Career

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before you change career

Whether you’re stuck in a rut with your current job or are just looking for a new challenge, a career change is a huge decision, and there are certain factors that you should take into account before you decide to commit.

Why do you want to change?

First, think about the reasons why you want to change your career. Some of the most common reasons include a lack of interest in the role, lack of room for progress or the fact that you don’t get along with your colleagues or manager. Be very careful as to deciding whether it is your entire career that you need to change, or simply your place of work.

What do you want?

If you know it’s definitely your career path that you wish to change, consider what it is that you actually want to do. Think about what you dislike in your current line of work and what you would like to do on a day-to-day basis instead.

For example, are you unhappy with the amount of paperwork you have to complete or do you need more flexible hours to fit in with your work life balance? If it is a reason such as this, it may be that a career change is not the best move and instead you could organise a negotiation within your current role that could help solve your problem.

What are your interests and skills?

The likelihood is that you’ll have a certain skill set that you’ll have gained from your current position but consider whether or not these skills are transferable. You may be thinking that you want a complete change of career but, realistically, how achievable will this be?

If your current role is in finance, for example, it might not be logical to suddenly begin a career in journalism. Some of the most highly regarded skills that employers in all fields look for are organisational skills, communication skills, teamwork and the ability to show initiative. You should also take your interests into account to make sure that you’ll be moving somewhere that will hold your attention.

How much are you prepared to change?

It may be that the job you have now fits perfectly with your lifestyle regarding hours, location and salary so remember that if you change your career path, these things are likely to change too. Depending on the experience you have in your new and desired field, it may also be a possibility that you’ll have to start from the bottom of the ladder again which equals less status and less money. If you have a family, think about the implications this could have on them too.

Will you regret it?

It might be difficult, but try and see how this change might affect you in the long-run by looking 5 or even 10 years into the future. Will it take this amount of time to achieve once again the professional and financial status that you have now? If so, a career change may not be worth it.

You can always seek career advice

If you’re struggling with the decision, there’s nothing stopping you from seeking professional career advice. Sites such as CV-Library are packed with helpful articles and tips written by career experts that can guide you in the right direction.

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Salary Worth

You may find it difficult to find out whether you’re being paid fairly in your industry without having connections in other businesses. Fortunately, there are ways to understand your salary worth and if it is in-line with other positions of similar responsibility and location. There are many factors that need to be considered.

The following infographic from Pertemps gives advice on how to check whether you’re right in your thinking. With so many different job titles these days, and careers being something that are the focus for many, it can be tricky to pinpoint it down to the exact job title, so be open minded. This infographic takes into consideration whether you’re working in a big city and therefore living costs are higher. Or if your smaller town position is in line with what housing and everyday costs amount to.

Finally, the infographic comes with a salary counter to do some of the hard work for you. Simply input your area and job title (be flexible) and see what the salary range is, this will give you an indication of whether you’re current salary is inside or outside of this. Be sure to dig deep into your research before scheduling a conversation with your manager if you do decide that your salary isn’t in-line.

Understanding Salary

Did you find this graphic useful? Let me know in the comments below.

Last year, 500,000 business were set up in the UK. Needless to say, there’s a market for offering products and services to new businesses.

If you’re confident in your accounting and finance knowledge there may be an opportunity for you to capitalise on this market in the form of book keeping.

The following infographic from the IAB, shows off some of the perks of being a book keeper. The flexible working hours are certainly attractive!

Benefits of bookkeeping

 

 

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10 Inspiring Home Office Design

Over the past 6 months I’ve found myself spending a great deal of time working from home, however, one element that has been missing from my freelance quest during this time is a functional home office space. I’ve been thinking more about what my ideal working from home environment would look like and I think it’s time to share some of my findings.

