you and me!!!!

    It's so difficult and I really do understand where you are coming from - it's also a shame that you feel that you wasted your time at Uni (I only wish I had had the opportunity to go to Uni at all - my mum wouldn't even let me do A levels, she made me do secretarial training at college; she told me I was too thick yet all the AAT exams I've taken were passed first time, so I can't be that thick!!!)
    FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire
  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    anniem wrote: »
    You could do with help from Blobbyh on this one I think. He's a good sounding board for CV and recruitment type stuff, being in that line of work himself.
    Bookworm55 wrote: »
    Perhaps. But I doubt he'd be interested in helping me, based on some of his other comments.

    Why would you think that BW? We've never had cross words in the past and you haven't attacked agencies in the same way a certain other poster has. I'll accept everyones opinions on recruitment agencies as long as they're informed, qualified ones rather than the fiery, unaware drivel that I sometimes see. The golden rule for all is that if you don't get the job, it's because someone else - usually better - did. Harsh fact.

    However I do think Annie may have hit the nail on the head with your apparent lack of stability - and to some people - maybe lack of loyalty. A recruitment consultant is fully entitled to question both. The main duty of agencies is not simply to place people into the employment of others but rather ensuring they'll stay there, thus it's vital for us to place the right candidate into the right job. If the candidate walks - or is fired - within the first three months, we have to pay the fee back, usually on a sliding scale but occasionally 100% of the fee. Thus our often considerable effort can sometimes be wasted with the potential danger of the client also thinking we'd done a bad job and jeopardising future business.

    Recruitment consultants won't waste their time and energy on candidates who they don't think will come to fruition (i.e. put money in their pockets through commission) for various reasons. You will often not be informed of these reasons as doing so would be a waste of resources which can be better utilised elsewhere. Experienced consultants are also very very good at their jobs and are used to reading between the lines in a CV and looking for potential pitfalls, even if we think they're pretty flawless.

    It's a hard market out there at the moment, flooded with quality talent and qualification by experience often seems more preferable to that solely achieved by certification. Agencies are not the only route to employment but employers who use them will want to see signs of employee commitment before paying agencies huge fees to fill positions. If a candidate leaves after four months, usually outside the refund period, they lose all their investment (often five figure sums). Clearly not good at all so they need to be very, very picky and this responsibility is delegated to the agencies.

    I'll have a look at your CV if you want me to but I currently have two others I disgustingly still haven't yet done and I'll only look at it if I think there's something to work on without major reconstruction/rewriting. Format is almost as essential as what's in there!
  • Bookworm55Bookworm55 Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 479
    anniem wrote: »
    OK - so to put it another way;

    - you were at Uni and dropped out after 6 months

    No, you're mistaken. I was there for over two years and dropped out due to lack of ability. I then worked in a basic data entry job for six months.
    - you were in a job for 3 years, but only stayed so they could pay for you to study

    No, I left because I was massively underpaid and had no opportunity to progres beyond basic ledger stuff. Is that so terrible?
    - you went to uni for 2 years to study

    - you have worked for 8 months - in 2 different jobs


    It still strikes me that you've spent 5 and a half years studying (smacks of being over-qualified)

    and 3 years 8 months working - in three different jobs; one of whom paid for your training and didn't reap the rewards of their investment (bit of a kick in the teeth?)

    It does look like a lot of studying, but bachelors degree and full AAT isn't actually that much. Plus part-time study is not the same thing as full-time study. I've struggled with being called 'overqualified' my entire life: I honestly and sincerely wish I'd left school at 16 and started working then, rather than having 'ideas above my station' and doing A-levels/going to uni.

    But also they didn't want to reap the rewards of the investment. They had the attitude of "you were hired to do a particular job and if you no longer want to do it you know where the exit is" to anyone who wanted to advance in the company (not just me).
    It would appear that on paper you are well qualified however, it would also seem that you lack much actual experience.

    I will completely agree to that. But I'm finding it very difficult to maneuver myself into a position where I can get any good experience. I was hoping I could come back in at 'graduate entry' level, but that hasn't worked out.
    I'm not sure I know what the answer to your dilemma is unless you put all your training into setting up your own business or setting up with a friend you have trained with?

    Whatever happens, it really is a difficult time to be trying to find a job at the moment; it isn't just you, honestly!!! There are so many people out of work at present, some have been made redundant from long term jobs having vast experience they're are much more qualified than you and me!!!!

