Careers Development

Join the Leinster Society in CA House on the 5th of July for a complimentary breakfast briefing on the results of the Annual salary survey. Release of annual salary survey findings with an informative session on the importance of digital branding for employers and employees by leading digital marketing speaker. The briefing will also cover remuneration levels, flexibility, work life balance and the impact or the introduction of new technologies to the profession. Book now: https://bit.ly/2I3vdMQ 

Jun 20, 2018
Careers Development

Meeting student members who are in the final stages of their contract can be enlightening as it gives us both an opportunity to sense check what’s happening in work versus what’s needed post-contract. A snapshot of some of the things I hear and see that perhaps might be an obstacle to a successful experience outside of contract includes: Underestimating the experience in contract whether that’s in practice, audit, industry etc. Your Chartered Accountants diary is a valuable tool to capturing your successes – so keep it up to date to avoid forgetting unique experiences and assignments.   Overestimating the experience in contract – yes that contradicts the above point but what is also important is to take the experience for what it is. You might have had the opportunity to get senior exposure on exciting projects but be mindful that some basic experience might have been overlooked. Walk before you can run.   Forgetting the bigger picture – often clients comment that members going for interview say they are commercially savvy but in fact rely on a very limited flow of information. If you really want to be taken seriously in business, read all you can and attend events outside of your immediate circle (on your own if you need to) but develop a passion for all things business and commerce and don’t rely purely on what’s happening in work.   Start to develop a level of self-awareness for what you like and what you are good at. Instead of automatically reverting to the ‘I don’t know what I want to do’ response, be mindful of the experiences you’ve had and ask yourself ‘have I enjoyed that role, that sector, that company, that culture, that size team etc.’ and find your own answers.   Look before you leap! Very often I meet with newly qualified members who on one hand tell me they have absolutely no idea what they want to do but in the same breath tell me they’ve interviewed but haven’t been successful? I think that says something – more time researching, engaging, questioning = less time interviewing.   High expectations in salary. A worrying trend is high salary expectations for first roles out of contract, be careful not to price yourself or the profession out of exciting career enhancing roles for the sake of a small difference in pay as you start out on your career.   Speed (appears to be) of the essence. You wouldn’t be expected to have your pension plan in place as you leave your contract and equally neither is reaching financial controller level within two to three years. It could be considered admirable but also perhaps worrying.  By having such a focused goal in such a short period of time you could potentially miss out on on vital skills, exposure, opportunities, secondments and ad-hoc projects as well as invaluable life experience. Often the longer route is beneficial to building a complete set of career skills. As always the Career Development and Recruitment Service is on-hand to help you at this crucial time of your career and life by providing impartial, supportive, confidential advice and guidance.  Contact us at careers@charteredaccountants.ie to see how we can be your career partner throughout your career. 