Here are 10 of my favourite home office designs:

1. The Executive Living Room

Okay, I have a confession. I often find myself working from the sofa in the living room. Mixing work-life and home-life is a cardinal sin I know. However, what about a combined living room and office experience? If you’ve ever watched the TV Series ‘Suits’ then this is what I imagine Harvey Spectre’s living room to look like…

luxury living room office(Source: DecorBizz)

2. The Apprentice

Nothing screams power more than an enormous shiny, wooden desk partnered up with a big leather executive chair. There’s something incredibly comforting about having a great deal of desk space with nothing on it.

executive home office design(Source: Next Daily Deal)

3. Take it to the Next Level with Mezzanine Flooring

It’s time to think outside of the box, if you’ve got the ceiling space then why not add another dimension to your living space? This concept is desperately tempting. The important consideration here is to ensure you have enough light. After seeing this, I actually looked at www.warehousestoragesolutions.com to see what it would take to get an extra floor installed. One day…

mezzanine home office

(Source: Brink Rad)

 4. The Midnight Oil

Remember my confession about working from my sofa? Well here’s another, I often prep for the next day from the comfort of the bed. This layout would be an awesome place to tidy up some meeting prep for the next day

Luxury Bedroom office design(Source: Home Design Bee)

 5. Designed for Two

This beauty has the usability of a kitchen with extra room for your partner or spouse. A great use of space to create a more inviting home office environment where it’s not just you vs the screen.

Double Home Office(Source: Snugg)

6. The Bond Villain

Brace yourselves, this one is impressive. From the beautiful view to the perfect wood finishing this home office begs the question ‘does the owner even have to work at all?“. The desk itself gives off an impressive stature and the whole room radiates this feeling of warmth. If there’s one thing we can all take from this, it’s that you don’t always need to push your desk flat up against a wall; sometimes it’s nice to have a bit more perspective.

fireplace home office design(Source: Losing Horns)

7. Sleek & Simple

Something a little more achievable in the more common of spaces – this office looks both comfortable and functional. Putting the desk against the window is often a good idea as it helps to relieve an element of isolation that often comes with the home office environment. The spot lights at the bottom of the desk and drawers are a simple touch but are mighty effective.

Home office floor lights(Source: Luminns)

8. The Full Spread

What this lacks in character, it makes up in generous space. Whether you’re looking to brainstorm or lay out your financials for the year, this curved beauty can accommodate for your plans. Having workspace on either side of you would also make the working day more dynamic and physical which is great to keep those energy levels flowing. I’d be inclined to station a large mac screen on here and certainly make more of a feature out of the back wall.

large receptonist style desk

(Source: Luminns)

9. His & Hers

Another two person working environment great for the inspired, entrepreneurial couples out there. This setup has a neat, contemporary feel. A great use of light and a nice combination of homeliness and productivity.

contemporary home office(Source: Next Daily Deal)

10. The Organic Office Space

A very modern look with a striking desk design. The success of this room lies in between the well crafted colour scheme and the clever use of light. Th mirror does a great job of adding space to the room and the panel lights mixed with the spot lights seem to give a very natural effect.

organic elegant office space

(Source: Anon Feed)

What does your home office currently look like? Any plans for a refresh this year?

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A full length guide to becoming an accountant in the UK.

office workers

The process of accountancy dates back thousands of years and to this day is an invaluable skill highly sought-after across the globe. Keeping track of a business’s finances is not only important for minimising expenses and maximising revenue but is crucial to ensuring a business complies with the appropriate tax laws that govern their earnings.

The next four steps outline how to become an accountant:

Step One: Sharpen Your Accounting Skills

Accountants need to have fantastic eye to detail, a love of math and a high level of competency in handling spreadsheets. Here are some online resources you can use to sharpen your skills:

Online Accounting Resources

  1. Accounting Coach is the world’s largest free online accounting course. From financial statements to credits & debits, this is an invaluable resource for budding accountants, students and small business owners.
  2. Learn Accounting for Free has over 50,000 students and utilises engaging video content to teach you all you need to know about accounting.
  3. MyAccountingCourse.com is a detailed resource covering 5 key topics in depth: financial accounting basics, accounting principles, accounting cycle, financial statements and financial ratios. This course utilises quizzes to double check you’ve retained the important information.