    That is true but it doesn't mean I shouldn't be looking.
    It's so difficult and I really do understand where you are coming from - it's also a shame that you feel that you wasted your time at Uni (I only wish I had had the opportunity to go to Uni at all - my mum wouldn't even let me do A levels, she made me do secretarial training at college; she told me I was too thick yet all the AAT exams I've taken were passed first time, so I can't be that thick!!!)

    I paid for it all myself, which means I have massive loans which need repaying and drained my meagre savings. And I worked very hard for two years to earn my degree, only for it to be at best ignored or at worst actively challenged at interview. (interviewers asking if I really have one)


    Although I acknowledge the points about stability and loyalty, it's not through want of trying. And from my perspective each move is towards a 'proper' accounting job.

    Unless you think a person should stay in a job they hate just because it'll look good to add some stability to their CV.
  • Bookworm55Bookworm55 Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 479
    blobbyh wrote: »
    Why would you think that BW? We've never had cross words in the past and you haven't attacked agencies in the same way a certain other poster has. I'll accept everyones opinions on recruitment agencies as long as they're informed, qualified ones rather than the fiery, unaware drivel that I sometimes see. The golden rule for all is that if you don't get the job, it's because someone else - usually better - did. Harsh fact.

    I just meant that you've been openly critical of recent graduates. And also you have objected to me trying to move from ledger clerk to management accounts type roles myself by seeking a new employer as opposed to trying to move internally. Even though the opportunities aren't available where I've been.
    However I do think Annie may have hit the nail on the head with your apparent lack of stability - and to some people - maybe lack of loyalty. A recruitment consultant is fully entitled to question both. The main duty of agencies is not simply to place people into the employment of others but rather ensuring they'll stay there, thus it's vital for us to place the right candidate into the right job. If the candidate walks - or is fired - within the first three months, we have to pay the fee back, usually on a sliding scale but occasionally 100% of the fee. Thus our often considerable effort can sometimes be wasted with the potential danger of the client also thinking we'd done a bad job and jeopardising future business.

    Weirdly, I don't consider myself a disloyal person. I should point out though that I have only had one permanent job. (there was a six-month fixed-term that I had no interest in continuing, some summer jobs in 2007 and 2008, and my last two have been ongoing temporary) Which I know isn't good, but it looks a lot worse than it is.
    Recruitment consultants won't waste their time and energy on candidates who they don't think will come to fruition (i.e. put money in their pockets through commission) for various reasons. You will often not be informed of these reasons as doing so would be a waste of resources which can be better utilised elsewhere. Experienced consultants are also very very good at their jobs and are used to reading between the lines in a CV and looking for potential pitfalls, even if we think they're pretty flawless.

    That's the risk and I've certainly fallen into that category on several occasions. Because my CV isn't classically good, they don't often consider it worth their time trying to understand and place me somewhere.

    The main reason I left my last job after four months was because it wasn't accounts related at all.

    The reason I'm trying to leave my current job is *because* it isn't permanent, and there aren't permanent jobs going at this company. (it's also lower-level than I want)
  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    Maybe it's an age thing but I just feel that there are simply too many people becoming graduates these days and the formerly elite status of having a degree has been devalued. The seemingly increasing wider variety of 'silly' subjects now available has also watered down the opinions of older people regarding graduates and they now seem ten a penny. Maybe this is borne of ignorance and maybe I'm being ageist but hey ho. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate a history or mathematics degree are still things of great worth and value but I can't quite feel the same for a photography or art degree (my morning train seems full of students doing both!) yet all can still call themselves graduates.

    Secondly, in an overly polite society, it seems colleges build up the hopes of graduates by letting them expect to walk into high powered jobs, straight over the heads of other people who've worked in the same organisations for years. The feeling of entitlement. The high wages that will reward their years of study. The respect of their subordinates that they will automatically be afforded. As you and thousands of other graduates are now finding out, real life simply doesn't work this way. In many ways, yes you would have been better working from the age of sixteen in an accounts position but don't punish yourself too much about it either. You have a good degree and one day it will be recognised. Life often has a way of finding balance - you just have to be persistent and never give up.

