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Top 10 things to do when your training contract is coming to an end....

Darragh Everard

What should I do when my training contract finishes?

This is one of the most prevalent questions that we get asked by candidates throughout the year. This may be the last thing you want to do after 3.5 years, but; educate yourself.......on your options. 

1. Take your time. It's important to start the process of exploring your options as early as possible to give yourself the best chance of finding the right move. We recommend starting your job search 3-4 months before your contract finishes. Most clients are happy to wait for the right candidate in this market. 

2. Be bold in what you apply for. As the job market tightens clients are proving more and more open to upskilling candidates, especially those with strong academic backgrounds so if it excites you but you're not sure that you can do it, go for it! 

3. Don't discount practice! At present accounting firms are looking to grow as soon as possible and offering strong candidates the chance to move across disciplines; audit to corporate finance, tax to transaction services etc, audit to tax. Practice has a stigma that it is working hard to reverse and from what we are told, management roles do offer a very different experience.

4. Don't be pressured into taking the first thing that's offered to you. Listen to what your current firm has to offer, what life is like in a differently sized firm and look into various types of industry roles. 

5. Think about the aspects of the job that you enjoyed the most and let that dictate which role you might see yourself in. 

6. Speak to those that went before you. Talk to your ex-Seniors/Managers, personal contacts, even clients about what life is like in different types of roles. When you are interviewing with a company use the feature on Linkedin where you can find people who work in that company. You'd be surprised how often you'll be able to do some invaluable due diligence. 

7. Think about traveling. This is one of the best times of your career to travel and a recognized accounting qualification is as good as a visa for most countries! Explore the possibility of a secondment with your current firm as well as independently. When you return, your international experience and perspective will always appeal to prospective employers. 

8. Try a life less taxing. There are a number of tax-free (or extremely low tax) havens where recently qualified Accountants can spend a couple of years and save for a deposit; The Channel Islands, The Cayman Islands, The Bahamas, Brunei, UAE etc.  

9. Think about where home might be. Consider where you might be living in the long term and make sure that your career path will give you options where you might like to settle. 

10. Record your achievements from your training contract and make them as tangible as possible. This is the only way to make yourself stand out against all the other resumes that will look so similar.

Finally, view this as a chance to capitalize on your hard work and you can rest assured that you are searching for a role in the best job market in a decade and trust your gut feeling!

If you have any questions on this piece or on the market please get in touch with Eirkoo on 01 6991 200 or contact Darragh Everard on deverard@eirkoo.ie


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