May 18, 2018
Careers Development

The Importance of a career health check As Manager of Career and CPD Development a significant proportion of my time is spent working with members in relation to career strategy. It is a topic that is always at the forefront of members’ minds. The concerns expressed by members are often similar in terms of how their career is progressing generally, how they compare with others at a similar level, what do they need to do to get their next promotion and of course how can they ensure they achieve their full potential and that their career continues to advance. Taking time out to review how you and your career are performing is time well spent. It is an exercise that is worth investing time in as it provides you with the opportunity to stand back and critically review your career performance. It is a ritual that should form part of an overall career planning strategy. It allows you time to review and take stock, to plan and to deal with obstacles or issues that might arise for you. With this in mind the following are some questions to put to yourself to help you to conduct a career health check or ‘audit’ to use terminology close to the hearts of many! If you are honest with yourself the answers should provide you with beneficial and thought provoking insights that will prove useful when you are reviewing and strategically planning the steps in your career. This process is becoming increasingly important with the wide ranging changes that are taking place in the workplace where it is likely to be the case that we have numerous and varied career paths during our working lives. This increases the need for strategic career planning. The Career Health Check questions you need to ask yourself... Career goals What are your overall career objectives? What are your short, medium term and long term goals? Where do you want to be in 5 years’ time? Consider these questions in relation to what you had originally set out to achieve, as well as assessing what your ambitions are now. It can be beneficial to consider these objectives and goals from a professional as well as a personal perspective. These distinct dimensions of your life should not be reviewed separately as they are inevitably linked and intertwined and one area of our life will impact on the other. This consideration can be of particular importance and relevance as you move through your career and as priorities shift and change. Starting a family is a perfect example of when your priorities might shift. Career Success Bank What have been your key achievements to date? What are you proudest of in your career so far? These questions will help you to review and take stock of what your key accomplishments and deliverables have been.  We often don’t take time out to consider what we have actually achieved and to then give ourselves credit for what we have in fact accomplished. This process can be hugely motivational and can help to provide you with the inspiration and impetus to move towards reaching future career goals. You will also gain greater awareness of your skills and value proposition. When it comes to self-promotion and personal branding being aware of your personal success bank is a must. Consider the following: Career Skills and Experience What new skills and competencies have you acquired throughout your career? What unique selling points can you now offer as a result of the experience you have gained to date? Building on and leveraging the career success you have achieved to date can provide you with a solid platform from which to launch the next phase of your career. Ask yourself if you are playing to your strengths and maximising your real potential? What are your Unique Selling Points (USP)? How aware are you of them and their value to you and your career? Are you making the most of them and incorporating them into your career development plan? Learning and professional development How steep has your learning curve been in recent years? In the rapidly changing and competitive environment that we work in there is immense pressure to stay in touch with emerging trends and developments and this is fundamental to your career success. If you find that your learning curve and potential to add to your skills and success bank has stopped or diminished you should now start to consider the alternatives open to you. Keeping up to Date How have you ensured that your skills, knowledge and experience are up to date and in line with market and employer requirements? What skills are most in demand and how do you rate in these areas?  What have been the recent developments in your area? What likely impact are they going to have on your career? What are the long term prospects for your role, organisation and sector?  These essential questions will help you to assess how relevant your skills are and where gaps may exist for you in the context of a rapidly changing world where skills need to be constantly updated. Comparison How has your career progressed relative to your peers? Conducting a benchmarking exercise to see how your career progression and advancement rates relative to your peers can provide interesting insights. It can potentially help you to assess your career in a more objective way. However, do keep in mind that we don’t all have the same goals and motivations so you may not be comparing like with like. That said it is always worthwhile informing yourself in respect of the career paths chosen and followed by your peers. LinkedIn can be a very useful way in which to learn about the career paths of your peers as is meeting with your peers on a regular basis to keep in touch. This has the added benefit of increasing your network as well as keeping it active. Salary/Package How does your salary and package compare with the rates currently being offered for employees at your level? How satisfied are you with your salary and package? What scope is there for further movement in this area? These are all important questions to consider when reviewing your current salary and package. Speak to others in your peer group to get a sense of what salaries and packages they are being offered and also speak with a number of recruitment agencies and consult their salary surveys to gain specific insights into the current trends in the market. Obviously money is important but it shouldn’t be the only consideration and you should take into account other non-monetary benefits such as flexibility and working from home when you are looking at the overall employer offering. Career Path Is your career on track? If not, why not?  If your career hasn’t turned out the way you had hoped or it has stalled, the starting point for any changes is to take a critical and objective look at what went wrong, how this happened and what the reasons were for this. The next step will be to reflect on what you have learned from these experiences and what you now know about yourself. Consider what you would do differently with the value of hindsight.  To move forward and to bring about positive changes you need to have an action plan in place that will allow you to implement a strategy that will get your career back on track and moving in the right direction once again. Network How strong, active and current is your network? How much time do you invest in building on this valuable resource? What contacts have you recently added to your network? Developing and maintaining a professional network is critical to career success, particularly as you advance into more senior level roles. Investing time in building authentic, meaningful and mutually beneficial professional relationships will benefit your career. Mentor Do you have a mentor? Who can you look to when you need advice and support in relation to key career decisions? Who can act as your trusted careers advisor? Having an independent sounding board and someone you can seek objective advice from can be invaluable especially when it comes to important career decisions or when challenges arise. Be sure to have someone in your corner to Supporting your career Ultimately your career is your responsibility and you owe it yourself to invest time in effectively managing your career path and success. Time invested will be pay dividends. Chartered Accountants Ireland has a wide range of career support services available to you.  For more details click on https://www.charteredaccountants.ie/professional-development/Career-Development or contact Karin Lanigan on 01 637 7331 for a confidential discussion.

