I'm going to have to turn down this offer aren't I?

(129 Posts)
Accounting101 Tue 09-Feb-21 12:04:08

I'm in a dilemma and I'm desperate for some kind of reassurance. I've got an offer for a graduate scheme at a good accounting firm to start later in the year.

I'm mid-20's and a lone parent. I was concerned before applying whether I would be able to manage with accounting being prone to long hours and all the studying involved. But, I'd got in touch with someone at the firm who assured me that this particular office pretty much never goes beyond 9-5 for my department (fine, as my LO will be in nursery). I'm also very used to studying nights and weekends so that isn't much of a problem.

I thought I had it all planned out. Yesterday, however, I spoke to someone in the firm who in conversation mentioned the bock study leave I'd need to go on for the training courses. Probably very naive of me but I had assumed these would be local. They're not, it would be a 2 hour journey to a different city and would require me to stay there for 2 (or more) weeks at a time.

I don't have a supportive family so asking them to watch DC isn't really an option. I'm going to have to drop the offer won't I?

Just gutted because I really wanted this opportunity and I feel like I'm going to end up trapped in a NMW job because of my circumstances (very aware this is a sitaution I've got myself into, but it doesn't make it any easier). The firm don't know I have a child. I know the courses were remote this year due to Covid, but having asked, they think these will be back to normal should things with Covid clear up. Even if that isn't true of this year, I'm assuming it will at some point throughout the 3 year training period, in which I'll be stuck in the same situation.

Aghh I'm just gutted, I really wanted this job (was up against a fair few so I was also very lucky) and it would be a great opportunity for me and my LO. I'm not sure why I'm really posting, Its just so frustrating and I feel rather hopeless at the moment! sad

OP’s posts: |
Hoppinggreen Tue 09-Feb-21 12:24:59

Talk to them before turning it down
Maybe there is a way to do it. You have nothing to lose at this point
I have turned down jobs before as they needed residential training courses so I know how you feel

Yellowfiledredfilled Tue 09-Feb-21 12:26:59

I think you need to speak to someone in HR or the training dept. I think it's unusual to expect someone to be away from home for 2 weeks without some pre-warning that it was a requirement.

orinocosfavoritecake Tue 09-Feb-21 12:28:18

Ask if the courses can be done remotely.

MrsPnut Tue 09-Feb-21 12:29:06

There may be other places to do the training, ACA and ACCA courses are held as on demand online courses as well as in person. Definitely speak to them regarding the training.
Accountancy is a good solid profession to get into and you’d be doing yourself a disservice to not explore workarounds.

Kitty2019 Tue 09-Feb-21 12:29:27

Don't give up yet. I did the same training and qualification and it set me up for life.
Talk to them. You could do the block release classes and leave a bit early each day and get notes from your classmates or something. Maybe you can organise a local child under those weeks?
These graduate positions are so competitive and it is a really great opportunity. Try and think of solutions...
Best of luck!

Carrottop73 Tue 09-Feb-21 12:30:00

There are many ways you can study for professional accountancy qualifications. There are also many different professional qualifications. ACCA is very flexible, you can do it from books, online classes or bloc learning. CA qualifications tend to be a bit less flexible. Your employer should give you a variety of training options. Book learning online learning is also going to be in their interest as it is a lot cheaper than block learning.

Kitty2019 Tue 09-Feb-21 12:30:41

Local child minder I meant to say!

LunaHeather Tue 09-Feb-21 12:32:36


Talk to them before turning it down
Maybe there is a way to do it. You have nothing to lose at this point
I have turned down jobs before as they needed residential training courses so I know how you feel

Talk to them.

I was offered a job where they didn't bother to explain regular time away till the contract came in and I had accepted verbally.

I called them and said I don't do that. They found a way round it. I did also indicate my displeasure at it not being on the job description!

cautiouscovidity Tue 09-Feb-21 12:35:26

What are your current childcare arrangements? I have friends who had similar needs as in they had to go away for training as part of their professional development and both of them had partners that were away from home at the time (one's in the military, the other a research scientist whose work takes them abroad for months at a time). Anyway, one friend uses a childminder who was happy to have the children for overnight stays for the nights DFriend had to work away. The other employed one of the young ladies from her child's nursery to look after her (in the child's home) whilst my friend was away. So she took her home from nursery, put her to bed and then got her up and took her to nursery again the next day.

Logistria Tue 09-Feb-21 12:37:52

Don't turn it down based on hearsay and assumptions!

I have a very hard time believing there won't be solutions to this, and if it's one of the bigger firms that does block study then they are more than capable of using other options.

At the very least talk to them properly.

Embracelife Tue 09-Feb-21 12:38:19

Tell them
Talk it through

Accounting101 Tue 09-Feb-21 12:40:32

Thank you all for your messages!

Yes, it was also a 2 month interview process. I was up against a number of people so I would be gutted to have to turn it down. I had other offers from smaller firms which I also turned down as this one is a strong firm, but as PP mentioned, there was nothing in the contract to suggest study away from home.

It's just that they specifically said on the phone that it would be block leave and they would pay for a hotel. All great, it just isn't suitable given my circumstances.

But yes, your right I don't have anything to lose, I can only hope they may offer an alternative. Studying for it online would be far more suitable and time efficient for me!

