Josh Edmunds is a Partner within Partner Financial, specialising in senior finance executive appointments and search mandates across the commercial sector. With over 16 years’ experience in senior financial recruitment, Josh is a key member of the senior leadership team that has made Partner Financial the standout performer in the financial recruitment industry.
For recruitment specialists, the newly-qualified market is a highly lucrative sector. For businesses of all natures, newly-qualified finance professionals represent a critical resource for the development of the finance function. As a result, competition for the market’s best newly-qualified talent is extensive, and the sheer breadth of opportunity combined with pressure to make swift decisions can lead to fundamental career choices being made without due consideration.
Amidst this pressure, sometimes a major part of the decision making process goes amiss: is moving role after qualification necessarily the best long-term move?
The Case for Staying
In 2011 Adam qualified from a Top-10 Practice and moved immediately to a multinational Investment Bank on the business’ vaunted ACA programme. 18 months later, Adam tendered his resignation, highlighting a failure to consider the realities of moving as a newly-qualified as a key factor in the challenges faced in his new role.
“In retrospect, I made the decision to move out of Practice without taking the necessary steps to consider the longer-term impact on my career,” Adam states.
“The banking sector has a good ‘sales pitch’ and I was well supported throughout the recruitment process, but I also let the money factor talk me into a move which didn’t support my longer-term career plans.”
With his career now at a crossroads, Adam is aware that he cannot afford to make another miscalculation in his career.
“This is probably a good point for me to reassess the next steps professionally. I’d like to think I can get away with one mistake at this point, but doing so again might prove too costly.”
Steven, conversely, spent 7 years in Practice after qualifying, preparing for the move to commerce. Having now spent the last 15 months working as Group Reporting Manager for a FTSE100 blue chip, Steven is confident that this approach was the best course of action for him.
“I enjoyed my time in practice and it offered me a wider range of experience than I could have achieved elsewhere. The range of tasks I was engaged with ensured that nothing is too daunting in my new role,”
“When I did move to my current business, I had already spent a long time gathering experience which helped to prepare me for the challenges that you face in any new role – but particularly one in a new industry.”
When to Move
Moving immediately after qualification can certainly be an effective route and is a path that thousands of newly-qualified accountants manage successfully each year.
From a recruiter’s perspective, though, a recurring trend is that those who move most successfully carefully consider the driving factors and ramifications associated with changing roles immediately after qualification.
Careers in Finance are long-lived and the most effective are frequently characterised by careful planning at the nascent stages. If the best career option is staying put, don’t feel under pressure or as if you are falling behind the curve; sometimes standing still really can mean moving forward.
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