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Career change to finance - advice needed

(10 Posts)
Bellebullerebelle Fri 24-Feb-17 20:25:20

Hoping you can help. I really want to change careers and have been thinking about finance for a while. I looked at the grad schemes but I graduated 8 years ago now so pretty sure I wouldn't stand a chance. I'm happy to do any courses I could before starting but I'm struggling as the courses won't take you on unless you're working in that area and I can't find any companies who will take me on with zero experience. Does anyone have any advice for where to start? I've been told starting salary in the NW is about £16k which is too low for my childcare costs so I probably need to wait another year anyway, but I feel like I'm hitting a road block before I'm off the driveway! Thanks!

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sat 25-Feb-17 09:48:26

Grad schemes are not impossible. I work in Finance and I'm assessing for a grad scheme next week. The candidates vary from several who are still at uni, quite a few who graduated last year, one who graduated 6 years ago and one who graduated 12 years ago.

The last time I assessed our "top performer" was someone who graduated 8 years beforehand. Hardly surprising really - it's a lot easier to give a good example of a time you showed leadership skills when you have been managing people for the last 3 years than when you were in charge of counting up the money after the canoe club social!

Bellebullerebelle Sat 25-Feb-17 11:14:32

Thanks for the reply! That's really good to know, and I think I'll definitely look into some schemes around here. is there anything I can do in the meantime to make me more recruitable? Thanks!

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sun 26-Feb-17 11:59:20

The job I do (and recruit for) our graduates spend their first few years in the role studying alongside working and taking exams to become qualified. The exams are tough and only about a third of people who start actually finish. The first question that we ask is "does this person have a realistic chance of qualifying" and if we are not sure then we immediately discount them.

Studying for the exams off your own bat always looks impressive. (For my profession - it's a small one which is why I'm being a bit cagey - you can study for and take the first one without having to join the (expensive) Institute.) The best thing is to actually have taken (and passed!) that first exam but just looking at the exams and starting studying helps.

Obviously less helpful if your profession doesn't involve exams!

WomanWithAltitude Sun 26-Feb-17 12:08:46

It's definitely not impossible to get on a grad scheme as a career changer. I'm 35 and switching career to finance / accountancy, and have recently started on a grad scheme with a big firm. Just because most trainees are 21 doesn't mean you have to be that age.

WomanWithAltitude Sun 26-Feb-17 12:10:50

Also, I sat a few of the required exams before applying for jobs, partly to make myself more attractive to employers but also to reassure myself that it was the right decision and I'd be able to qualift, so I agree with what mumoftwo said above.

hahahaIdontgetit Sun 26-Feb-17 12:13:22

I started accountancy exams before I started a role in finance, it shows employers that you're serious about it as a career.

It worked for me, I'm now a finance director. If I can do it, so can you!

MaybeDoctor Sun 26-Feb-17 20:06:09

Someone on here did the HMRC scheme - Emsy something was her username. She said it was very good and flexible too.

Bellebullerebelle Sun 26-Feb-17 20:27:25

Thank you so much for the help, it's given me a lot more confidence and some direction. I'm going to have a look at the different courses I could potentially do and see if there's any way to get started pre-employment.
I looked at the civil service fast track accounting and that looked really interesting. Slightly more complex than my meagre family budget spreadsheet!
I need to look into the different areas of finance too as I'm not sure what I'd be best suited to (having only recently realised that forensic accounting isn't anywhere near as cool as it sounds!)
Thanks again, I really appreciate it!

BarchesterFlowers Sun 26-Feb-17 20:35:18

I did this, Maths degree and other post grad/professional qualifications I did the OU's Certificate in Accounting to see if it was something I wanted to do, and I did, in my 40s, for a more local, family friendly job.

I chose CIPFA and now run a small local government dept, finance is just one of my responsibilities.

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