    I do know what you mean about coincidental or accidental holes in your CV. When I applied for my current job a couple of years ago, the FD appeared concerned that for most of my life, I'd worked in the same village where I still live. I assumed he thought I was reluctant to travel. This wasn't engineered, it was just that that's where the jobs were and/or I was moved by my employer to a site where I was close to home and thus quickly available. Little things like this can be talked out through discussion.

    I just think you need to keep trying BW, keep using this as a place to vent as we all know this can be helpful, and I do think in two or three years, this will all be history to you and you'll have found a worthwhile position.
  • AndypandyAndypandy Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 526
    It might be worth ringing one of the big graduate recruiters, like KPMG - they'll speak to people informally every weekday lunchtime, which should offer you a bit more insight. Here's a link to find out more :-
    http://www.kpmgcareers.co.uk/Home_(1).aspx?
    Good luck!
  • Bookworm55Bookworm55 Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 479
    Andypandy wrote: »
    It might be worth ringing one of the big graduate recruiters, like KPMG - they'll speak to people informally every weekday lunchtime, which should offer you a bit more insight. Here's a link to find out more :-
    http://www.kpmgcareers.co.uk/Home_(1).aspx?
    Good luck!

    Can't I've already tried. My A-levels aren't good enough for graduate entry into the larger firms and big four. I wish I'd know that before I started, I never would have bothered trying. Even though I narrowly miss the a-level requirements, graduate recruitment is down and they're only taking the perfect candidates.
    As you and thousands of other graduates are now finding out, real life simply doesn't work this way. In many ways, yes you would have been better working from the age of sixteen in an accounts position but don't punish yourself too much about it either. You have a good degree and one day it will be recognised.

    Maybe I am overly optimistic, but I had hoped there would be *some* value attached to my degree. At the very least that it wouldn't be so much of an active hindrance. It's an Accounting and Finance degree, which isn't quite in the Mickey Mouse range, but certainly isn't a 'good' degree to take to other industries.

    *Where* would an accounting degree be recognised? I'm genuinely asking. I don't expect anyone to fawn over me, but I do expect "that's a useful qualification, we could use him in X dept" not "why did he bother?". (because I really don't know the answer to that other than I wanted to and thought it would help)

    I also don't see what's supposed to be so good about sticking in a low-powered job for extended periods of time. You may have "more experience" chronologically, but what do you learn from processing your 40,000th purchase invoice that you didn't learn from the 10,000th? Quantity is not the same as quality.
  • A-VicA-Vic Expertise Guaranteed Registered Posts: 6,970
    Just out of interest what level of A-Levels are they after?
  • Claire321Claire321 Well-Known Registered Posts: 209
    I would maybe try applying for an all-round accounts assistant job, where you get involved in some other areas of accounts other than just ledger work, so it might be a little more interesting.

    I would try and gain a little more experience at the moment as the jobs market isn't the best and then when it picks up in a while then apply for assistant management accountant / business analyist jobs.

    I would also suggest applying to smaller companies where where their accounts dept is small and you be able to get involved in all aspects of account, provide holiday cover for senior staff/your manager and potentially work your way into a higher position and broaden your experience.
  • Bookworm55Bookworm55 Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 479
    Claire321 wrote: »
    I would maybe try applying for an all-round accounts assistant job, where you get involved in some other areas of accounts other than just ledger work, so it might be a little more interesting.

    That is what I'm trying for mainly. In my last permanent job, the company went through a period of expansion and I went from an all-round accounts assistant to a purchase ledger clerk by default as the sheer volume of purchase invoices increased. It's trying to find somewhere I can do it the other way: diversify and add things.

    Where I am at the moment is... awkward. Things are being restructured internally. We know we're becoming part of an all-singing all-dancing shared service function but don't know a) where it'll be, b) who they'll want or c) when it'll happen. I know the new head of Accounts Payable is trying out different configurations of her department at the moment: I'm trying to find a way to catch her eye so I can get some more interesting, or at least more varied, assignments.

    EDIT: While I'm here, how do people feel about 'activities' and 'interests' on your CV. I've never seen the point of it really. But I did my BCU One Star yesterday and thought "just what my CV needs, another qualification". For any who aren't sure what I mean, that's the British Canoe Union's introductory kayak/canoe flat water award. I'm getting back into it after a break of six or seven years: a few times over the last couple of months and all of last weekend as the weather is finally getting decent enough to go out on the (flat) water. I still don't think it's worth putting on a CV though.
  • Gem7321Gem7321 Experienced Mentor DevonMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
    I think hobbies and interests are worth putting on a CV, especially sports. It shows you can work as part of a team, that you are ambitious and driven/competitive and healthy!

