When are you ready to start up on your own?

A very interesting Any Answers was posted this week from a member who is contemplating starting up in practice and writes:

"Over the last few months most of the work/letters/advice etc i've completed and passed to the partner has come back to me unchanged, ready to be sent to the client, so i feel like i'm giving the advice yet the partner gets the credit. I am at a crossroads and wondering what to do next career wise, whether to sit it out in current firm and hope a better position arises, to look for other jobs, or whether to start up by myself."

Several more experienced members suggest that the two-year minimum post-qualification experience period before a practising certificate is justified, and suggest that the ambitious trainee might benefit from a period in industry.

What advice would members of this group give? Is the time spent doing work for which more senior colleagues get credit a rite of passage for anyone joining the profession, or are there things the person could be doing to expand their job satisfaction and career prospects?

 

Comments
theaccountantscoach's picture

You need a career strategy

theaccountantscoach | | Permalink

Maybe its a bit much to say 'the world is your oyster' but you've clearly already got a good grasp on the sheer breadth of opportunities available to you.  In this early period post qualification I'd countenance against a rash move, often referred to as the 'knee jerk' career reaction ('I can so I will').  Instead I'd invest some time in understanding what you want, your strengths, your likes and dislikes and map out your vision of where you want to be in 5, 10 and 20 years time.

You'll need to extend your research to look closely at the other options - sole practitioner, industry or an alternative practice role.  You can learn a lot from within your own firm but you'll also need to understand the crux of the other roles out there. The best way to do this is find mentors and role models (just like the experienced members you mention), using your own networks or via your professional organisation.  

And crucially, you should map what you learn to your own aspirations to determine your career strategy.  Don't overlook your personal values; how important is money, work life balance, personal autonomy, organisational structure or culture?  

Above all don't rush, take your time and establish a proper career plan.  Without a doubt your plan will change but this way you can retain control and be sure that you make the most informed decisions that you possibly can.  

naomi2000's picture

Are you ready ?

naomi2000 | | Permalink

If your letters and notes aren't being changed much, then you're probably doing ok and your line manager is doing ok too.

OK but not great because you obviously feel bored, stale and undervalued rather than stretched and stimulated, and that's usually when work and careers start going wrong .

You need a new challenge badly but being good at your job doesn't necessarily mean you're ready for the next job up or to be out on your own because the skills and work are different.

How about asking your boss if you can get more involved in the wider work of the practice? I know your boss should know this, but sometimes we're a bit busy and pre-occupied and need a big hint.

Perhaps you could help with PR and marketing or mentor a trainee ? Does your practice need an IT champion ? This would give you a new challenge and also help you acquire the wider skills required to move up and on.

If your impatience is financial, then helpfulness can tip the balance when partners are thinking about pay reviews.

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