May 02, 2018
Careers Development

During the course of your training contract you will be offered as well as seek out, lots of advice, whether that’s from your Partner, Senior, Manager or parents, peers, siblings.  Most of it will be well intentioned and constructive, occasionally it may hurt or disappoint but above all its information that you decide how you are going to receive and what action if any to take. Often we find it difficult to know who to confide in or go to with a problem or concern regarding work, career or life! In terms of career one of the most positive and rewarding decisions you can make is to seek out a mentor. Mentoring The concept of mentoring is not a new one. The term mentoring comes from Greek mythology and Homer’s Odyssey. When Odysseus went travelling, he asked his trusted friend, Mentor, to care for and guide his son into adulthood. Mentoring is a voluntary swapping of information, advice, shared experience as well as suggestions on how to avoid pitfalls but also an opportunity to inform the other person on changes to sectors, markets, updates on business requirements etc. the mentor is usually, but not always more senior. In most cases mentoring takes the form of face to face conversations between two people and the discussions are shaped by the development needs of the mentee. The meetings allow not only the transfer of knowledge and experience but also of ideas, options and opportunities. Great possibilities can emerge from mentoring. A mentor is someone whose hindsight can become your foresight. Mentoring will help you see things that you may not have recognised in yourself. This will enable you to identify your strengths and weaknesses and generally improve self-awareness. The quickest way to succeed is to learn from people who have been successful. Various studies have shown that being mentored is linked with achievement. The mentor can provide the mentee with valuable insights that they may otherwise not obtain. Mentees can gain an unbiased opinion and overview. This can be enlightening and help them to see themselves and their careers from a completely new perspective and enable them to unveil new possibilities. Mentoring provides the mentee with a forum in which to relax and open up whilst dealing with the real issues that are on their mind. These issues may not be addressed otherwise and major career ‘roadblocks’ can be removed. Mentoring is a powerful intervention. Many mentees report a boost in their confidence levels following a meeting with a mentor. This can in turn lead to an improvement in motivation and performance levels. If sustained, these new levels of drive may result in career progression or promotion. Mentees often gain an increased understanding of an area, sector or discipline. This new information allows them to consider new areas and explore other options, broadening their horizons and providing them with more possibilities. Choosing a mentor Choosing the right mentor is pivotal to the process. One option is to consider, ‘Who are the people in your life that could potentially act as your mentor? Ask yourself the following questions: Who has managed to get the very best out of me? Who has inspired and motivated me in my life? Who do I look up to, respect and trust?              The other option is to consider using the structured Career Mentor Programme provided by Chartered Accountants Ireland. The Chartered Accountants Ireland Career Mentoring Programme The Career Mentor Programme was established by Chartered Accountants Ireland to provide members with access to a panel of carefully selected members. These members are a valuable resource due the experience, management skills and intellectual capital they have acquired throughout their varying careers. Mentoring is not a replacement for career advice, support and career planning, but it’s when you have put some thought into where you would like to go to that the mentor is particularly useful. The mentor has no obligation to assist mentees in job searches. The Career Mentoring Programme is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to career or professional development. It is an unofficial, voluntary, mutually-agreeable, and self-selected interaction between Chartered Accountants. It takes place when the mentee, (having already considered what drives and motivates them) then needs advice, guidance and support. The mentors are willing to freely share their own experiences and skills with the mentee. Qualities to look for in a mentor The mentor you choose has to be right for you. Your choice of mentor can have a huge influence on how successful the relationship and process is for you and what benefit you obtain from it. Critical mentoring competencies include: Being a good listener and knowing how to give effective feedback. High levels of self-awareness Knowing how to help with goal setting and planning. Helping you to test the reality of your goals Knowing when to give and conversely when not to give advice. Providing constructive feedback and insights The ability to build trust, instil confidence and motivate people. Strategic questioning abilities. The ability to communicate professional experiences effectively. An effective mentor will: Offer challenging ideas and wise counsel Help build your self-confidence Offer inspiration Listen to career problems and offer encouragement Confront negative behaviours and attitudes Trigger self-awareness Provide knowledge of the career area sought Mutual Reward The most productive mentor/mentee relationships are those that result in a reciprocal exchange of knowledge. The mutual benefit results in a more equal and open relationship and this in turn can lead to a higher quality discussion, ideas and knowledge exchange. Conclusion Mentoring is a very positive process and experience which benefits mentors, mentees and organisations alike. It appeals to individuals and it is something to keep in mind as you go through your career at various stages along that path, there is always someone out there that has been on the same journey. For more information check out the Mentor page

Apr 11, 2018
Careers Development

What is mentoring? The concept of mentoring is not a new one. The term mentoring comes from Greek mythology and Homer’s Odyssey. When Odysseus went travelling, he asked his trusted friend, Mentor, to care for and guide his son into adulthood. Today the definition of mentoring on Wikipedia ‘is a personal developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person.’ Essentially mentoring is an open dialogue which facilitates the transfer of knowledge and wisdom. It is typically a voluntary arrangement and the mentor is usually, but not always more senior. In most cases mentoring takes the form of face to face conversations between two people and the discussions are shaped by the development needs of the mentee. The meetings allow not only the transfer of knowledge and experience but also of ideas, options and opportunities. Great possibilities can emerge from mentoring. The levels of interest in mentoring have been increasing internationally. Companies and individuals alike have recognised that they can benefit from the valuable learning and insights of those who have life and career experiences behind them. The benefits to be gained from mentoring have been experienced and recognised not just in the world of business but also in academia and education, sport, politics, medicine and many other areas. In the world of film and literature mentoring is often a key theme. ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ and ‘Dead Poet’s Society’ are just two films that come to mind. What’s in it for you? Mentoring is a two way learning process and there are immense benefits to be gained for both the mentee and the mentor. ‘If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants’ Isaac Newton. Mentee Perspective A mentor is someone whose hindsight can become your foresight. Mentoring will help you see things that you may not have recognised in yourself. This will enable you to identify your strengths and weaknesses and generally improve self-awareness. The quickest way to succeed is to learn from people who have been successful. Various studies have shown that being mentored is linked with achievement. The mentor can provide the mentee with valuable insights that they may otherwise not obtain. Mentees can gain an unbiased opinion and overview. This can be enlightening and help them to see themselves and their careers from a completely new perspective and enable them to unveil new possibilities. Mentoring provides the mentee with a forum in which to relax and open up whilst dealing with the real issues that are on their mind. These issues may not be addressed otherwise and major career ‘roadblocks’ can be removed. Mentoring is a powerful intervention. Many mentees report a boost in their confidence levels following a meeting with a mentor. This can in turn lead to an improvement in motivation and performance levels. If sustained, these new levels of drive may result in career progression or promotion. Mentees often gain an increased understanding of an area, sector or discipline. This new information allows them to consider new areas and explore other options, broadening their horizons and providing them with more possibilities. Mentor Perspective There is a huge amount of satisfaction to be gained from the mentoring process and from being able to ‘give something back’. This can prove motivational and can reinvigorate the mentor’s own enthusiasm, recognising the difference they can make and the value they can add. The mentor too will learn from the process and it can often provide them with a new perspective on different areas, other generations or developments. It affords the mentor the opportunity to build on their experience and to enhance their communication and leadership qualities. The relationship often allows the mentor time to reflect on broader issues and to gain some perspective themselves. Choosing a mentor Choosing the right mentor is pivotal to the process. One option is to consider, ‘Who are the people in your life that could potentially act as your mentor? Ask yourself the following questions: Who has managed to get the very best out of me? Who has inspired and motivated me in my life? Who do I look up to, respect and trust? The other option is to consider using the structured Career Mentor Programme provided by Chartered Accountants Ireland. The Chartered Accountants Ireland Career Mentoring Programme The Career Mentor Programme was established by Chartered Accountants Ireland to provide members with access to a panel of carefully selected members. These members are a valuable resource due the experience, management skills and intellectual capital they have acquired throughout their varying careers. The role of the Career Mentor is to provide advice and guidance to other members in relation to their career development. The mentor has no obligation to assist mentees in job searches. The Career Mentoring Programme is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to career or professional development. It is an unofficial, voluntary, mutually-agreeable, and self-selected interaction between Chartered Accountants. It takes place when the mentee needs advice, guidance and support. The mentors are willing to freely share their own experiences and skills with the mentee. It was a fantastic experience to speak to somebody with such knowledge, insight and passion for their role. He was extremely helpful and very generous with his time, giving me close to two hours. It really was very beneficial and something that I personally found very enlightening." John Farrell Qualities to look for in a mentor The mentor you choose has to be right for you. Your choice of mentor can have a huge influence on how successful the relationship and process is for you and what benefit you obtain from it. Critical mentoring competencies include: Being a good listener and knowing how to give effective feedback. High levels of self-awareness Knowing how to help with goal setting and planning. Helping you to test the reality of your goals Knowing when to give and conversely when not to give advice. Providing constructive feedback and insights The ability to build trust, instil confidence and motivate people. Strategic questioning abilities. The ability to communicate professional experiences effectively. An effective mentor will: Offer challenging ideas and wise counsel Help build your self-confidence Offer inspiration Listen to career problems and offer encouragement Confront negative behaviours and attitudes Trigger self-awareness Provide knowledge of the career area sought Mutual Reward The most productive mentor/mentee relationships are those that result in a reciprocal exchange of knowledge. The mutual benefit results in a more equal and open relationship and this in turn can lead to a higher quality discussion, ideas and knowledge exchange. Conclusion Mentoring is a very positive process and experience which benefits mentors, mentees and organisations alike. It appeals to individuals and organisations alike. Mentoring is generally provided on a pro bono basis and provides the opportunity to give something back and create a legacy. Having a good mentor can significantly boost your career prospects and growth potential. So what are you waiting for? Find that mentor now!