    If you like cooking, put cooking on there, it shows you're creative.

    You get the idea.
  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    Hobbies and interests should absolutely be on a CV. It shows that after all the formal experience and qualifications that came before, you're still a person with an active social life outside the workplace. Disregard reading or writing since you might as well put eating and breathing - ie everyone does them - but definitely anything unusual that might raise a curious eyebrow or smile.

    And if you're lucky, you may find common ground with a potential employer who could take the interview in a more personal direction by humanising you from just mere sheets of paper.
  • Bookworm55Bookworm55 Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 479
    blobbyh wrote: »
    Hobbies and interests should absolutely be on a CV. It shows that after all the formal experience and qualifications that came before, you're still a person with an active social life outside the workplace. Disregard reading or writing since you might as well put eating and breathing - ie everyone does them - but definitely anything unusual that might raise a curious eyebrow or smile.

    Really? I've always felt they were kind of an irrelevance. To my CV and workplace I mean, not having hobbies and interests. I think it's because I can't see how they help your application.

    Plus you hear stories of people who put, say, "playing chess" on their CV only to be confronted in the interview with a chessboard and being asked to play. The interview is now about your ability in a hobby, not your ability to do your job. (It is however fairly hard to surprise someone with a canoe and a white-water course)

    I know that's a semi-irrational fear, but a related fear is that you spend precious CV space and then interview time talking about things that aren't going to help your application.
    I would also suggest applying to smaller companies where where their accounts dept is small and you be able to get involved in all aspects of account, provide holiday cover for senior staff/your manager and potentially work your way into a higher position and broaden your experience.

    OK, lets approach this whole discussion from another angle. Consider me as a moderately well experienced purchase ledger clerk with a lot of ambition. There are... eight people between me and the Finance Director. (not 8 people senior to me. 8 steps in the chain. I report to Jim who reports to Amy who reports to Jess and so on) How do I go from *here* to *there*?

    Obviously that would take years and many steps. So break it down and one or two steps ahead seems to be CCAB-qualified accountant level, or possibly AAT-qualified team leader of a group of clerks. That's not mutually exclusive. But I'm not sure how to move in that direction incrementally. I've been looking closely at Practical Experience Requirements and wondering if I can find a way to add relevant things to my current duties?

    The question is how receptive this or any company would be to the idea that a ledger clerk would want to be something more than that? After all, you were taken on to do a particular job and isn't wanting to do something else disloyal? I've certainly met more people wanting to stamp out ambition than want to encourage it.
  • RinskeRinske Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,453
    Bookworm55 wrote: »
    Plus you hear stories of people who put, say, "playing chess" on their CV only to be confronted in the interview with a chessboard and being asked to play. The interview is now about your ability in a hobby, not your ability to do your job. (It is however fairly hard to surprise someone with a canoe and a white-water course)

    I know that's a semi-irrational fear, but a related fear is that you spend precious CV space and then interview time talking about things that aren't going to help your application.

    I would not suggest putting any hobby on your CV if you don't know what to do with it. You wouldn't put chess on your CV, unless you know how to play.

    If you find someone with mutual hobbies (or if your interviewer knows a little about it), it is a great way to break the ice, if you then don't know what you are talking about, it is not a good start.

    Managers like to know the person who applies for a job, it is not just about the experience, they also like to know what kind of person it is behind the job, if they fit in the team etc.
    Bookworm55 wrote: »
    OK, lets approach this whole discussion from another angle. Consider me as a moderately well experienced purchase ledger clerk with a lot of ambition. There are... eight people between me and the Finance Director. (not 8 people senior to me. 8 steps in the chain. I report to Jim who reports to Amy who reports to Jess and so on) How do I go from *here* to *there*?

    Obviously that would take years and many steps. So break it down and one or two steps ahead seems to be CCAB-qualified accountant level, or possibly AAT-qualified team leader of a group of clerks. That's not mutually exclusive. But I'm not sure how to move in that direction incrementally. I've been looking closely at Practical Experience Requirements and wondering if I can find a way to add relevant things to my current duties?

    From here to there can be many steps. But the main thing is to take one step at the time within the company. If you are in a ledger role, don't start applying for finance director roles or the higher step up.

