Career advice needed :)

scott060191 Registered Posts: 2 New contributor 🐸
Hi all, I have recently completed the Level 4 Budgeting and Personal Tax modules and have now decided to take a break, mainly due to lack of finances and partly due to lack of motivation. I am really struggling to get my foot on the career ladder. I have completed Level 2 and Level 3, but I don't seem any closer to finding a position in accounts. After hearing some feedback from some potential employers my main stumbling block appears to be my lack of actual office/accounts experience. I'm now 23 years old and it seems as though I am getting less replies regarding my applications etc. Does anybody have any suggestions as to what I can do? Thanks in advance.


  • amyjayne27
    amyjayne27 Registered Posts: 314 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    Hi Scott, unfortunately this is a catch 22 situation for alot of AAT part qualified/qualified people. Employers need experience from candidates,but everybody has to start somewhere!

    I was lucky, I sent my CV to literally every single accountancy practice within a 50 mile radius of where I live and luckily one right on my doorstep offered me a job! They really liked the fact that I had started AAT off my own back, so that is a big postive you have going for you there.

    If still no joy then I would suggest a voluntary position, go onto (I think thats right!) as there are alot of treasurer/accountancy related roles and this will help count towards your experience.

    Good luck!
  • CeeJaySix
    CeeJaySix Registered Posts: 645
    What amyjayne said. I left the military at 28 and got a job in a large local practice, and a couple of other offers, by just sending a decent CV and covering letter to every firm in the area I thought large enough to take trainees, with only Lvl 2. Takes time, but persist - although my salary is still playing catch-up, I'm now MAAT and halfway through ACA in a little over a year, so it can be worth it. Make sure your CV emphasises the extra that you can bring to the firm that an 18yr old trainee straight from college can't.
  • Sam22
    Sam22 Registered Posts: 117 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    I also recently left the military to start a career in accounting. I had so many knock backs from recruitment agencies because of lack of experience and no one would offer me any work experience/voluntary work for me to gain that experience. I decided that because my cv had very little to offer in terms of relevant experience I focused more on the transferable skills I could bring from my previous career. I also spent a lot of time on covering letters for each role I applied for trying to sell myself. I made sure that a couple of days after each application I made follow up phone calls and went in to see recruiters face-to-face. If you're just another bit of paper, you're easily forgotten but if you keep getting in touch and going in to see them you start getting remembered. After 4 months of living, eating, sleeping, breathing job applications (I used to even wake up in the middle of the night to check emails to see if any new roles had come through I could apply for) I landed 2 interviews of which I got job offers for both and am in one of the roles today. It's hard, hard work job hunting, especially when lacking in experience as there's so much competition but keep at it, something will come up and just getting that first interview is so rewarding!
  • Chrisps303
    Chrisps303 Registered Posts: 33 Regular contributor ⭐
    I know the feeling, i have 2 exams to do and then i am finished level 4. Ive been applying for jobs for the last 2 years and haven't even managed to get an interview.
    I'm 37 and ive been working in an office in the same position for 10 years but they all say its the lack of experience in an accounting role. Like amyjane27 said its catch 22.
    I know i can do the job, its just catching a break somewhere and hoping i can get a chance to prove myself. Dont give up, i get demoralized sometimes but just have to keep going, i hope something comes along soon.
  • RyanKimbo
    RyanKimbo Registered Posts: 8 Regular contributor ⭐
    Have you signed up with any recruitment agencies? What kind of roles are you applying for and what role would you like in 2/3 years time?

    Is it practice you are looking for or are you looking to work in the finance department of a larger organisation?

  • Chrisps303
    Chrisps303 Registered Posts: 33 Regular contributor ⭐
    I tried recruitment agencies but just got the same old answer that i didn't have any experience.

    I saw a job advertised in the local paper and found out last week that ive got the position and i start 1 September, so don't give up and just keep trying and hopefully you will get something.
  • Clintm15
    Clintm15 Registered Posts: 248 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    My biggest advice would be to avoid the recruitment agencies (hard I know) and be as direct as possible. It took me 3 years to land an accountancy role but like others have said you have to be persistent.
    Level 2 - 2011
    Level 3 - 2012
    Level 4 - 2013

    F4 - Corporate Law - Dec 2015 (passed)
    F5 - Performance Management - Dec 2014 (passed)
    F6 - Taxation - Dec 2013 (passed)
    F7 - Financial Reporting - Jun 2014 (passed)
    F8 - Audit & Assurance - Dec 2015 (passed)
    F9 - Financial Management - Jun 2015 (passed)
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