Apr 03, 2018
Careers Development

Market Update Quarter 1 2018- Overview In recruitment terms we have experienced a positive start to 2018.  As is typically the case, recruitment activity was slow to pick up in January following the Christmas break. The market recovered in February and to date March has been the busiest month of 2018. That said, the number of roles coming to market as compared to the same time in 2017 is marginally down. However, of the roles coming to the market in 2018, more are being recruited for on a permanent rather than on a contract basis. Another positive development is that there are now more senior level roles coming to the market with increased recruitment activity for positions with salaries in excess of 80k€. We are also continuing to see part-time roles arising more frequently. Salary levels Salaries levels are increasing on a steady basis with increments typically in the region of 5 – 8%. Where we are seeing larger increments is in niche and specialist areas such as funds, regulation, compliance and taxation where employers are finding it challenging to source talent. An emerging trend that we have witnessed in recent months is that candidate salary expectations are sometimes increasing at a faster pace than the rates that employers are willing to pay. This mismatch of salary expectations is becoming more evident at the recently qualified level. Bonuses 2018 to date has proven to be a positive year in terms of bonus payments with increasing numbers of companies, particularly in financial and professional services paying out bonuses in the first quarter. These bonuses are typically related to the employee and company performance. Other benefits Training and Development In an effort to retain key talent in organisations, we are seeing an increased focus on training and development with more employers now willing to invest in this area and to support the development of their staff. Flexible working arrangements Again, as a way in which to reduce attrition levels employers are looking at ways in which they can provide working arrangements that are more conducive to work/life balance and are considerably more open to part-time hours, flexi-time arrangements and work-from-home options. Sectors Actively Recruiting at Present Financial services Pharmaceutical Healthcare Technology and telecommunications Construction Services Most in Demand Job titles Finance Analyst Financial Accountant Regulatory Accountant Finance Business Partner Commercial Accountant/Analyst Internal Auditor Fund Accountant Tax Accountant Tax Manager Risk and compliance manager Skills in Demand Communication and interpersonal skills With an increased focus on business partnering within organisations comes the need for high level interpersonal and communication skills. Employers are looking for candidates who can interact and connect with others at all levels of the organisation including at C-Suite level. Not only that, they require you to have the ability to communicate and liaise effectively with others outside of the finance function. The capability to convey, explain and express financial terms and data to non-finance employees in a coherent and understandable manner is a growing requirement. Data analysis Organisations are increasingly drilling down into their data and those with the skills to do so are in demand. Experience using Excel including Vlook-Ups and  pivot tables is much sought after. A track record of using business intelligence tools such as Power BI and Tableau are very much of interest to employers also. GDPR GDPR is a hot topic at the moment. Many Chartered Accountants are now finding that they are the go to person in their organisation when it comes to the interpretation and implementation of this new regulation. Therefore expertise is this area is valuable and will continue to be as organisations come to terms with the implications for their business of the regulations. The outlook for 2018 We would be optimistic in relation to the outlook for the remainder of the year and we are looking forward to a busy 2018. Obviously there are a number of other factors on the horizon, not least Brexit, where it remains to be seen what impact this will have on the recruitment market.  We are always happy to hear from members and to help support you in your chosen career.  Contact us careers@charteredaccountants.ie

