It can be difficult to think about setting off in a new career direction and it’s easy to come up with lots of reasons not to. ‘Who will be home when the kids get in?’ ‘What will I do about school holidays?’ ‘I’ve not worked in a while, I don’t know what I’d be good at’, ‘My skills are probably out of date now’ or ‘I want to do something different to before, but I don’t know what’.
If you’re looking at a new direction, it’s easy to dismiss the idea of working in accountancy. Many people think that you need to be a whizz at maths and already have a string of qualifications. These are common misconceptions. A good G.C.S.E in maths can be enough to get started, although you may need to pass a numeracy test for a potential employer or to start studying a new course. In terms of qualifications, it’s now common to study whilst working to gain qualifications with courses available on weekdays, at weekends and in the evenings. You can even study online to get the qualifications you need; choosing to join ‘Live’ sessions or study at your own pace when it suits you best.
Accountancy may surprise you!
So where can accountancy take you? When many people think of accountants, they imagine a corporate culture, being based in an office all day long and working long hours at specific times of the year to meet deadlines. This, however, is only one side of accountancy and some people are surprised to learn that there are opportunities for those with accounting qualifications in a huge range of industries and within companies of any size. The public, private and charity sectors all offer plenty of opportunities for those with accountancy training but these days, there are a growing number of small and start-up businesses, many of whom need help with their finances. Let’s not forget too, that there are also lots of individuals and sole-traders who just need help with their accounts at various times during the year.
This wide variety of sectors means that accountancy can be a very flexible career option. Small businesses may only need part-time support and you can work freelance with individuals, start-ups and sole traders, so you can often juggle your own workload, from the comfort of your own home. Of course, if you like the idea of working in a fast-paced office environment and your personal circumstances allow it, opportunities to work full-time in the public and private sector now often come with a degree of flexibility such as compressed hours or time spent working from home. With jobs at a range of levels too, it’s not only easy to get started but if you choose to study and keep studying, accountancy is a career choice where you can really progress.
So how do you get started? If you’ve worked in accounts before, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to apply for jobs at a similar level to your previous roles. However, you may want to refresh your knowledge or upskill, and in this instance, you may want to return to studying before you apply for new roles. If you’re keen to get straight back to work, it’s worth mentioning at any interviews that you’d be happy to study to gain new qualifications, as many employers now help their employees to fund their studies.
If you’re totally new to the world of accounting, you may wish to get some qualifications first and study centres like ours, First Intuition Chelmsford, and our colleagues across the UK can help you to decide what and how to study. There are plenty of flexible options to fit around your lifestyle and our teams are always keen to help new learners formulate a plan to study.
Find out more about the qualifications we offer here