    My suggestion would be to offer to provide holiday cover for other staff. I am currently working in a purchase ledger department with 1 other person, we do the same work, so I provide holiday cover for him.

    Last year in my performance review, I asked to see or do a bit more of the different jobs and the result was that I got trained up by our income controller to provide cover for her when she is on holiday or not in for other reasons.

    Consistency is important within small departments and when someone gets ill or goes on holiday for more than a week, often they are quite happy if someone is happy to take on a few extra tasks, to make sure the main duties still get done. Even if it means for you taking on extra work now and then, and therefore getting behind on your own work, by just doing the priority things first and the rest, when your colleague comes back.
    Bookworm55 wrote: »
    The question is how receptive this or any company would be to the idea that a ledger clerk would want to be something more than that? After all, you were taken on to do a particular job and isn't wanting to do something else disloyal? I've certainly met more people wanting to stamp out ambition than want to encourage it.

    It might be you are taken on to do a ledger role, but that doesn't mean they expect you to always stay in that role, neither that they are not willing to let you do more. However if you don't ask for it, it won't happen. If you show willingness to do extra work, most companies won't say no to that. Just don't expect any raise for it. But it is definitely not disloyal.

    Even if it doesn't get you any higher up/ difference job in your company, it gives you more experience, which you can use on your CV.

    However this does mean if one of the other jobs comes up for whatever reason, you already got the knowledge and experience within the company, to step up into it. Which is a big bonus to any other applicants.
  • Bookworm55Bookworm55 Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 479
    Rinske wrote: »
    I would not suggest putting any hobby on your CV if you don't know what to do with it. You wouldn't put chess on your CV, unless you know how to play.

    My point was there is a world of difference between 'can play chess' and 'can play chess well' and even more between that and 'expert at chess'. If the interviewer pulls out a chess set, makes you play and you lose, that can only harm your chances at interview even though it's irrelevant. (even if the interviewer doesn't consciously consider it, it'll knock your confidence) I'm using chess as an example, but it could be true of nearly any hobby.
    But the main thing is to take one step at the time within the company. If you are in a ledger role, don't start applying for finance director roles or the higher step up.

    I'm entirely sure I wasn't suggesting I'd be applying for finance director jobs. My "ideal" would be a graduate trainee accountant for a commercial company, but that just isn't coming up. My "satisfactory" is an all-round accounts assistant / assistant management accountant position. I don't think either of those are unreasonable.
    Last year in my performance review, I asked to see or do a bit more of the different jobs and the result was that I got trained up by our income controller to provide cover for her when she is on holiday or not in for other reasons.

    Sure, if you're lucky enough work for the kind of company that gives performance reviews and isn't opposed to employee development. Anyway my own duties take up more time than I have, so how can I possibly take on more?

    It might be you are taken on to do a ledger role, but that doesn't mean they expect you to always stay in that role, neither that they are not willing to let you do more. However if you don't ask for it, it won't happen. If you show willingness to do extra work, most companies won't say no to that. Just don't expect any raise for it. But it is definitely not disloyal.

    I don't think that's true. After all, if you are good at a particular low-level role, wouldn't they want to keep you doing that particular role for as long as possible?
  • AK002AK002 Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,492
    "I don't think that's true. After all, if you are good at a particular low-level role, wouldn't they want to keep you doing that particular role for as long as possible?"

    What's to say you're not really good at the 'higher level' jobs too tho ;)
  • RinskeRinske Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,453
    Bookworm55 wrote: »
    My point was there is a world of difference between 'can play chess' and 'can play chess well' and even more between that and 'expert at chess'. If the interviewer pulls out a chess set, makes you play and you lose, that can only harm your chances at interview even though it's irrelevant. (even if the interviewer doesn't consciously consider it, it'll knock your confidence) I'm using chess as an example, but it could be true of nearly any hobby.

    True, I was merely trying to point out that hobbies on your resume do count.
    Bookworm55 wrote: »
    I'm entirely sure I wasn't suggesting I'd be applying for finance director jobs. My "ideal" would be a graduate trainee accountant for a commercial company, but that just isn't coming up. My "satisfactory" is an all-round accounts assistant / assistant management accountant position. I don't think either of those are unreasonable.

    Definitely not. However, for example, we had a temp income controller who kept applying for the finance controller job, without realizing that the step up might be considered to steep and hence I mentioned not to try to apply too high. I think the jobs you're looking for are the right step up.