Learn to Master the Art of Spreadsheets

  1. Mr. Excel is your one stop shop for Excel tips and solutions. Utilising video, podcasts and much more to help both beginners and more advanced spreadsheet users.
  2. Excel Exposure is set up more like an online course so if you’re looking to dig deep and regularly develop your skills, this could be the course for you!
  3. GCF Learn Free have an impressive section on their site dedicated to learning Google Sheets. Many accountants are starting to utilise Google Sheets instead of Excel as it is much easier to share documents and collaborate on projects with the online software.
  4. Excel Easy provides a large number of free Excel tutorials.

Step Two: Decide What Type of Accountant You Want To Be

Choosing what type of accountant you want to be is important as it will likely determine your areas of study and also the type of work you’ll be carrying out in your day to day work. Here’s a breakdown of the most common UK accountant types:

Chartered Accountants  A chartered accountant can work in a variety of different environments in settings from multi-national corporations to working as a sole practitioner. With this in mind some chartered accountants are able to work from home. Here are some services a chartered account may carry out:

  • Corporate finance/recovery
  • Auditing/assurance
  • Accountancy tax
  • Business advisory

Management Accountants – Management accountants are focused more on a business’s future finances than the past as their role is centered around improving the performance of the business through analysis of it’s finances. In this respect a great deal of their day to day work will be involved

Forensic Accountant – A forensic account analyses, inquiries and investigates finances in an attempt to gain the truth and put forward expert opinion on maters of disagreement. This could involve an analysis of fraud/embezzlement cases or simply gaining an understanding of any discrepancies that occur in a company month on month. In this respect, a forensic accounting will need an understanding of law in the financial sector.

Step Three: Choose your Education Path

“Although having a university degree in accounting/finance is not absolutely necessary, it is critical that you are a graduate with a good degree if you want to join the big accounting firms or even small/medium sized businesses. More so with those wanting to go for ACCA, which is where the big money can be earned after qualification. Certainly, a university degree (or advanced diploma) gives you more advantages over someone who hasn’t got a degree – online accounting resources alone just won’t cut it.” – QuietlySaving.

Choosing the best course will depend on the decision you have made in Step Two but in terms of education, there are two suggested routes:

Route A: Qualify with One of Three Main Bodies for Accounting

On average the highly acclaimed qualifications will taken around four years to complete. You can find out more details about these on their websites below:

ICAEW – The Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales

CIMAChartered Institute of Management Accountants

ACCAThe Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

Route B: Take a Shorter Course then Work Your Way Up Through Practice & Training

The AAT course typically takes 6-12 months to complete, upon completion you will be prepared to apply for starter accountant jobs such as ‘assistant accountant’ etc. This will equip you with the key skills to get started. However, it is very likely you will start on a lower salary than someone who has qualified with one of the main bodies.

Step Four: Apply for a Job in Accountancy

There is very rarely a shortage of jobs in career or finance so once you’ve achieved your certification you will need to take on the task of applying to accountancy jobs in you desired field. Education will lay a big role in securing you an interview so be sure to make this a prominent area of your CV.

Please note: Once you’ve secured an accountancy interview it is highly important you prepare for an aptitude test as these are a very common way for potential employers to determine your potential effectiveness in the finance sector.

Check out the latest UK jobs in accounting and finance.

How Much Does an Accountant Earn?

  • The starting salary for an accountant varies greatly between £15,000 – £25,000.
  • Where you appear on this scale depends on your level of education, experience in similar fields, the type of company and your location.
  • The 2014 average salary for all UK accountants is £27,456 per year according to Payscale.com.
  • Accountants in the top 10% of their field can earn around £50,369.
Accountant Salary (United Kingdom)

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