Ways to maintain a relationship with my Institute after I qualify

Sep 02, 2020

For the three and a half years of my training contract I remember that all of my interactions with the Institute were around lectures and exams and that when I qualified it was such a relief to be free from all that administration and exam pressure.

When you qualify as an ACA it is very tempting to just ignore any communication and networking opportunities with the Institute and indeed this may be your first reaction. However, before you make this decision you need to consider what you are missing out on in terms of the potential to build a solid professional network, develop your career and of course have some fun with other members. 

With no exams on your plate and all that free time one of the best things you can do as a qualified member is to explore how the Institute can now be leveraged to the advantage of your personal brand and career trajectory! 

Another consideration of course is that by demonstrating that you have an ongoing relationship with the Institute and where this is evident from you CV it will indicate to an employer a certain positive dimension to your personality such as loyalty, communication and relationship management skills as well as displaying your career ambition and motivation. 

Here are a few specific ways to build and maintain that relationship with Chartered Accountants Ireland in the years after qualification :

  • Explore a range of committees and special interest groups that you can join and get involved with including the Young Professionals, the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, the Technology committee to name but a few
  • Get involved with the district societies from a social and committee perspective. Playing a key role in a committee can be a great way to build a range of skills such as public speaking and presentation skills as well as getting to understand how a committee operates including from a governance perspective. These skills can all be very beneficial when you are seeking to advance your career. There is also huge potential in terms of building important relationships both on a personal and professional level.
  • When the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, as a member you can use rooms in CA House for meeting purposes. This is a tangible benefit to members and also represents a good way for you to visit the hub of Chartered Accountancy and to meet other fellow members and staff.
  • Again when it is safe to do so there will be the opportunity for you to attend a range of relevant and interesting events in CA House. Events typically have a social and networking dimension to them and you will get to meet members from a wide range of backgrounds and sectors. We often hold events offsite and we like to explore new and exciting venues. We are always looking to try out new events too and in recent times we have held virtual quizzes, health and welling being sessions, fun runs and beach clean ups.
  • The Careers and Recruitment service provides you with a great touchpoint with your Institute. You can meet with a member of the Careers team for a confidential career conversation that will help to guide you as you make important career decisions and it will help you to achieve your career goals. We can work with you to help you to set and achieve your career goals.
  • Our panel of Career Mentors is another way to engage with us and to gain the benefit of an expert panel of experienced Chartered Accountants who are available free of charge to provide you with career advice based on their own career journey to date.
  • CPD courses are another way in which to leverage the resources available to you as a member. Not only will you get to hear from some of the best lecturers and speakers you will also get to engage with your fellow members and learn from them as they share their experiences during our interactive sessions. A carefully selected CPD course can not only help you to build your knowledge it can also help you to build your network.
  • Join the Chartered Accountants LinkedIn group and contribute content or simply add some comments. This will open up a whole new network for you and can be a useful resource when you are looking for guidance and advice.
  • Volunteer to speak to trainees and students in the Institute about your career path. We are always interested in speaking to members who would like to share their experiences with other members or indeed with students. This is a great way not only to support others but will also help you to raise your profile. Another option is to perhaps consider part time lecturing for the Institute or getting involved with exam invigilation.
  • Write an Article for Accountancy Ireland. We are always looking for subject matter experts to contribute content to our publications including Accountancy Ireland. This is an opportunity for you to share your knowledge, develop your writing skills and also to raise your profile.

These are just a few ideas how you can use your Institute to your advantage as a qualified member and really harness the network and energy of the largest professional business community in Ireland not to mention international linkages. It is important to remember that peer-to-peer support is an essential ingredient for career success and of course having fun is essential too and you will find both when you connect with your Institute. 

Dave Riordan ACA

Recruitment Specialist and Career Coach

Chartered Accountants Ireland