Newly qualified? What to consider when planning your future career

NQs planning for future career
By Lesley Stewart, CA Today

26 February 2019

Accountants face career decisions at every stage of their professional lives and for newly qualified accountants figuring out the next steps can be daunting.

Congratulations! Your years of hard work, effort and dedication have paid off and you're now a newly qualified Chartered Accountant. Your CA qualification can take you anywhere and there's a world of opportunities available.

The decisions you make following the CA qualification will have implications for your future, and you might be asking - what comes next?

Many new accountants will have clear career ambitions. To perhaps land the coveted role of CFO, to make Partner at a particular firm, or move into the world of entrepreneurship and start-ups. The career options for newly chartered accountants are varied, but what isn't always clear is how to achieve your desired result.

We know that whatever route you choose you'll have a fantastic career - it just needs a bit of planning. Read on for advice and tips on how new CAs can achieve their career aspirations.

1. Think strategically about your Career Plan

Think strategically about your career goals. As a newly qualified accountant understanding the career paths available to you is crucial and will help you determine your career objectives. What area of accountancy is your skill set most suited to? What are you passionate about? Do you need to do more training for your chosen specialism?

Be open to opportunities and look to gain experience in your chosen area. Research the career paths of those you admire, build professional networks and work to understand what a business needs from its future leaders.

2. A mentor is a must for your Career Development

Having a mentor who can offer career advice is invaluable. Your mentor may be someone you know and admire - your manager or a more experienced colleague. Or your mentor could be an impartial expert in your chosen field. Your mentor will share their own experiences, may support you in bridging a specific skills gap or can advise you on decisions that could impact your future career.

ICAS truly understands the importance of career mentoring and we know that it is a vital activity for career success. With that in mind, we will launch a new career mentoring platform in the coming months, so that we are providing our members with the very best experience and service.

If you are interested in becoming a Mentee, please register your interest and we will be in touch when the new programme launches.

3. Take advantage of your introductory CPD offer

At every stage of your career, there are core skills areas that you need to develop and sharpen to truly create an outstanding professional profile. Using the ICAS Professional Development framework, you will be able to plan your route to personal success, choosing select training courses within each of our key skills competency areas to ensure a fully comprehensive and effective approach to undertaking Continuing Profession Development (CPD). When planning your CPD, don't underestimate the importance of developing your non-technical skills as you progress in your career. Sometimes it's your interpersonal expertise - or soft skills - that sets you apart.

ICAS works with selected CPD partners to deliver a range of high-quality CPD opportunities for our members. If you're looking to build your communication or interpersonal skills, we can help you. Our lead training partner BPP Professional Development has designed an exclusive introductory CPD welcome offer for newly qualified CAs, to help support you in developing your core professional skills. The welcome offer includes:

There's also a range of other learning and development opportunities and CPD focused content from ICAS to keep you motivated and inspired.

*You can book your first face-to-face course by calling 0330 060 3303 or emailing and quoting your ICAS membership number and promo code “PDICASNEW”. To book an Online Classroom Live course visit Online Live Training and quote “ICASOCRNQ50”. This NQ offer is subject to BPP Terms and Conditions. You must be a newly-admitted ICAS member to take advantage of this offer. The offer ends on 1 March 2020.

For more information on Professional Development and the full offerings available, download our 2019 PD Brochure:

2019 PD Brochure

Find out more


  • Career mentoring
  • Leadership and management

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