New year, new job: everything you need to know if you're looking for a career change in 2019

Group brainstorm
Gillian Donaldson Rutherford Cross By Gillian Donaldson, Senior Financial Recruiter, Rutherford Cross

8 January 2019

Rutherford Cross’ Gillian Donaldson shares her thoughts on how you should think about your career in the New Year

If you have your sights set on a new job in the New Year, you’re not alone. As many return from the Christmas break with a new lease of energy, it can be the ideal time to reflect on where we are in our careers and how we can now get ahead and take the next step.

In our experience, many embark upon the CA qualification as it acts as a fantastic springboard into business; it then comes as no surprise that many newly qualified CA’s will be considering what the next step in their career may be.

Whether it be a new job or a new opportunity, it is a prudent time to think about how you can use your training to make sure you are on the right track to achieve the goals you set for 2019.

Here are some of Rutherford Cross’ top tips to achieving your targets:

Work out where you want to get to

What would you like to get out of your career and where do you see yourself in five years? Take some time to define your career drivers/motivators.

Understand what makes someone good at your chosen role and what the required skills are

Do your research and speak to a mentor, an adviser or a contact in that field.

Think about what you are doing now

And what skills are required for you to do your current job. Talk it out! This is a good opportunity to make sure your CV and LinkedIn demonstrate the required skills and what sets you apart from your peers.

What are the gaps in your skillset?

And how can you extend your existing knowledge? Take the time to reflect on your skillset and what you need to do to make the next move in your career. Exposure to project work, secondments, and entrepreneurial business activity can set individuals apart from their peers and shouldn’t be underestimated. Have you had conversations with your existing employer about an internal move or additional responsibilities?

Consider a career move

If your ideal role is not available in your current organisation, think about what external move you might need to make. Bear in mind that this may require a stepping stone approach.

And if you have set your sights on a new job in the New Year, add these to your resolutions:

Establish, maintain and strengthen internal networks

Realise the importance of your network. Seek the advice and guidance of people who have made the move, and look to work with a mentor who can advise you and introduce you to new opportunities

Build external networks

Look to extend your external networks by attending events, keeping in touch with peers who work in other firms and attending industry networking events. Rutherford Cross hosts regular Planning Your Career Journey events bringing together newly and recently qualified CAs to hear from successful finance professionals who have pursued a range of different career paths.

Seek career advice

A recruitment consultant can act as a good adviser or sounding board for your career aspirations. Build upon your relationship by telling your recruiter your aspirations, seeking career advice and updates on the market, and gaining an understanding of how to best work together. Your recruiter represents you so it is vital that they understand your goals.

The start of a new year often coincides with firms and businesses finalising their recruitment budget and headcount targets for the year ahead meaning that there is no better time to look. There are a tremendous number of opportunities for CAs so if you have the ambition to develop and grow, it is possible to take your career to the next level.

Whether it be learning new skills in your current role, changing industry, or even simply making positive changes to work habits I wish you a prosperous new year.

About Rutherford Cross

Rutherford Cross is a senior finance recruitment firm working across the west and the east of Scotland and Manchester. We work across all areas of the finance market from industry, professional services, permanent and temp/interim we can provide CAs with multiple options and career paths.

Contact Gillian Donaldson from Rutherford Cross for further advice or a careers discussion on opportunities available in 2019

Contact Rutherford Cross

This blog is one of a series of articles from our commercial partners.
The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of ICAS.


  • Career development
  • Leadership and management
  • CA life

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