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Sam22Sam22 Feels At HomeRegistered Posts: 117

I'm sorry for the rant that's about to follow but I just needed to vent!

I decided back in 2011 I wanted a career change so started the AAT qualification. I've very nearly completed level 3 now and plan to start on level 4 straight away.

In my current line of work I have to hand in my notice to terminate which then allows me to carry on my contract for another 12 months before I have to leave however if I find a new position within those 12 months I can leave within 2 months so I decided to bite the bullet and go for it.

I'm religiously applying for jobs left, right and centre, as well as doing work experience placements when I have time off and most recently started looking for a voluntary part time placement. However all applications I've followed up tell me I don't have enough experience and the majority of places I go into asking about work exp/voluntary work say no because they either don't offer it or they don't have the time.

I don't know what else I am meant to do. How am I meant to get the experience everyone is looking for if no one is giving me the opportunity to prove to them I can do the job! I feel that doing the AAT qualification off my own back is a waste of time as it doesn't seem to count for anything at the moment!

If anyone has experienced anything similar I'd be interested to hear...

Sorry again but I do feel slightly less stressed getting that off my chest!!


  • SpamkebabSpamkebab Well-Known Registered Posts: 233
    Exactly the same position here, the best bit is that i have been invited to spend money on new clothes and travel fare plus the loss of a days wages just to attend an interview where they tell me face to face that i am not experienced enough.

  • Sam22Sam22 Feels At Home Registered Posts: 117
    That's a little annoying! On the plus side you got an interview....

    I think this is just a case of keeping positive, keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully someone somewhere will give me the opportunity.

    Good Luck with your search!!
  • NickynooNickynoo Feels At Home Registered Posts: 34

    I really understand your frustration, I decided on a career change, I hunted High and low for jobs attended interviews and eventually managed to get my first accounting job for a business very local to me, I was not going to apply for this Job as I was so fed up of knock backs 18 months of applying and interviews, but honestly just keep going you will get there someone will give you a chance like I was given.

    You will get there even the jobs that you don't like the look of just go go go for everything :)
  • Sam22Sam22 Feels At Home Registered Posts: 117
    Hi Nickynoo,

    I have been asked to go for an interview!! yaay. Hopefully I'm starting to get somewhere now. I have literally been applying for everything, even if the job title isn't quite what I'm looking for. I'm thinking once I have my foot in the door things will be a bit easier!

  • SpamkebabSpamkebab Well-Known Registered Posts: 233
    I'm having serious trouble trying to balance my finances so i can accept a major drop in salary.

    I'll be looking at living on beans on toast for years on end to manage on the salaries being offered. I always wanted to know how a University Student lives lol.

    There are jobs in my area but they are offering minimum wage and with an already established family and mortgage etc. this seems impossible to live on. I know i can't expect to just walk in to a 20k a year job but things are proving impossible.

    Anyone else in a similar situation?

  • Sam22Sam22 Feels At Home Registered Posts: 117
    I've noticed that there's quite a difference depending on where you are in the country.
    I'm currently in the South East and the positions I'm interested in are advertised anywhere from £18k +
    But where my parent live, for example, in the Lincolnshire area the same positions are advertised from £13-18k.

    It's a difficult situation made more so when you have a family and a mortgage to think about. Taking a lower salary let alone minimum wage isn't always practical.

    Recruitment agencies have said to me that the salary does go up fairly quickly once 'you're in' so to speak. But it's a risk that needs real consideration when you have financial commitments to keep in mind.

    I sat down and worked out what the lowest wage I could just about get by on would be (if I really tightened my belt) and made sure the recruitment agencies I am in contact with know this.

    I've also done some research on what I can realistically expect to earn at this stage with the experience and qualifications I've got. I remember seeing on the AAT website salary information but I can't remember how to get to it, but it was quite helpful. Speaking to other people who are already in the roles that I'm looking at and finding out from them where they started in terms of experience and qualifications to compare against myself also helps in working out what you are 'worth'

    Just because one firm is offering minimum wage doesn't necessarily mean that everyone is offering that as a starting salary. I think research is key. Looking at salary averages and so on for your particular area to try and work out what you can expect and not being afraid to say that you couldn't live on x salary and see what the room for negotiation would be. Can't hurt, worst they can say is 'No'

  • NickynooNickynoo Feels At Home Registered Posts: 34
    Hi Sam

    It sure will, fingers, toes and anything else I can cross for you :)
  • CeeJaySixCeeJaySix Well-Known Registered Posts: 645
    Sam22 wrote: »
    Recruitment agencies have said to me that the salary does go up fairly quickly once 'you're in' so to speak. But it's a risk that needs real consideration when you have financial commitments to keep in mind.

    As someone who's just started in the industry I can confirm this bit at least; as a trainee in a practice I get six-monthly pay reviews and assuming I'm on track with studies and performing at work can expect at least £1000 bump each time (hopefully a bit more as I'm going through exams far faster than the college trainees).

    I've said similar things before but bear in mind a lot of trainee positions are aimed specifically at the school-leaver, with commensurate salary advertised. If you have transferable skills of value to the firm you can negotiate higher - I've started about £4k higher than school-leavers in a comparable position (and that was still taking a 50% pay-cut!). It's not nice or easy but if you get your head in the books and put the hours in you'll get back to what you were earning in a reasonable timeframe. It does hurt in the short term though - cycling to work to save petrol and parking, taking cereal in a pot and sandwiches for lunch rather than nipping to Greggs, and a lot more nights in!

    There is a survey with salary information from 2011 here: http://www.aat.org.uk/asset/salary-and-career-survey-2011
  • SpamkebabSpamkebab Well-Known Registered Posts: 233
    Lol, i live like that now.
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