Mar 28, 2018
Careers Development

As the economy and the job market have both consistently improved over the last 2 – 3 years, we have witnessed an increasing number of emigrants returning or considering a move back to Ireland. Many members are of course more than happy to stay living and working abroad, but for those moving home it can be a challenging experience.  It has the potential to be a time of mixed emotions and confusion and one during which many important life and career decisions will have to be made. The aim of this piece is to provide you with some practical tips and advice that will help you to organise and co-ordinate the move from a career and professional perspective. Take time to make the decision If you have been living and working abroad for a number of years, the decision to move home is a significant one and should not be made in haste.  Push the pause button and allow yourself time to consider all the options and to fully understand your motivations.  Consider carefully what is driving your move home. Check out the job market in advance Before making the final decision to move back to Ireland, it is advisable to check out the local job market to make an informed assessment of the likely job opportunities that exist for someone with your qualification, skills and experience. You can do this by reviewing various job and recruitment websites, speaking to contacts in Ireland as well as checking with other credible market contacts and resources. Your network can be a good source of on the ground market intelligence. Have an appropriate CV ready To show your commitment to making the move home, it is essential to have a well-structured and professional CV which you can send to prospective employers and recruitment agencies. Seek advice and guidance on your CV to ensure that the format and content is appropriate to the local market. It is important to note that there can be some key differences in relation to the standard format and style of CVs across various countries. Be mindful not to include any acronyms or terminology that may not be relevant in the Irish market. You may also need to give details in relation to the organisations that you worked with as those reviewing your CV will not be as familiar with them as with companies based in Ireland. Key details such as sector, revenue and employees will be of interest. Your CV will not only have to clearly demonstrate your offering to a potential employer, it will also have to show how you will transition your more recent skills back to the Irish market. A focus on recent achievements and competencies will help you to do this. Update your LinkedIn profile Your LinkedIn profile is often the first introduction someone will have to your career history and therefore it is really important that it is professional, comprehensive and a solid representation of your skills, knowledge and experience. A professional headshot photo is a must to portray the right image. The more active you are on LinkedIn the more beneficial it is for you in terms of raising your visibility. Consider sharing or posting articles on interesting and relevant topics. Use your network Networking will form a key part of your strategy to move home. Your network has the potential to be a good source of job opportunities, especially for those at a senior level. Reach out to those already in your network and work on expanding the contacts you have. Look to connect with former colleagues, alumni contacts, professional network groups and of course other Chartered Accountants. LinkedIn is the ideal tool to assist you with this process. Transferability of skills Making the most of the skills you have developed during your time abroad and leveraging these will be an important aspect of a move home. You need to think carefully about how you will explain and promote this experience as well as how you can best demonstrate that it has a value in the local market. Generally this process is similar to when you are moving roles within Ireland, but where the challenge can arise is when you have been in a specialised sector or role and where there is nothing similar in the local market. In this instance the focus should be on the generic skills and competencies you have acquired and how you plan to utilise these in a positive way in a new role. Know your value in the local market Salary levels vary significantly from country to country and you will have to be well informed in relation to what you can expect to earn when you return. This is an important factor to consider when deciding on a potential move back to Ireland. Obviously you want to secure a salary and package that reflects the value of your qualifications skills and experience in Ireland whilst balancing this with not pricing yourself of our consideration for some roles. A good understanding of the market rates is a fundamental part of this process. The best means by which to obtain this information is to speak to recruiters and your contacts in the local market. Be careful not to pitch too high or indeed end up on a salary that is below the market rate. Be interview ready As with any process of moving role, preparation for an interview is important. Again seek advice in relation to the likely style of the interview so that you are ready to do your best. Competency based interviews are quite common place now and although not all interviews will be completely competency focussed, most will include some competency based questions for example, you may be asked to describe a situation where you had to demonstrate your ability to influence at management level. If you are still based abroad your initial interview may be via Skype or telephone so be mindful of the particular nuances of these interview scenarios. Be clear on your timings and availability Before launching onto the job market it is advisable to know what your timings are going to be in terms of moving back and more importantly regarding your availability to commence in a new role. Having definitive dates and timings will create a better impression with employers and recruiters. You might also want to allow yourself a break between arriving back and starting a role so factor this in when working out your availability. Have your reference details available As part of any job search process you will need the contact details for your most recent referees as well as their permission to provide their details as a contact point. You will make life significantly easier for yourself if you do this before you move back to Ireland rather than having to chase your referees afterwards. Details of your qualifications obtained overseas As with your reference details, it is advisable to obtain any certifications or accreditations for courses you attended abroad, before you head home. It will be so much easier than trying to chase them after you have returned. Give yourself time to adjust socially and emotionally Moving home from an extended period abroad is a life changing event and the impact of this move shouldn’t be underestimated. Give yourself the time and space that you need to adjust and to settle back in. The mistake that people often make is that they believe that life will continue on the same as it did before they left. However, this is often not the case and you can’t expect to pick up where you left off as other people’s lives have moved on in the meantime. It is good to chat to others who have made this transition to see how they made the adjustment. There is support and help available Please note that the Career Coaching and Recruitment team in Chartered Accountants Ireland are available to provide you with guidance, advice and support with this important move. Please email us on careers@charteredaccountants.ie Other Resources: Citizens Information https://goo.gl/pUH5jg Revenue https://goo.gl/QHhSNp Irish Embassy https://goo.gl/g1L1cZ Finding a job https://www.charteredaccountants.ie/professional-development/Job-Searchirishjobs.ie https://ie.indeed.com/ https://www.recruitireland.com/  

