UK Newly qualified - Now what?


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Hi everyone,

I'm after a bit of career advice as I'm not exactly sure what the right direction I should take is.

Here's my current situation. Currently working within an Academy Trust, have been told that I am being promoted to Finance Manager. Expecting a salary of c£35k to come with it, although nothing formally agreed just yet.

As I can see it here are my options:
- Stay where I am, I'm comfortable (too comfortable?) confident, good at the job etc. However things are becoming a bit 'samey' and stale.
- Look elsewhere for another job in education, I've seen a job I'm qualified for for c£45k, more responsibility, more money, more senior position. However, I can't help but feel I'm restricting myself to this niche sector as I have no experience of either private or practice accounting. This is the safe option, as it basically ensures a good work life balance and it's relatively secure.
- Look for a job in the private sector, more risk, more reward, broadening of skill set whilst I'm still relatively young. I'm assuming I'll have to start at a lower position in order to gain the experience needed though. I would like to work in a well known international company that's fast paced, dynamic, a bit of travel etc. However not sure what effect this would have on work life balance, workload, pressures etc.
- Look for a job in practice, same as above.

In terms of a rewarding career which way would you guys go? I know everyone has their different areas of expertise and enjoyment but I'd like to hear what others would do. I am kind of leaning to private/practice however I have my sights set on £45k+ - am I being too optimistic for this?

Thanks in advance!
 
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Steve-LevelUp

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This has come up a couple of times on this forum, and if I could go back in my career, I would have definitely done a stint in public accounting, for at least a few years. Public accounting experience can not only give you an extensive amount of pure accounting experience, it is surprising how easily this kind of background can transition to a senior role in the private sector (controller, VP, etc) even though you may lack experience running those kinds of departments. However, staying within the private sector (like I did, with a software specialty) you are limiting yourself from many jobs. Where I live, many of the firms are manufacturing, so I'm kind of stuck, as I do not quality (experience based) in a manufacturing environment. However, this is less relevant if you have been a public accountant, auditing manufacturers, as you can leverage this experience in a role like this.

Sorry that I've been rambling, but take risks while you are young, as it becomes harder to take those risks when you get older.
 

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