17 February 2015
Have your eyes set on a new job at the end of busy season? If so, don’t let your long hours and heavy workload get in the way of starting your job search this month. While the idea of conducting your job search during this time of the year may seem daunting, according to Elisa Dammacco, Managing Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance division, it’s actually one of the best times to start looking. “There’s a common misconception amongst accountants that busy season is not the right time to look for a new job, but that outlook couldn’t be further from the truth,” notes Elisa. In fact, at the time this article was written (in the middle of busy season), The Execu|Search Group’s Executive Vice President, Michael Cooke, was quoted in the Stamford Advocate explaining that we had over 1,000 accounting and finance jobs open with a wide variety of clients, particularly in the hedge fund space. “While it may be difficult to devote any extra energy you do have to your job search, you will reap the benefits if you are able to push yourself to make the effort,” advises Elisa. “Therefore, if landing a new job is on your ‘to do’ list, I recommend starting your search sooner, rather than later.” According to Elisa, here are 3 reasons why you want to job search during busy season: 1. Less competition: Since many accountants believe the myth that busy season is not the right time to look for a job, auditors won’t start their search until the end of March, while tax accountants will wait until after April 15th. As a result, those who start their job search now, when the competition is lower, will have the best chance of landing the job they want. “Since employers are looking to fill positions as soon as possible, the more proactive you can be about getting on their radar, the better,” says Elisa. “Not only will this maximize the opportunities available to you, but also help you avoid the risk of getting your application lost in a pile of resumes.” 2. Employers are being flexible: Hiring managers (and recruiters) understand that busy season can be a stressful time to interview, so they will accommodate their candidates’ schedules to the best of their ability. “Don’t let your schedule prevent you from taking advantage of this healthy job market,” warns Elisa. “If you express concern about your workload during the busy season, hiring professionals will be willing to meet with you at a time that works best for you.” Employers are also being flexible with start dates. “They understand why new hires would be hesitant to leave their current employer in the middle of busy season, so many businesses are offering their candidates delayed start dates,” notes Elisa. “With this option on the table, why not secure a new job now? You can get through the stress of busy season knowing you have a new opportunity to look forward to.” 3. It’s a great time to make a change: If you are looking to make a change from public accounting to the private industry, now is the perfect time. “As more regulations go into effect, an increasing number of financial services institutions are investing in senior-level accounting talent to ensure they are compliant with the law,” says Elisa. “The public accounting busy season is a hot time for hiring in the private industry space, so if you are interested in making a career change, this month is the time to start exploring your options.” There is a particularly strong demand for accountants to fill positions in Internal Audit, Corporate Tax, Partnership Tax, and Internal Controls with businesses across the financial services industry. Since these are relatively new needs, these firms are looking for accounting talent outside of their industry – focusing on transferable skills, rather than industry-specific experience when hiring. As a result, if you are able to leverage your public accounting expertise and experience in a way that meets the needs of a business in the private sector, you’ll be in an excellent position to make a career change and diversify your experience.