Mar 22, 2018
Careers Development

That first role out of contract is a very significant move for newly qualified members and as such has the potential to influence your longer term career plans. As I meet members on a daily basis I encounter the same sense of confusion, fear, trepidation and anxiety as they consider their first ‘qualified decision’.  This is the ‘Sunday night fear’ on a far more extreme scale.  You have been supported and guided throughout your contract and so qualifying opens up new options, challenges and decision making opportunities for you. If you take only one thing from this article it should be that you can be proud of your achievements.  Most of you will have completed a third level qualification, some of you will then have been fortunate to complete your Masters and then upon qualifying will have successfully completed one of the most challenging and demanding set of exams that you are ever going to come across.  Bank that success!! It is easy to dismiss your successes and immediately focus on the next job, company or challenge However, by taking stock of what you have achieved, the sacrifices you have made as well as perhaps how much you have developed both personally and professionally along the way, it can strengthen your level of self-awareness and hopefully your level of confidence & belief in what you can achieve. Recognising & banking your success is a useful way of bringing you back to the times when you were most proud, happy, successful and relieved! And most importantly when you are facing into CV preparations, interview planning and job hunting – you have gotten this far you can achieve anything.  This is not a glib one-liner but an empowering affirmation that can be useful in times of doubt.   What practical steps can you take to make the move less stressful for you? Choose your confidants - identify one or two people that you can discuss your options with carefully.  Everyone will have an opinion but they may be biased so choose wisely.   Slow things down and create an ‘ideal job spec’ based on all the elements that you have enjoyed in your career to date.  You may not achieve everything but if you don’t aim high you are starting low and make it harder for yourself to claw back on that wish list.     Spend time enjoying – yes enjoying- the job search functionalities of various job sites.  Keep an open mind on roles, locations, sectors and try not to limit yourself too quickly in the process.  New roles and titles are being created all of the time so familiarise yourself with them.  In practical terms, developing a professional CV that fully sells your skills, achievements and reflects your ability in language that ‘non-finance’ personnel can understand will help you greatly.      Visualising yourself in an organisation outside of the one you trained in will be crucial as you attempt to sell your skills and competencies to new hiring managers.  You’ve started something new before so you are more than capable of doing it again as a professional. Focus on transferable competencies and adapting the ‘corporate speak’ that has become second nature to you to instead mirror the language used by the organisations you are attempting to join (use their job descriptions as a guide). It’s worth remembering that for those finishing contract in spring, audits are in full swing and it’s generally ‘busy season’ for those of you in practice so a couple of things that might help: Avoid making huge career decisions during the busiest time of the year - either start the process earlier before Christmas or allow yourself some time beyond end of contract date.   You may be inundated by recruiters and those offering opportunities but it pays to hold your ground until you are sure (or less unsure) about your next move.   Everyone will have their own story so remember to listen to your own voice – you know best what you are capable of or where your ambitions extent to.   A dream job is only a dream job if it’s your dream – if you live your life through other’s expectations that dream can quickly become a nightmare.   Your career is a life-time in creation – the temptation is to want to advance rapidly – however mistakes can be made so instead think of this as a marathon not a sprint.   Use the services of those who will offer you impartial advice and support, to help identify where your passion+skill= career path These little practical steps can help to build your confidence level that huge change does not have to happen overnight. Focus on the positives, if you were not 100% happy in your training firm or company or didn’t necessarily enjoy the work then this can be a very positive next step and be the beginning of the rest of your life!  I welcome contact from new members to see how we can support you as you begin your 'qualified journey'.  Email ciara.tallon@charteredaccountants.ie 

