What a broad term that is, for both the laypeople, and those involved in the modern workforces relevant to business and finance.
Just as broad, are the number of different types of jobs that aspiring accountants can pursue after they complete their education.
There is a fine line to toe between narrowing your search to ensure you find a job you love, and narrowing your search too far, where you limit your chances of success.
There should be an inverse relationship between the amount of time you have been a professional in an accounting field, and the slimness with which you narrow your job search down to.
Meaning, if you’re a 30-year veteran of accounting, you have certainly earned the right to search for very specific jobs relevant to your wants and certifications… but if you’re a new graduate, it is a good idea to keep your search pretty broad while you hone your skills and pay your proverbial dues to the workforce.
Here are a few paths worth checking out as you conduct your accounting job search:
This word still scares a lot of people, but it’s also the right move for a lot of people. For ambitious individuals new to the workforce, freelancing can be a great way to accelerate your career and get relevant experience across a wide breadth of accounting jobs.
Freelancers, as a whole (meaning anyone doing any job via freelance, not just accountants) generated nearly $1 trillion in income in 2019, which should excite accountants for two reasons.
First, it means freelancing is, indeed, a possible career choice, but it also means there is a huge pool of individuals who need help navigating their freelance taxes. This means that the job market for a “freelance accountant for freelancers” is very large and worth checking out if, indeed, you want to be your own boss.
Remember, though, that when freelancing, you are responsible for marketing yourself, finding new clients, and retaining those clients, so be sure to polish up your business skills.
In order to land an office job, a stellar educational resume is becoming more and more important, especially for those individuals entering the workforce for the first time.
If you have some internships or awards from your time in college, be sure to accent those in your cover letter and resume, and if you didn’t earn a very high GPA (3.7 or higher), it’s best to just let them know you have a degree and save that conversation for later.
If you do have a niche accounting market you’d like to pursue (like forensic accounting or hospitality), adding a relevant certification to your portfolio is almost paramount if you are lacking real-world experience in that given niche.
A good part about the accounting workforce being so vast is that at any given time, there will almost certainly be multiple firms looking to hire someone with the certifications you have pursued.
Consulting is very difficult to get into right out of college, so this paragraph is more geared towards individuals looking for a career change, or those who may have been put out of work due to COVID-19.
Accounting consultants are hired out by businesses to help evaluate and transform said businesses’ accounting processes to save money in the long run.
Consultants generally have a wide range of knowledge, stemming from either 10-plus years in a given field, or a master’s degree in accounting to go with their certifications.
Consulting can also be done as a sole proprietor or freelancer, and the paychecks tend to be quite nice.
Though the post-quarantine employment retention levels have been steadying for most businesses, it’s still, simply put, not a great time to get hired.
If you’re struggling, you’re not alone.
Use these tips and re-evaluate your niches, cover letters, and resumes, and keep going. Your job is out there.