How do you get that first job?

Wabi Sabi
Wabi Sabi New MemberRegistered Posts: 10
Hi I am 40, not that it should matter but hey, I have completed level3 yet despite having been a project manager in industry and a retail manager I can not get a first job as all the vacancies have a caviat of, "finance office experience - essential." I have written to all the local accounting firms and offered my services for free in return for some office experience. A few came back and complimented my CV but in essence there is nothing there. Can anyone help with ideas how to get an entry level position to start building up experience such that I can then progress to level4. I am in a catch 22 now. No experience so can not get job, can not get job without experience and to cap it all I am also unemployed now so do not have the money to continue level4 even though I have time to study it. Many thanks to anyone who can help.

Comments

  • Makkusu
    Makkusu Feels At Home BournemouthRegistered Posts: 94
    'Perseverance is the mother of all success'

    Just keep looking and trying, I've met accounts assistants in practice your age with much less experience of the working world. Most people will look for some miracle method of getting a job, passing their exams, getting a good salary... when at the end of the day, all it boils down to is good old fashioned hard work.

    I got my first accountancy job through perseverance, it took me 2 years to find one. Sometimes I would look hard, sometimes I wouldn't, I worked part time to earn money to support my studies and every few months you'd get a big interview pop up, that's where you have to make the magic happen!

    Good luck!
  • Wabi Sabi
    Wabi Sabi New Member Registered Posts: 10
    Hi Makkusu,

    Thanks for the feedback. I put a long rambling message on the other post, but I think your post here answers it.

    I was getting quite disheartened by it all and have even considered the retraining as an electrician just to get some money in whilst whilst carrying on with the AAT. I may still do that and I can then run my own accounts gaining experience enough to then go self employed on the book keeping side then grow from there.

    Thanks again.
  • Wabi Sabi
    Wabi Sabi New Member Registered Posts: 10
    I have managed to do some phoning around and as with any industry experience is a major part of the job. Unfortunately for mature entrants the entry level positions are set up for school leavers, or those leaving university with a finance degree and willing to start from the bottom up.

    However, I was given another avenue which I will now try. Each industry develops it's own specialism and it's own terminology which will be reflected in the accounting practices for that business. Also business practices and concerns alter between industries. So as I see it my best options are to take the experience I have from my specific industries and apply it to my applications targeting those companies or accounting firms for whom my experience would support any accounting CPD.

    Additional to this I am looking into reading around my chosen subject/industry with the the trade magazines, to keep abreast of the changes occurring, build a broader knowledge base and keep ontop of terminology to apply to the accounting.

    From this I hope that my general knowledge base will reflect the needs of the accounting firm to which I apply so bringing to the post more skills than simply an AAT qualification. This is where hopefully the more mature applicant can offer greater experience than the school leaver and show a commitment to the firms core business structure and with that a commitment to stay the course, for what company wants to spend money and time training someone to have them leave as soon as they get the necessary experience.

    It would still be great to hear from an accounting practice or finance department as to what exactly they look for in applications, or if recruitment agencies are over filtering based upon the search criteria they are given at the onset of a vacancy search.

    If anyone else has any other ideas on how to build experience and influence I am all ears.

    Happy hunting
  • micand
    micand Just Joined Registered Posts: 1
    Hi,

    I am studying level 4 and have been job hunting since level 2, over a period of about 3 years.

    I am in a similar situation, putting myself through AAT in the hope of a better job but all the vacancies want experience.

    I do get the odd interview, I think it goes well and the outcome is always the same, great interview just lack of experience.

    I think AAT should introduce placements whilst studying, at least this way it would give you some experience and your qualification would be of some use. As it stands I have paid out so much money to study and am getting no return.

    The only thing we can do is just keep at it and hopefully somebody will give us that chance we been waiting for.
    Good luck in your job search.
  • Makkusu
    Makkusu Feels At Home BournemouthRegistered Posts: 94
    micand wrote: »
    Hi,

    I am studying level 4 and have been job hunting since level 2, over a period of about 3 years.

    I am in a similar situation, putting myself through AAT in the hope of a better job but all the vacancies want experience.

    I do get the odd interview, I think it goes well and the outcome is always the same, great interview just lack of experience.

    I think AAT should introduce placements whilst studying, at least this way it would give you some experience and your qualification would be of some use. As it stands I have paid out so much money to study and am getting no return.

    The only thing we can do is just keep at it and hopefully somebody will give us that chance we been waiting for.
    Good luck in your job search.

    Get some volunteer work under your belt. Even if it's a weeks worth it'll look significantly more attractive to a potential employer.
  • adiba
    adiba Feels At Home Registered Posts: 53
    Hi guys

    I definitely agree with Makkusu, voluntary work definitely helps! I had been searching for an accounts job ever since starting AAT in 2009 however, with no finance experience I wasn't getting anywhere. I then started doing some volunatry work as a treasurer for a local charity and had only been doing this a few months when I got a new job as finance assistant! Been there 8 months now and absolutely loving it!

    Good luck with the job search Wabi Sabi, I'm sure you'll find something soon.
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