Mar 15, 2018
Careers Development

Invest Time Take time out to reflect on and consider the direction of your career. Step away from your busy life and invest time to decide what it is that you want from YOUR career. Develop a career plan Treat this like a business plan and set clear goals, map out how you are going to achieve these goals, visualise what the end goal will look like and how you will measure your success. Setting SMART goals and using mind-mapping techniques can be useful in this area. Putting your plan down on paper will bring clarity and provide you with key career objectives. The career coaching service offered by Chartered Accountants will support you in this area. Consider your values Reflect on your values. What is most important to you? Consider how you can incorporate what is important to you in to your career to ensure maximum fulfilment. There are various online tests available to help including Useful Link: https://www.mindtools.com/ What motivates you? Motivators are different for us all. What fuels your passion and drives you? What gets you out of bed in the morning? Consider what career path will provide you with the enthusiasm to drive forward and achieve success in your career. Leverage your Success Bank List what your key successes have been in your career and life to date. Acknowledge and celebrate them. Consider what skills these accomplishments demonstrate you have and then decide to utilise and leverage these competencies to achieve further success in your career. Transferable skills Look to see what skills you possess that could be transitioned into other areas and that might then offer you renewed career potential. Consider also which skills could benefit from being enhanced and research what opportunities could exist if you did so. Our Career Coaching team can help and support you with this process and provide confidential and impartial support. They can guide you in relation to best ways in which you can up-skill. If you decide to seek a career move they can also help you with access to a wide range of job opportunities. Useful Links: https://www.charteredaccountants.ie/professional-development/Career-Development https://www.charteredaccountants.ie/professional-development/Job-Search https://www.charteredaccountants.ie/professional-development Be curious and monitor the trends The market is changing at a faster pace than ever, so it is critical that you stay in touch with key market trends and developments. Keep up to date with what is happening in your area. Seek out what skills and competencies are in demand and establish where gaps might exist in your skillset and the look to see how you can develop in these areas. Consider how market changes can present opportunities for you and be aware of any threats that might exist. Find a mentor Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Seek a mentor and look for guidance and advice based on their experiences. They will also provide a different and objective perspective. You can source a career mentor via the Career Mentor Programme offered by Chartered Accountants Ireland. Useful Link: https://www.charteredaccountants.ie/professional-development/Career-Development/Careers-Advisory/Mentoring Network Developing your network is a critical part of any strategic career plan. Build your network to include a wide range of key stakeholders who can support you as you further your career. Attending Chartered Accountants Ireland events will help to broaden your network. Useful Link: https://www.personalboardroom.com/. Possess a positive mind frame Often it is not your aptitude that will determine your career success but rather your attitude. Approaching your career with a positive mind-set and a solutions focus approach will benefit you. Believing in your own potential will fuel your motivation. Develop resilience Your career may not always develop according to your plan. Be prepared to improvise and develop the determination and focus to get back on track. Review your plan regularly Life moves quickly and things will change. Take time out to review your plan to ensure you are staying on track. There will be times when you have to change course, develop new strategies and update your career strategy. That is to be expected

Mar 09, 2018
Careers Development

We have arrived at the time of year where individual performance goals are evaluated and salary negotiations may come into play for some employees. Not all businesses will be in a position to offer an increase in salary every year but when the time arrives for you to have that conversation with your employer on salary, here are some tips to remember: Research the market:  Know the salary range on offer with competitors for the same role in their organisation. Compare like with like. Approach the meeting in a positive frame of mind: Have a list of the reasons why you feel that your salary should be higher. Focus on what you bring to the role as well as knowing how much you can obtain out in the market. Bring your metrics with you to support your case. Be industry specific: Salaries will vary between industries: practice, retail, aircraft leasing, manufacturing and banking will all have salaries at different levels for accountants with a similar number of year’s post qualified experience. Know your audience: How did your review go in the previous year? Were your goals reached and are you performing in your role? Was there a previous promise of an increase in salary? What if you don’t get the increase you expect? Know how much you value your current role. Job satisfaction doesn’t always come down to money. For example flexible hours may be very important to you. Consider your position carefully before making any big decisions. Are there important non- monetary rewards?   If you have a strong benefits package which includes health insurance, strong employer pension contributions and good bonus potential etc., do take these into account before you negotiate. Not every job has a comprehensive benefits package. Speak to your peers: Many of us have trained and qualified as accountants with our friends in audit practices. We have all gone on to different roles. Use your network to find out about current accounting salaries in the market. Choose your confidants wisely. When was the last salary increase in your company? If the business you are working for is underperforming it may be hard for them to justify salary increases. However, there are a number of organisations that are doing well post-recession but still have salary freezes in place. Be mindful of the market you are in. Time Frame: Sometimes there is a promise of a salary increase for the following year but not in the current year. Make sure this is put in writing. An email from HR and your manager will suffice. Speak to your membership body careers team: We can provide details of current salaries within various industries, at different seniority levels and in various locations. By going into the meeting informed you will be in a better position to state your case for a potential increase in salary. John Fagan ACA, Recruitment Consultant Chartered Accountants Ireland. My career to date: “After studying an MA Economics in UCD, I decided to go down the accountancy route by undertaking the Professional Diploma in Accountancy in DCU which lead to four years with PwC. After eighteen months traveling, I spent two and a half years in a financial reporting role in a financial services company. For the last four years I have been working in a financial recruitment and career advisory role for accountants at all levels. I have enjoyed each of my accounting roles but I now know looking back that I should have added variety to my experience regardless of the direction my future career was heading.” Contact us: For career advice and job opportunities at the recently qualified level please contact Ciara.Tallon@charteredaccountants.ie and for more senior level opportunities please contact John.Fagan@charteredaccountants.ie