OP’s posts: |
SeasonFinale Tue 09-Feb-21 12:43:10

A disabled friend was unable to travel for the block study and they used to link him into the sessions from one of their on site meeting rooms and they even arranged for him to take his exams at the office he worked at (one of the big4) so there are definitely ways around it. Please don't turn down such a great opportunity without speaking to the partner you work for. I say that over HR who may give a blanket no because they haven't come across it before.

LunaHeather Tue 09-Feb-21 12:43:26

Studying online would be cheaper for them too.

I hope you get something sorted.

Btw if I could turn back time, I'd do accountancy!

Accounting101 Tue 09-Feb-21 12:44:25

@cautiouscovidity I've done 3 years in university so I've relied on a nursery. I'll be relocating for this job so my DC will start a new nursury.

I would be more than happy to try to sort out whatever arrangement so I don't have to give up the job, It's just whether I can find an alternative or anyone who can do overnights! Also, it would have to be something ofsted registered so that might make things a bit harder.

OP’s posts: |
maxelly Tue 09-Feb-21 12:46:24

Def don't turn it down without asking them about flexibility first! In a previous job I ran graduate schemes which had these kind of 'stay away' training courses and there were things we could do even then, when technology was much less able to support remote/online learning than it is now.

I def think they should be able to sort something that means you avoid 2 weeks at a time away from home, even if it means long days for you and some overnight stays? So for instance if a course runs Monday-Friday and the expectation is you stay over, maybe an adjustment for you could be that you arrive Monday, stay Monday and Tuesday nights, leave Wednesday evening, do Thursday and Friday remotely? Same again the following week? I know that needs you leaving to find 4 nights childcare but that's a lot more manageable than 2 weeks? Or if it's a 2 hour journey away, I know that's an awful lot of travel but not totally impossible to do that back and forth on a daily basis, most courses run 10am-4pm or 9.30 - 4.30 so you would leave home 7.30/8am and get home 6/6.30pm which is a bit of a PITA but not an unprecedently long day if it's only occasional, and within the wrap around care that a lot of nurseries or some childminders/babysitters will offer. If you can take the train it can even be quite nice to get some 'me' time to sleep or read a book on that kind of journey! You have the advantage of time to plan this out so can investigate things like temporary nannies (will be expensive but can do overnight care), childcare 'swaps' with friends with children (they take your DD overnight for a night, you offer them babysitting in exchange?), wrap around care or a babysitter/mothers help type person who could take her before and after regular nursery hours?

Don't give up OP, it sounds a great opportunity if you can make it work!

Polly99 Tue 09-Feb-21 12:47:37

Definitely talk to them. Graduate recruits usually don't have caring responsibilities so this may not have come up before but it doesn't mean things can't change. This is a problem that can be solved. I am in a different area of professional services and we would I am sure find a way to fix this sort of thing for one of our trainees, particularly given everything we have learned about flexibility at work from the pandemic and the current focus on diversity and equal opportunities.

ScrapThatThen Tue 09-Feb-21 12:48:32

I think you can make it work. Perhaps you can ask to attend remotely for the first year, or perhaps you could stay in an Airbnb or hotel with your dd and hire a sitter for the day. More stressful but doable to improve your situation.

Accounting101 Tue 09-Feb-21 12:56:05

@maxelly Yeah, I mean anything really to make it somewhat more do-able would be great. If it was only a few days a week I can try to get my DM to cover it. She's not one to offer support so 2 weeks is a definite no.

Unfortunately I wouldn't be able to afford a nanny, I doubt even on a temporary basis as it would be quite often that I would be required to do the study blocks!

OP’s posts: |
Palavah Tue 09-Feb-21 12:57:40

Echo everyone saying don't turn it down, talk to them.

Also - check their website. What do they say about diversity and inclusion? I bet at least one of the partners is on there talking about it. I'd be tempted to contact them direcrly. This is a great opportunity for the firm to learn and adapt and support, show some action.

Accounting101 Tue 09-Feb-21 12:59:19

@Polly99 that's good to hear and I will give it a go!

I just feel like such a burden having to get them to meet my needs, when they could have gone with one of the many other graduates who didn't have caring responsibilities (although, of course I'm very grateful that they did go with me).

OP’s posts: |
Accounting101 Tue 09-Feb-21 13:03:52

@Palavah the firm I'm with are actually very big on inclusion and equality (one of the reasons I was attracted to them). I mentioned it a lot in my interview as a reason for choosing them!

I've also spoken to a senior member who works closely with the parter I've been speaking/had my interview with and he mentioned that he's very understanding and supportive. It's just whether they actually have the means to adapt the course, I'm not at all familiar with these training schemes so I think PPs on here have better knowledge of what is/isn't doable.

OP’s posts: |
Aprilx Tue 09-Feb-21 13:17:40

I have over thirty years experience in the accountancy world, I have qualified myself and managed many others through their qualification.

I have never heard of anybody going away for two weeks of block study. Never.

Don’t turn the opportunity down, research other options for study, there is more than one way to skin a cat.

Mumski45 Tue 09-Feb-21 13:21:20

Please please don't turn this down. They have chosen you over a number of other candidates so you deserve it. It is such a good profession to get into and so many options for full time/ part time/High flying/self employment/ the list is endless. It will be the making of you and will be worth the effort.

There will be many ways to sort out the studying in a flexible way.

I am an accountant and trained in the early 90's with a big 6 firm as a single parent. I was lucky as I had fab family support but it can be done without I'm sure.

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