Here is my career journey… so far!
If you commit to a mentoring package with me, then I ask you to discuss your career journey and how you got to where you are today! I thought it would be a great idea if I shared the same discussion with you
Recently I was part of a career roundtable event. I thought it would be a great idea to share my speech with you, so you get a quick snapshot of me and how I got here… My career Journey has been great and I’m looking forward to sharing mine and hearing all of yours!
Aspirations when I was 15
I am proud to say that I knew the field I wanted to work in. When I was playing with my sister, I would always choose the suit and briefcase! (we were playing dress up!), I knew exactly why – I wanted to be an Accountant. In my mind there was always a need for them, they were professional, and always well presented, as well as carried a briefcase!
I was academically focused, so I knew that I would go to College and University. I got some valuable advice from friends and family of my parents (who were 18-25 ish) – they talked to me about Uni and what courses to study and why. It was great hearing it from older peers who were actually there and going/gone through it.
I went to college and studied A-Levels in Accountancy, Business Studies and IT (Please note I am not a mathematician). This was a test for me to see if I actually liked and was good at Accounting, but if it didn’t work out then I at least had 3 A-Levels – Bonus!
Aspirations now I’m 35
Now I am a Chartered CIMA Accountant, I have worked really hard to get to where I am, and I am enjoying the rewards (financial and non financial) that this career field can offer me, and I officially have letters after my name!
I have very high ambitions and expectations for myself, including in my career. This has led me to gain some challenging and exciting promotions and career opportunities.
I am half way up the career ladder that I see and want. Next steps for me are to manager more people, have more senior responsibility and Business accountability. There are some great opportunities out there, if you can and want to put in the effort.
I’m fortunate that I can work in a variety of Industries – everyone needs an Accountant! I am also fortunate with my earnings. Money motivates me, so I push for more to be able to travel, own my own home and help support myself independently.
My field of expertise is Finance. I have specifically worked mainly on Management Accounts for companies. I have also worked hard specifically creating and developing cashflows, forecasting and a strong audit trail.
There are 3 main ways to enter an Accounting level in a Finance department. Firstly academically (by studying to be a qualified technician (AAT) or qualified Accountant (CIMA, ACCA, ACA) or secondly being qualified by experience (QBE). Obviously this one comes with time and developing practical knowledge – this in my opinion, is harder to ‘prove’ on a CV/on paper.
Anyone can enter a Finance department – there are a variety of roles, and is difference for each company but mainly follows this triangle rule.
My work experience
After qualifying at University I have always worked in a Finance Department, some a few people some 35 people – just in Finance. I have worked in large companies like Mercedes Benz and Johnson & Johnson and other smaller companies. Also in industries for recruitment, manufacturing and distribution.
I have moved up the career ladder at every opportunity. This was to have more rewards – financially and professionally. I have manage and lead teams, mentor my teams, and I have been part of the Senior Management Team in various jobs.
At one company I was in the top 8 Seniors Managers in the company, I was the only female and one of only 2 people under 40 years old. (One of my achievements to add to my CV)
My longest job is 3 years – here I was an Assistant Accountant and was training for my CIMA qualification. When you’re training, I found stability to be important. And to soak up and learns as much as you can. Remember you have a job to do, but there are lots of knowledgeable and willing colleagues who can and will help, teach and support you. I gained valuable knowledge insight from my managers and peers during my training ‘phase’.
My shortest jobs have been a couple of weeks! I know what I want out of my career and life, and I know what works for me. I don’t stay/settle somewhere that doesn’t fit or work. Respect what you want your career path/journey to be and focus on that. If a job doesn’t fit or feel right – then be strong and focus on your path. If you don’t feel like you fit in to your current job or company – then you’re not alone – I have felt this many times!
My few of my experiences along the way
- I took my GCSE Maths exam twice, once when I was 16 and I got a grade C. The again when I was 21, this was because I was desperate to get a place on a Finance graduate scheme, and I was rejected just because I had GCSE Maths C! So I paid to retake and took time out of my social life, one evening a week for 9 months. So I worked hard to re-take and knew this was part of my career strategy, and I got that Grade B!
- After my degree, it took my 6 years to qualify as a Chartered CIMA Accountant. I took exams every sitting (in May and November) and I didn’t pass some 1st time – some exams took my 3 attempts! But I never gave up, and I always finish what I start
- At university I qualified with a 1st Class Business Studies Degree, I am not a super A/A* kid of girl, but I do work and study very hard. The last year of Uni I spent most of my weekdays in the library – but that doesn’t matter anymore…
What does matter is that I have a 1st Class degree. I will always have the achievement, and no one can take my hard work away. This has been a key part of my CV to gain that interview stage of a job application. It is also something I can talk about positively and link to strengths of my personality.
In my career, I have had experience of and used difference managers styles and personalities. From my experiences I would advise you to ALWAYS take on board their approaches and views. Learn from them, Soak up their skills and knowledge, and Use and adapt their ways to build your personal toolkit – also do not copy them – be yourself and learn what NOT to do!
In my Career Strategy Program I ask you to write about your personal toolkit – Your basis for your behaviour, values and dreams.
One of my most memorable managers was John, he gave me my work back quite a lot – for formatting and spelling mistakes! At the time this was frustrating, but he was 100% right. Who wants to see a table where the data isn’t lined up or if ‘finance’ is spelt wrong, or if the numbers don’t add up properly?? He taught me a priceless, valuable skill and my formatting is perfect and right first time now. Its also a priceless management skill I use in my team to improve my teams strengths and reporting. Thanks John!
So that’s my career journey, and some of my highlights on the way! I hope it gives you an insight into my personality.
Just a little tip to you guys – I wasn’t able to create an amazing CV without knowing my career journey!
I would love to know your career journeys, so feel free to post on my social media pages or email me and let me know!
I have some FREE resources available to you as a thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and start your career transformation. Have a look here!
THANKS. H x