Feb 19, 2018
Careers Development

The start of a new year can prompt many to review their career and to consider their options. It is an important process to go through as it helps you to assess if you are where you should be and want to be. Before making a decision to change jobs, a key consideration is whether you are making the most of your existing role and the opportunities that might exist with your current employer. A change of organisation is not always required to maximise your career potential. Here are some tips to ensure you are making the most of your current role; your dream job could be right under your nose. Career conversations A good starting point for this process is to have a career conversation with your manager. Let them know that you want to advance and develop your career. Take control and ownership of your career development. Establish when new roles are likely to arise and ask to be considered for these opportunities. Don’t assume that you will automatically be considered. Clearly articulate the fact that you are actively interested in new opportunities. Get your manager’s input in relation to what you need to do to make that next internal move. What skills and competencies will you need and what are they likely to be looking for when promoting internal candidates? Establish what you can be doing in the meantime to demonstrate that you have the skills and potential to progress.  It is essential that you fully understand what will be expected of you to make the next move. Work with your manager to set clear goals and objectives for the year ahead that will enable and support your career development.  Volunteer for projects Ensuring that the decisions makers are aware of you, your interest in taking on a new challenge and gaining more experience is imperative. Know who the decision makers are and make it known to them that you are ambitious. Getting involved in key projects is an excellent way of showcasing your capabilities, gaining new experience and broadening your internal network. It can often be a stepping stone to the next stage of your career. Upskill in a structured way In a rapidly changing work environment it is critical to up-skill on a continuous basis. The key to this process is to understand what skills and competencies are in demand, assess your skills in these areas and then make an informed and targeted decision in relation to what skills and competencies you need to work on. Don’t just undertake training for the sake of it. Be strategic and concentrate on where the demand is and where the gaps are for you. This will ensure that you are making the most of the time and money you invest in training. It will lead to the best career outcomes for you. Ask if your employer is willing to support your training both financially and in other ways such as enabling you to utilise new skills in your role as well as potentially providing study leave. Get a mentor Obtaining a mentor is a key part of a successful career strategy. Consider who within your organisation has the potential to be a valuable mentor to you. Who do you look up to? What position or role are you aspiring to? Ask that person to act as your mentor. In most cases they will be flattered and very happy to support and guide you. You will have the opportunity to learn from their experiences and insights. Not only that, you can also leverage their network and they can also help to champion and sponsor your career development within the organisation. It is also an excellent way to demonstrate your commitment to growing your career. Network This is also a good time to consider if you have been making the most of the professional network within your current organisation. Have you made a point of getting to know the key decision makers? Do they know what you are capable of and that you are interested in advancing your career? If not, now is the time to do so. Make it your business to identify who the decision makers are and then look at ways that you can start to connect with them. Before doing so plan what it is that you are going to say.  Have a short pitch ready that will explain your skillset and show your interest in a new challenge. This is often referred to as your ‘Elevator pitch’. Be prepared to make the most of any impromptu meetings that may arise. It could make a big difference to your career. Make your voice heard Now is also the ideal point at which to consider if you are letting your voice be heard. By this I mean are you speaking up at meetings and contributing? Are you letting your opinions, ideas and suggestions be heard? Sometimes complacency can set in if you have been in a role for a number of years but if you are serious about making the most of your career potential you need to speak up and find your voice again. Prepare well in advance of meetings and consider how you are going to contribute and how you can make an impact. This is an instant change that you can make that can result in positive career outcomes for you. Overview The aim of this piece is to demonstrate that to reinvigorate your career you do not always have to move jobs. An environment that you are accustomed to is often the best place to take on a new role or challenge. You are very familiar with key elements of the organisation, the people and systems as well as the political landscape and this is often more conducive to successful career outcomes. It is a safe training ground that will enable you to develop and learn new skills which you can then potentially use to navigate your next career move. 

Feb 05, 2018
Careers Development

Every year, at around this time I begin to receive calls and mails from members coming to the end of their contracts.  The sentiment usually swings between anxiety, fear or eagerness to move on and make that 'first professional move'. The fear and anxiety usually stem from influences including friends/colleagues and family etc. to help alleviate some of these worries I would suggest that you start at beginning - and ask yourself - What do I know? What do I know about? my values my personal beliefs job motivators job de-motivators my own levels of ambition my own circumstances short term career plans and objectives long term career ambitions and goals Reflect on your past experience – including: client base level of workload responsibilities and functions of the role size of the company size and scope of the finance team What did you like? What didn’t you like?  Spend time reflecting on your experiences with an open mind and critically review what you would include in future job specs There is no right or wrong time to move and no reason to feel pressurised by your peers to make a move that you are not feeling just at this time. We see from experience that those that take their time assessing what they'd like from a potential move, focus more on the prep than the application/ interview, and subsequently find it easier to recognise that dream job than those who apply for everything with little to no thought or reflection put into the prep.  It's an exhausting process so give yourself the benefit of hindsight, focus, reflection and an 'auditi' of your career to date and experiences gained. If you are lucky enough to enjoy what it is you are doing and are still being challenged, and stretched by your company and role then take stock of what you have achieved; how far you have come and assess what you need to add to your skills set.  It’s important to keep an eye on the market place, be familiar with changes, new opportunities, new companies, new roles and also where roles no longer exist - empower yourself to respond to changes in demand in terms of skills set and changing environments and markets.  This is where you focus on the 'end goal' asking yourself where you see yourself on retirement day? With this in mind - work backwards!  This helps you to clarify the skills, qualifications, experience and responsibilities that you need, to ensure that when this dream-role materialises you are best equipped to respond to it with confidence. If you are to take one piece from this article I would encourage you to take your time, we meet members who come to us having jumped in with both feet to an opportunity that wasn't right for them because someone else told them it was a good idea - they face the challenge of trying to get out again and back on the road that is better suited to them.  To avoid this mistake think seriously before you leap and don't be afraid to say 'no thank you' -  your career will thank you in the long run! 

Jan 15, 2018