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Jaimie King

Women shaking up the profession: Jaimie King

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As part of AccountingWEB’s international women’s day coverage, Kayleigh Graham interviews Jaimie King on career progression and how she has navigated her own challenges.

 

8th Mar 2022
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Whitings LLP holds strong values including quality, proactivity, and remaining progressive -  all of those shine through in Jaimie King (pictured above), senior manager in its corporate services team. 

Joining originally as an apprentice in the general practice team at Whitings, King has worked her way up the ranks, making a name for herself on the way by constantly striving to be better and supporting her team and colleagues to do the same. 

She has constantly upskilled herself, rolling out additional advisory services to clients in the midst of a pandemic, as well as supporting the regional ICAEW younger members group. 

Kayleigh Graham catches up with Jaimie to discuss her success to date and top tips for progressing in the industry.

You were recently promoted, how have you found the transition into becoming a people manager?

It’s been really challenging! I’ve been on a few training courses but they haven’t necessarily been that practical. They tend to focus on niche scenarios like “how to tell a team member that they smell!” I’ve really been looking to my mentor to guide me on how to manage the team in the best way and as a bit of a sounding board.

I have definitely worried about not saying the politically correct thing and so i’ve been sitting in on my mentor's one-to-ones with members of the team just to observe and learn. It’s been a challenge but I’m enjoying it. I’ve been seeking reverse feedback and that’s helped hugely.

Jaimie King with her team

What advice would you give to junior accountants looking to progress their career? 

  1. Focus on making other people's lives easier. That’s been the key for me - how can I make my boss's life easier? How can I make the teams' lives easier? How can I make the client's life easier? All of these things add value and that’s what matters.
  2. Tell people what you want. If you want to progress, say that. If you want to learn something or know more about something, say that. Vocalise what you want.
  3. Get a mentor. Having someone to ask questions to, get feedback from, and advocate for you is so helpful. It’s definitely been key for me in progressing.
  4. Get involved in the community - connect with people on LinkedIn, join your local groups. There’s so much to learn from your network. 

How did you find working in a team during the pandemic?

It’s been tough. When we first started working from home everyone just went away and got on with what they needed to do but we were working in complete silos and really needed to get the team working collaboratively again - both for the sake of our junior members in the team that rely on working with senior staff, but also for everyone’s mental state. 

We started just teaming up and collaborating on pieces of work, jumping on teams and working independently but with the presence of others, and we introduced regular team catch-ups where we would do a fun activity and get to chat more informally and recreate some of the office vibes. 

It was tough but I think we did a good job of keeping the team motivated.

Have you had any lightbulb moments in your career? 

I went on a course with the Rotary Youth Group that is all about challenging yourself and getting out of your comfort zone. It taught me that I don’t have to over-prepare. Preparation is great and definitely necessary in certain situations but it really taught me to trust my knowledge and skills. I think that’s super important for progression - believe in yourself!

 

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