Advice on making career change for new AAT Level 2 Student


I've recently made the decision to retrain as an accountant after being a full-time musician ever since leaving education, and have just started studying AAT Level 2. As a result i'm kind of lacking much office experience at all, as well as having only basic accountancy knowledge at this stage, so i'm looking for some advice about making myself more employable whilst studying AAT.

I've been told that the best thing for me to do at this stage would be to try and shadow a working accountant/book keeper whilst studing to gain some experience of the office environment for a while before looking at work experience, apprenticeships or even the elusive full time job.

Has anyone else gone through this route into the profession and do you have any advice/tips/things i should be doing that i'm not aware of at yet? I'm excited to be making the career move but little unsure of exactly where to go at the moment so anything would help, thanks in advance!


  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
    I disagree I think you should be looking for paying junior/trainee roles ASAP.
  • IMH51
    IMH51 Registered Posts: 3
    Hi Gem7321, thanks for your advice, i take it you mean junior or trainee accounts assistant or bookkeeping assistant roles? When i say virtually no office experience, i'm talking about 2 months of office junior work 10 years ago before i went to do music at uni, do you think that's enough to just go looking for roles right now?
  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
    Yes that's exactly what I mean or at the very least Office Junior/Admin Assistant. You may not have office experience but I'm sure that in 10 years you must have learnt some transferable skills and the fact that you have been a professional musician makes you 'interesting' to an employer (in my opinion). We are talking about entry-level jobs so no experience necessarily required.

    Otherwise you may find yourself a level 4 student still without any real experience and to me that is less attractive than a level 2 student just starting out.

    Good luck!
  • Nps
    Nps Registered Posts: 782
    I also career changed and started looking my first accounting job when I was about a third of the way through ACCA (I had completed AAT immediately prior to ACCA).

    The one thing that all the recruitment agencies focussed on was office experience. They all seemed more interested in the temp office/PA jobs I did during university holidays 15 years ago, than the extensive studying and transferable skills from my current job that were much more recent and, in my opinion, much more relevant. At one point I even rang my old recruitment agency from 15 years ago to see if anyone remembered me and could provide a reference as this was what the recruitment agencies were looking for.

    I still laugh at my original CV which focussed on bottom of the rung admin jobs that I did for a few weeks here and there 15 years ago, yet only briefly mentioned my current role which quite frankly would make working in an office look like child's play.

    I got the first job I applied for though so perhaps the recruitment agencies knew what they were talking about.........
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