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Life after a Big 4: tips to help you find a job

As a Big 4 professional you have a sought after profile, and you’re bombarded with LinkedIn messages inviting you to have a look at new and “exciting” job opportunities. With all this attention, it can be at times confusing to actually step out of the Big 4 world and start looking for where to pursue your career.

Here are four tips you should follow when targeting your next career move.

1.    Analyse which skills you would like to use

During your Big 4 journey, you will have certainly developed a range of hard skills such as a good systems knowledge and the ability to interpret financial statements and perform analytical procedures. You will also have gained a lot of soft skills such as communication, adaptability, problem solving, collaboration and critical observation.

Before starting your job search, picture which skill sets you see yourself using. Do you like to analyse data? Do you prefer to work in a team or independently? Is communication with external collaborators important for you on a daily basis? If you can answer those questions, you will have a better idea of which type of job you would like to have.

2.    Seek guidance

“When starting your job search, you might feel like you have to decode job adverts so we strongly advise you to contact a recruitment consultancy to assist you in your job search. Not only will a recruitment consultant regularly send you jobs which better match your profile, they also will also help you figure out what kind of career you are actually interested in. This will save you a lot of time and help you to take the pressure off.

Job hunting can be intimidating and you are bound to ask yourself a lot of questions. “Where should you begin?” “Which field/industry should you look for?” “Which kind of roles complement your capabilities?” Recruitment consultancies can be a great way for you to start your job search. Specialised consultants will listen to your career expectations and help steer you in the right direction, all the while sending you job opportunities which match your profile.

Don’t forget to also work your network and ask your peers and senior managers for advice. Chances are some of them have ventured on exactly the same path and could advise you on how to proceed. More experienced professionals have naturally acquired more knowledge throughout the years and could give you some insight on what a particular field or industry is like.

3.    Look beyond job requirements

Some job adverts can be daunting and contain a whole list of requirements regarding the necessary skills, qualifications and experience. Job descriptions can often be loosely interpreted. Most employers are flexible and their expectations are not set in stone. If a job truly interests you, don’t be dissuaded from applying just because you do not have enough years of experience or all the right degrees. Employers could for example be open to taking on a more junior profile if they feel that he or she is hardworking and would be a better fit with the company.

4.    Don’t be afraid to branch out of finance

Having graduated with a financial degree and jumped on-board the Big 4 wagon following your studies, it is tempting to assume that you belong in the world of finance. But having started off in finance does not necessarily mean that you have to stay in finance.

A Big 4 experience is a great way to be exposed to various industries and aspects of a business in a short amount of time. So don’t be afraid to think about what you truly want to do and make a career move out of finance. Whether you decide to pursue a career in recruitment, marketing, HR, or any other field, remember that your Big 4 background has provided you with a desirable training which is sought after by most employers. The options at your fingertips are unlimited.

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