Right now, the job market is hot. Economic growth, technological advancements, and new IPOs are driving significant opportunities for accounting and finance professionals. And, as unemployment rates remain staggeringly low, it’s a candidate-driven playing field with attractive incentives and competitive benefit packages.
Know When it’s Time to Go
Accounting and finance professionals experience a variety of highs and lows throughout their journey. If you’re considering a move, first be mindful of your motives. Long hours during the busy times lead to burn out. Sometimes enthusiasm begins to dwindle and low energy makes everything feel mundane. But before making a career move talk to your current supervisor about promotions and in-house career advancement, as well as about workload, resources, and delegation. Give yourself enough time to gather data and weigh the pros and cons of staying versus leaving. Ensure you are making a strategic move rather than a knee-jerk reaction.
If you’re ready to make a move, here are our recommendations for next steps:
Have Clear Long-Term Goals
In planning a career transition you must revisit your long-term goals. Where do you see yourself in one, three, and five years? Planning for the big picture includes:
- Knowing your personal and professional development objectives and needs
- Factoring salary requirements and benefit packages
- Entering a new industry or organization that is growing and progressive
- Having clarity of your personal values and interests
- Identifying organizations with growth opportunities, whether through mentoring/coaching, promotions or other career advancement
Ultimately, the decision to embark on a new path is an exercise in self-reflection.
Explore Multiple Avenues
From digital job boards to word-of-mouth to recruiters, there are multiple avenues in the job-hunting journey.
Ask for Referrals: Reach out to people that you know and ask for leads and introductions. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to connect with people who have “insider info” and who can help find a position that aligns with your skillset and areas of interest.
Online Job Boards: Posting your resume online is a good place to start. You’ll be visible to multiple potential employers and see what positions are open. This gives you a good pulse on the overall job market. Explore the Alliance Resource Group Job Board.
Networking: Whether in-person or online (LinkedIn), build connections with others in your field. Rekindle old relationships with a quick note or handshake and introduce yourself to new people. If you’re reconnecting after an extended period of time, or meeting someone new, it’s better to ask broad questions to learn more about the organization rather than directly ask about an open position.
Social Media: Start following prospective employers, recruiters, and HR professionals. This gives you a presence in their world and a lens into hiring activities and opportunities.
Recruiters and Staffing Firms: Find a reputable recruiter who specializes in accounting and finance. Quality staffing professionals will work with you one-to-one and find positions that align with your skills, interests, and needs. The best firms also provide insight on industry trends and offer hiring resources.
Carefully Research all Opportunities
As you begin to uncover leads and find attractive organizations, research their growth and reputation. Is there any bad press? What do current employees say? Look online and ask around to get answers about:
- Company culture and corporate ethos
- Members of the C-suite and their leadership styles
- Employee satisfaction
- Turnover rate and career longevity
Also find out where people go when they exit the company. Are they moving on to more challenging roles at top organizations?
Research the Management Team: You’ll want to research the management team. Does the company have strong upper- and mid-level managers? What are your mentorship and coaching opportunities?
Research Salaries and the Hiring Outlook: Research the job market and compare salaries. Know which industries are growing and strong and where competition for talent is heaviest. This should be reflected in the compensation and benefits package.
Be Honest With Yourself
Most importantly, when considering a new position, be honest with yourself. Do your skills fit the description? Do you have enough experience? Does the pay meet your requirements? Are you passionate about the position and industry? Does the company culture align with your core values? Career transitions are multifaceted, requiring self-reflection, planning, extensive research, and help from experts. The best way to find the right fit is working with a top-quality accounting and finance staffing agency. Alliance Resource Group is here to help you make the next move on your career path.