What was your first year like and what sort of roles did you have to take? Did you have any regrets about making the decision to change careers or did you find yourself in a better position?
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The career switch has been an interesting experience. It was a real culture shock for me to come to such a corporate environment after five years in the media and three years before that doing an arts degree. I'd never worn a suit in my life and I found the degree of standardisation over everything (even email signatures!) a bit stifling. Obviously the people were very different, too - less creative and maybe a little more awkward socially. I even ended up having a small identity crisis for a month or two because I'd gone from being the music journalist to the accountant, which is very different!
On the other hand, everybody here is clearly well-paid and enjoying their job, so it's a really nice environment to work in. The hours aren't too much longer than in my old job and I've received a ton of training to help get me up to speed with all the technical aspects of the role. And over time my relationship with my colleagues has definitely improved, although I do still feel like the goose in the hen's nest from time to time. They're all really nice guys.
My first year has been pretty intense but filled with many new opportunities and new experiences. I've completed 12 of the 15 ACA exams (I get some results tomorrow!) and they have been really hard work, but do-able. I've spent a lot of time out of the office at college, which finishes at 4pm so is quite pleasant during the summer! I've travelled to Berlin for training and spent some time working in Cardiff and London (and getting put up in some quite plush hotels, which is a real bonus and a first for me!).
They do work you hard in the office though, and expect committment to the projects you're on and dedication to the firm over other things in your life. That said, the work/life balance in the regions (I'm in Bristol) is still really good and I rarely have to cancel evening engagements because of work. (Though I do take my laptop home from time to time and just carry on going there.)
In the office I do a huge variety of tasks, differing from day to day. Sometimes I help with buyer research (ie finding possible buyers for a company that we're selling) and writing profiles, other times I will be going through past transactions or look at quoted company metrics in order to work out a valuation for a business. Those are probably two of my biggest tasks from day to day. Honestly though, the work is of a huge variety - some creative, some just data entry, some academically challenging. I've also attended a few client meetings and networking events/awards dinners (fun!).
Overall I definitely feel in a far better position having changed my job, and far more positive about life as a whole. Deloitte are really keen on encouraging you to go after what you want to do (and I promise that I'm not repeating propaganda here, I'm being truthful!). I feel like doors have opened up to me, especially with the ACA under my belt as it's a really valued qualification. Though I have struggled from time to time with the change, and I've worked harder this year than for several, overall it's been a really positive experience and one I'm glad I found the courage to make.
Ha, what an essay! Sorry about that. I hope you've found some of what I've said useful. Please feel free to ask me anything else.
Wow, Caity. No need to apologise for the essay - thank you so much for such an honest and in-depth answer! You have no idea how refreshing it is to hear from someone who has actually made a drastic change in their career - very, very useful.
I will definitely be keeping your story in mind and hope to come back and ask a few more questions when I'm a bit further into knowing exactly what I want to do.
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