Career help


I am 28 year old working as an Account Executive for a mid sized communications company. My title is misleading as it doesn't involve any accounting! I manage clients who use our services, my most notable client being a leading UK energy supplier. So a lot of client interaction!

I have a Masters degree in Statistics with Distinction, and a Degree in Mathematics and Statistics, so i know I'm able to use numbers well. I’ve worked at Unilever as a statistician and so I have some experience in this.
However, that role in Unilever was covering maternity leave and ended after around 9 months. After that there weren’t many roles around in statistics and to avoid not having a job, I took a job in a charity, fundraising etc, interviewing volunteers. Then moved on to the role that I am in now in a new company.

While I was out of work between Unilever and my charity job I did some local courses on SAGE and Manual Double Entry Bookkeeping. I found them really interesting and, maybe as silly as it sounds, I looked forward to my classes each week. I found it quite engaging. I know that I would love a role in accounting but I’m unsure how to get into now, or whether it is too late?

Does anyone have any advice? Is it worth sticking in this job while doing the AAT as an online learning course? Or is it too late? I really dislike my current job and it is making me quite ill, not that anyone would know! I keep things professional but each night I feel so sad about coming in here!

Thanks in advance for your help, I really appreciate it.


  • shamil91
    shamil91 Registered Posts: 94
    Hi there,

    Thats great you have an interest keep it up, if you enjoyed what you learnt in sage and double entry book keeping go for it. There is no limitation as what you can do. If you want you could do AAT, it is a starting base of accounting, if you feel alot more confident you could take a look into Chartered accountancy directly ACCA or CIMA. Best advice I would say is stick with your current job and study online or evening / weekend courses that way you are financially stable aswell. In relation to disliking your job and as you stated you liked the accounts then it is a decision to change in my opinion as a job will be for life, you have to do what you enjoy. As the saying goes if you enjoy what you do the money will follow.

    Hope this helps you out and good luck

    Kind regards

    Shamil Karia
  • ciarasmum
    ciarasmum Registered Posts: 2

    Thank you for your reply Shamil.

    I would love to do ACCA or CIMA but not sure if I am confident enough to go this alone?

    Would I be in a position to start looking for an accounts based role when I'm some way into my AAT Level 2? Or would I need to have completed all 4 levels?

    Thanks again.
  • shamil91
    shamil91 Registered Posts: 94

    Your most welcome, I should add that with ACCA I know that the first 3 exams if you start from the beginning are similar to AAT they are the stepping stones to starting ACCA.

    This is Kaplans website use it as a guideline to support you :

    You try and and apply but the market is quiet fierce at the moment, I would give it a go you may get an interview in an accounts trainee, accounts assistant role etc, and may get the job. But at times I have noticed that they do ask for some form of experience in accounts but no harm in trying and if you do the qualification it can increase your chances, plus with AAT exams you can book them when you are ready also with the ACCA first 3 exams you can book them when you are ready. You can apply for jobs at any stage there is no restriction, the companies have their own requirements. Also with AAT as you can book your own exams if you are quite a fast learner you could get the Full qualification in within 1-2 years or you could do ACCA or CIMA and can do 2-3 exams every few months (they have fixed periods to do the exams, only the first 3 if you start from the beginning are not fixed dates)

    Hope this helps you out

    Kind regards

    Shamil Karia
  • burg
    burg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,441
    My advice changed based on your last couple of sentences. Up until then it was just start off studying and see where it leads. My new advice would be in you are really that unhappy and want it enough you will make it happen. It is always difficult to get trainee roles if you are changing careers. It took me nearly 9 months to change from a Pharmacy Technician to a trainee accountant. I eventually managed to convince a firm to give me a go. I'm about 8 years on now and running my own practice with around 250 clients.

    Anyway, you have the ability with the degree's so may be able to get into one of the ACCA/ICAEW training contracts at a firm. I would start with this although many of these roles would have been filled over the summer. You could start with AAT which would give you a good grounding but I imagine your degree's with give you the same exemptions from exams at a higher level as the AAT would so would not gain you anything there.

    Get applying and exploring. Will give you time in the evening to take your mind of how sad your current role is making you feel!

Privacy Policy