Was an accountancy career always on the cards?
I never set out to be an accountant. It was never on my list of dream careers and when I speak to learners, it often wasn’t on their list either. As an accountant though, the skills and behaviours that we demonstrate are transferable to so many other careers.
So the skills of an accountancy career are transferable. Which other paths has this taken you down in your career?
Whilst I qualified in a large accountancy firm in their audit practice, I took an opportunity for a year’s secondment to graduate recruitment. Conducting 150 interviews means you learn fast! I also got my first role in training, where I trained partners and managers in how to interview.
I then turned back to accountancy but this time as a tutor. Being in a classroom is still one of the things I love most about my job. Being able to work with people at the start of their career journey is a privilege and seeing them develop from day 1 to qualified is a joy.
Has your accountancy career given you the opportunity to work in different industries?
My next detour led me to a completely new industry. Working in football gave me exposure to compliance, stakeholders and a role on a team organising a Wembley cup final. (Not to mention a seat in the Royal Box for the day).
A seat in the Royal Box! What led you from football to teaching?
Having children gave me a chance of another detour – this time to a school. The exposure to Ofsted, safeguarding and the art of policy creation on my ‘career break’ has proved rather useful to my current role in FI.
Detour over I returned to the classroom with a raft of real-life examples. There’s not much I can’t explain using football as any of my students will know!
If I had stayed on the straight line, I wouldn’t have experienced the joy of creating a year 2 art display or the ecstasy of a cup final win.
What advice would you give to someone embarking on an accountancy career right now?
If you’re starting out and not sure where you’re heading, there are plenty of chances to change en route. Even if you’re further in, don’t get so hung up on the destination when there’s so much to see along the way.