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Can anyone shed some light...

Hi Everyone,

I'm wondering if anyone has had the same/similar experience to me. Having qualified AAT in 1999 I took a break (dreaded divorce, no other reason!) before continuing with the higher level studies. Whilst I appreciate that during this time I probably made some terrible choices, albeit all via agencies, when it came to taking a new position, my level of experience is just not matching my qualification. 18 months ago I qualified ACCA with 9/10 first time passes (paid for myself and all time off unpaid) so I'm not afraid of hard work/perseverance/dedication etc. however; even now in my current job, I am just being completely ignored and this is a pattern that keeps repeating!! I just don't understand it! I am left to sit here all day from literally 9 in the morning until 5.30pm with NOTHING to do and I am unsurprisingly going nuts. I am registered with agencies but there is nothing out there I can compete with on a technical accounting basis for my level. Vicious circle springs to mind. 

I have done all the researching/questioning etc I can ever do and have come to the conclusion - based on always getting along with everyone and being considered to be bubbly/competent/proactive - that I am just plain unlucky in getting the role I have always wanted to be exposed too. I have now decided that maybe, due to my ability to 'get on' with people at all levels of an organisation and my general 'business' exposure that I should think about re-training to encompass something like Lean Six Sigma or Risk Management to enable taking a consulting route? I do enjoy the governance/process/internal control side of things but without direct experience in this area am wondering if it would be unlikely that I could secure a position, although as things currently stand, I don't have much to lose (expect my sanity which is disappearing fast down a massive whirlpool of boredom).

Any suggestions/help/advice would be appreciated and please don't assume I am/have been difficult/crazy or doing something wrong as this has never been the case. I have never been disciplined nor never needed it and have never been involved in workplace conflicts! Sigh...I must be missing something though I guess.


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28th Jan 2013 16:27


Is the best place to start not a chat with your manager or HR?

It is hard to comment further without knowing more about your industry/location/experiance etc.

Just keep on interviewing, if that means a sideways step in a different business so be it and they should be progression built in to roles at most decent firms for "newly" qualified.


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28th Jan 2013 16:47


A downward move is generally a bad move but if you find the right role in the right company then that is an option too.

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28th Jan 2013 21:07

Tried all that....

Hi Ben,  thanks for your reply but I'm sure you can imagine I have tried all those things hence my message on here....I'm getting to the end of the line when it comes to being able to try a new approach/reasoning/chat/patience etc :0(

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29th Jan 2013 09:03

What was the response from your HR dept/line manager when it comes to new opportunities/role expansion?

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29th Jan 2013 09:11

Not much

Hey Ben,

The response was that I should be bear with them and wait about 15 months when it is likely that the FD will be ready to handover but there really is no sign of him relinquishing any part of the tell me the logic of them taking me on in the meantime because I sure don't understand it!

A previous experience of asking a line manager didn't bear any fruit either....I ended up going above them as they ignored my requests for more work, the MD at the time suggested he had something important for me to do and that was labelling up his filing cabinet, that was just after I had qualified AAT. In the end I just sat there with an empty desk and they all quite happily walked past me like that. Suffice to say I made an awful decision taking another position just to get out of there and that has been the pattern I'm stuck in. 

In all honesty, I think I'm just doomed! I must give off some sort of weird vibe as no-one ever seems to want to progress me. C'est la vie.

Sorry to ramble, thanks for your replies :0)



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29th Jan 2013 11:29

not being funny but you are a qualified accountant presumably in a reasonably senior role and you are asking for people to give you work?  Fair enough if you are numbers monkey sticking in purchase invoices, but not for a qualified. 

When I worked in industry i made it my business to be valuable to the business. Go find some problems and solve 'em and show some value. I had about 1 weeks of "structured" work, eg reporting, staff management etc and the rest of the month was a blank for me to fill as I saw fit. No-one told me what to do, my boss used to make some suggestions now and again but I was expected to just get stuck in. 

That might have been putting in better systems, beating up people wasting money on expenses or company credit cards, improving the budgeting/reporting information, reducing the cash cycle, 'helping' out line managers with their financial decisions (or making them for them as its known), putting the wind up the shop floor i you think they are upto something etc.

If you get stuck in and make yourself useful people will come to you for help.

No-one tells the FD what to do either, so if you want their job then you had better support them now even if they don't want you to. 



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29th Jan 2013 16:13

Fair enough but...

.....having made the attempt to try all those things previously sometimes you are just stuck and that's a fact. Yes, I am qualified and have been working for 20 years so I'm not exactly green around the gills or a wallflower when it comes to either being pro-active or making myself known to the people within the organisation. A family owned and long term employee run business with directors that have served for over 15 years is not easy to just 'get stuck in' without them having something to say about it, which is generally along the lines of 'No, we don't have the budget' to my new system suggestions, the FD won't allow me near the budgeting and reporting, the directors have to sign off all expenses so I get (allowed) no involvement and I do 'manage' 4 staff who have been here so long they don't actually need managing per se and all other decisions have to be taken through a director and that, not being funny, is just the way I am discovering it is here, so I have 'gone found some problems and solved them' but they didn't want to hear it but thanks for the advice :0(

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29th Jan 2013 17:01


OK fair enough it was a bit of a long shot but I had visions of you sitting there scared to open the door and wondering why you didn't have anything to do, while your employer was wondering why you hid in your office all day sharpening your pencils....... however I would make it known to your bosses that you are not doing anything productive and ask if there is anything you can do for someone else just to help out.  Failing that its always good just to do your staff's jobs once in a while too, you can dress it up as "teach me to cover for you in-case you are off sick" but it then allows you to see exactly what goes on which can then feed into development of the department. I found coming into an established set up I had not got a clue what some of them actually did, which makes managing them hard. Staff will of course hate this if you do it badly....


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29th Jan 2013 20:06

You won't believe it but...

...I have done that because I believe it is right to be able to cover the staff you manage anyway, look I really appreciate your replies but I have actually tried everything, seriously! I asked my FD 4 months ago why he'd taken me on because I had nothing to do and was pretty bored and underused and he insisted he wanted me there (although that is different to being needed I guess) so it seems to me that the only thing left to do is ask what his plans are - AGAIN!!

Sorry but the doom and gloom tone running through this is that I really don't know what to do for the best anymore :0(



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