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Busy season is rounding the corner and, if you look carefully, you might be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Squint. No I swear, it’s there.
My posts this week will shift from social media to the potential job market. As a public accountant, you should always be cognizant of the fact that you have the ability to continuously develop your strengths and mold your career path. Want to pursue of a career in hedge funds? Network within your firm to be staffed on the right engagements. Need to add tax experience to your resume? Seek out a rotation.
Here are three signs that you should get you thinking about exploring your options.
1. You’ve got your CPA – This might go without saying, but many people enter the public accounting industry with the “two years and done” mentality. Pass the CPA, earn some experience stripes, and get the *$@% out. There’s nothing wrong with this, but don’t expect to $100K jobs to be jumping into your lap. The average salary bump for younger staff from public to the private sector can range from 5-10%, usually topping out around 15%. If this isn’t enough of a bump to seriously consider a private job, don’t lose sight of the quality of life improvement a new job can bring. No, not the smoke and mirrors your firm is promising you. The real deal.
2. Someone you know is interviewing – Believe it or not, the job market is actually improving. The hiring freezes on many financial firms is now limited largely to supporting roles (i.e. HR folks like myself). Hedge and private equity funds are picking up their hiring as the markets begin to thaw. Recruiters are not wasting their time with interviewing individuals for the sole purpose of interviewing. So take note next time your senior staff member has three doctor appointments in a week; perhaps you should be “coming down with a nasty bug,” too.
3. Recruiters call – and you listen – Speaking about recruiters, be prepared for an onslaught of calls. Their timing is no coincidence. The private sector has been shuffling around over the last few months (remember when your client contact suddenly went MIA?), and as the cycle goes, the newly opened private jobs will inevitably be filled by auditors and tax accountants from public. Listen to the cold, scripted calls; be open to a pay increase and better work hours; reclaim your weekends. It can’t hurt to listen to the (substantiated) claims that you’re undervalued in today’s market.
Newsflash: you are grossly undervalued.
It’s our understanding that there are still interviews to go before offers are made so we thought we’d discuss some not so good things to do while you’re sitting across from your interrogator.
U.S. News & World Report lists 15 ways to annoy your interviewer and we’ll expand on a few to get the ball rolling:
• Knee jiggling or finger drumming – Performing the Wipe Out drum solo is typically frowned upon in any social setting. Double thumbs down during an interview.
• Playing with your pen – No one is impressed by your David Letterman-esque flipping technique.
• Checking your cellphone – Um, yeah.
• Nail biting; Sniffling; Picking at, rubbing, or scratching any part of your body – Bodily functions, while a fact of life, should be controlled as much as possible. If you think you’re going to explode, just internalize and try to keep your eyes from watering.
• Smiling too much (or not smiling at all) – On the one hand, permagrin is totally acceptable if you’re planning to engage in a Seth Rogen marathon. Not so if you’re trying to get a job. If you’re totally incapable of smiling, this is also not good. Your mortician face will not go well around the office.
This is just a starting point. Since your life experiences are far more interesting, kindly discuss your strangest encounters as an interviewer or an interviewee. Since we’ve already discussed the words that are actually coming out of your mouth, we’ll ask that you stick with non-verbal faux-pas.
There is lots of talk about interviewing going on this week so we’ll run a thread on questions that you recruits might be getting or are getting. Hopefully this first question isn’t “Where are your pants?“
Most firms, regardless of size, seem to ask the same questions, so if you feel inclined, tally the cliché ones in the comments. You’ll get more interesting responses here anyway.
But also feel free to submit questions that you are asking your potential employers and their less-than satisfactory responses. This will most certainly be the place where you can ask the questions you want to ask and you’ll get honest responses from our brilliant readers. Do your worst.