The Timeline for Getting an Accounting Job


According to Elon Musk, patience really is a virtue. The cofounder of PayPal once said, “I’m learning patience. It’s a tough lesson.” For most of us, the timeline for getting an accounting job can seem uncomfortably long. And while some people land their first (or new) accounting opportunity quickly, most of us will wait longer than we anticipated. The question is – what can we do to expedite the process and how long is the timeline for most roles?

What Does the Role Look Like?
Start by defining what your first or next role looks like.  What kind of organization do you want to work for?  Do you see yourself in a fast-paced start up for example, or with a company that defines itself by stable growth and predictable routine?  If you’re currently working and are unhappy, why do you want to transition?  Is it the industry itself that doesn’t suit you?  Is there a lack of leadership or opportunities for growth?  The more you know what you’re looking for, the more efficiently you can find it.

Resource: Not sure if you should quit your accounting job?  Read this.

Market Conditions
Right now, competition is fierce for even entry-level roles.  If you’re still in school, a co-op placement can be your ticket to your first accounting job.  If you deliver for your employer, it paves the way for an opportunity with that organization, and positions you in a favorable light for other jobs as employers favour those with real world experience.

For those more experienced hires, know that for every step you move up the accounting job food chain, it’s wise to budget an additional month for your search.  In other words, a senior-level management role will likely take longer than a financial analyst job to secure.

And whether you’re a new graduate or a seasoned veteran it pays to know which accounting jobs are hot commodities.  Private equity associate or analyst roles are always in demand.  And because people are switching jobs quickly in accounting and analysis, recruiting organizations are regularly searching for candidates to fill these roles.

Waiting Time
Here are the average wait times for some common roles:

  • Intermediate or senior accountant – 3 months
  • Manager – 4-6 months
  • Director – 6-12 months
  • VP/CFO – 18 months

While these are rough estimates, it always pays to expect things to take slightly longer than anticipated.

Resource: Read this blog if you are trying to land your first accounting role.

Get Designated
One of the best ways to make yourself more marketable is to get your designation.  To employers, a designation shows a higher level of technical proficiency, coupled with an ability to achieve goals.  If you are working towards securing your designation, make a note on both your LinkedIn profile and resume to reflect this.

Resource: To create a LinkedIn profile that attracts recruiters and prospective employers use this resource.

Key Takeaways
Securing your first or next accounting job will often take longer than you’d expect.  Define what kind of role you want.  Consider market conditions and average wait times.  Try to make yourself as marketable as possible by getting designated if you have not already done so.  These things, coupled with a dose of patience, can pave the way to securing the role that you want.

Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.

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