    Bookworm55 wrote: »
    Sure, if you're lucky enough work for the kind of company that gives performance reviews and isn't opposed to employee development. Anyway my own duties take up more time than I have, so how can I possibly take on more?

    This is something to discuss with your manager in any case. Even if you got too much work, you can say you worry about contingency in the job for your holiday and see if you can share workloads with someone else, to train them up on your workload and you get trained up on their work for a while.
    Bookworm55 wrote: »
    I don't think that's true. After all, if you are good at a particular low-level role, wouldn't they want to keep you doing that particular role for as long as possible?

    Not necessarily. A lot of companies do want to wait with progressing you to a new role when they are absolutely sure that you can do that job. So yes it might take a while and usually moving companies is the easier way to get ahead, but if you work at a company and higher job comes up and you apply, they know you already and know if you would fit in the team or not, while if they take someone on from outside, it is always a guess.

    It is also easier to pick someone who already knows the company and who knows how certain processes work, as you can grow in the job easier. While training a new person up on a higher job takes more time than training someone up on a lower role.
  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    No offence BW, but I really think you need to stop this negativity as it can't be helping your mindset or prospects at all. You're debating/arguing with people here who have all been where you currently are but have also persevered and achieved to various levels of success. Rinske has posted many good comments during this thread about trying to achieve better things within the same organisation and many companies are receptive to this. If no position exists then they won't magic one up for you but if you're studying for something that may be of future value to them then absolutely. However you need to let your intentions be known - employers are not psychic! If you don't talk to your bosses and simply leave everytime you become frustrated then you're never going to escape this vicious circle of future needs versus alleged disloyalty.

    The chess board analogy is interesting but you are completely wrong when saying that losing to an interviewer would be damaging. Of course, if you'd completely lied about being able to play at all you'd have a point but playing even half well and losing against someone better than you simply means you gave a stimulating game but were defeated by a more able opponent. It means nothing beyond that unless you'd said you were a grand master!
  • Bookworm55Bookworm55 Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 479
    blobbyh wrote: »
    No offence BW, but I really think you need to stop this negativity as it can't be helping your mindset or prospects at all. You're debating/arguing with people here who have all been where you currently are but have also persevered and achieved to various levels of success. Rinske has posted many good comments during this thread about trying to achieve better things within the same organisation and many companies are receptive to this. If no position exists then they won't magic one up for you but if you're studying for something that may be of future value to them then absolutely. However you need to let your intentions be known - employers are not psychic! If you don't talk to your bosses and simply leave everytime you become frustrated then you're never going to escape this vicious circle of future needs versus alleged disloyalty.

    Sorry but I don't mean to sound negative: any place a person discusses their frustrations and failures is going to sound negative, even if they're looking for ways to overcome them. I am grateful for the suggestions people have made.

    And it's unfortunate that a lof of the perfectly reasonable suggestions people are making have already been tried and failed (and aren't always of types that can be reasonably retried), which does make me sound more negative than I'd intended. For instance, my A-levels are an objective fact, and they aren't high enough for a lot of employers.

    I certainly didn't intend to sound confrontational, just to emphasise that some managers are going to take hearing that one of their subordinates want to advance in the company as a personal threat and do their utmost to keep them down. And that it's been overwhelmingly this type of person I've been managed by. This is especially true of the company I worked for while doing the AAT.

    Not to make more excuses, but I've had a particularly bad couple of weeks at work. Effectively I've been moved from the "accounts payable problems solving" team to the "stalling and/or lying to credit controllers" team (not the actual team names). Can you guess which is more interesting and fulfilling?

    In the past, I've tarred a lot of credit controllers with the brush of assuming that the AP/PL department they're talking to is wilfully trying to worm their way out of paying a legitimate debt. Although some certainly have that attitude, I've never known a company to be so utterly inept at sorting out its debtors as my current employer. (No, I'm not telling who I work for, they might be listening) I'm starting to feel sympathy for them, but there's almost nothing I can do to speed things along.

    So... yeah. Something more upbeat.

    I revised my CV last night, I managed to cut out over half the words so it's punchier and quicker to get an overview. I think it was too wordy as I tried to explain everything. (much like I'm doing now)

    I have my first CIMA exam next month. I'm doing E1 enterprise operations: the easy one (I hope)
Sign In or Register to comment.