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Life after exams

Karen Young gives guidance on what to consider after your exams and before your results

August 2016

For many of you the final stage professional accountancy exams are behind you and you will be receiving your results in the coming months. Although it can feel like a time of professional limbo, the period between finishing exams and receiving results offers you a window of opportunity to look ahead to life after exams. As soon-to-be-qualified accountants the career path ahead of you will require some planning and choices, so donít forget to take the chance after your exams and before getting your results to clear your head and think about your professional future. Use this time to explore how you can capitalise on your fully qualified status and think about the next steps in your career path.
In working out the right path, ask yourself Ė what do I enjoy? What industry or environment do I see myself working in? Researching organisations and job roles will help you to make these decisions. This is equally important whether applying for internal jobs or promotions, or considering taking your CV to the external job market. Discussing options with a recruiter can enable you to explore the market opportunities and gain a better understanding of different job roles, working environments and sectors, but more importantly it will give you an external benchmark against which you can compare the choices available to you with your current employer.
The demand for newly qualified accountants continues to be strong across all industries and sectors and there are no current signs of this slowing. This is good news for those of you expecting strong exam results, as a great set of grades will open up new and exciting career avenues for you to explore.
Planning your career and filling in your skills gaps will give you a competitive advantage. So donít rest on your laurels after your exams. Donít overlook the value of expanding your softer skills; employers are always on the look-out for well-rounded applicants with a range of skills. Think about any additional training you might need to develop your IT or communication skills, and use these upcoming weeks to work on a skill that you havenít previously had a chance to dedicate time to.
We all have to deal with what life throws at us. Sometimes things just donít go as well as we planned, exams included. Planning your career and developing your skills is as important if not more so if you worry your exam results may not be what you had hoped for. Planning your career development will give you a goal to focus on and will help motivate you during any retakes. Expanding your skills will enhance gaps in your CV and help to boost your morale, which will increase your chances of success next time. Good luck, wherever life after exams takes you.
For further information visit www.hays.co.uk/pq
ē Karen Young, Director, Hays Accountancy and Finance

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