Go Small or Go Home: Life After Public Accounting

Three years in Public Accounting had me seriously considering my options. A few things I knew for sure:
  • I wanted to stay in the finance and accounting realm
  • I wanted to move into industry
  • I didn’t want to sacrifice career progress
I was left asking myself a few key questions - where could I have the most influence? How could I earn access to top leadership? What would give me a deeper purpose? And finally, how could I best leverage the skills and knowledge I developed in Public Accounting (read my article on leaving Public here)? After speaking with a former colleague – then working at Microsoft – the choice between big fish, little pond and big pond, little fish became clear. According to her, huge public companies like Microsoft rarely gave their Accountants a holistic, big-picture view; instead, accountants tackled disparate parts of the business without e...
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The right way to leave public accounting

Every year a new class of graduates convinces themselves that their experience in Public Accounting will be different. Manageable. Maybe exhilarating. Five years ago, I was one of them. Like many, my initial plan was to stay until Manager. But after two years, the sleepless nights, no weekends, and a quickly developing anxiety disorder were catching up with me. That, coupled with the most stressful Busy Season of my life, had me considering my options. I wanted my work to mean something more, and I wanted my ‘off the clock’ time to be…existent. Can you relate? Finding a new job was surprisingly easy. The hard part came after – when I realized how little I actually knew of life outside of Public Accounting. If you’re considering leaving Public, make sure you have all the facts: 1. You need to retrain your brain

Consider this: you have an AP Specialist asking for help in resolving a certain issue –...
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3 common misconceptions about consulting

Have you ever heard of dark matter? It’s thought that 85% of the universe is composed of it, but no one has seen it or can prove its existence except through inference. So it exists everywhere, it’s very powerful, and yet it’s invisible to us. That’s kind of how I feel about contract work. As a Technology recruiter for consulting/contract positions, I’m often struck by the enormous amount of misinformation circulating about consulting. Everyone seems to know it’s out there as a possibility, but no one really understands it or interacts with people who do it - even though 1 out of 5 Americans are doing some kind of contract work every year.  And that number is even more impressive in the world of technology. It comes down to a lack of understanding. I've heard people say that contract positions are

1. Without benefits

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Changing careers later in life (from someone who did it)

Unless you’ve made your way to the C-suite, you’re unlikely to find many articles addressing the successes, struggles, and challenges of the older worker. Little is written about us, save for the occasional anti-ageism piece published mostly for public image purposes. So when I decided to leave my career in Real Estate at the age of 45, I was largely without guidance. Of course, I had my family as support and the Internet as a general - if often lacking - resource, but I didn’t have an article like this one. Which is why I’m creating it.

Late-life career changes aren’t doomed to failure

82% of respondents to an American Institute for Economic Research survey reported making a successful transition to a new career after the age of 45. You probably aren’t doing the same job you dreamed of as a kid, or even the same job you did 10-20 years ago. Why stop evolvi...
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A job seeker’s guide to marijuana testing

Yes, marijuana will show up in your drug test. And yes, companies still care. Surprise, surprise - just because you live in one of the states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana (10 states and 33 states, respectively), doesn’t mean you’re in the clear when it comes to pre-employment drug testing. Despite tacit approval for recreational marijuana and widespread support for medical use, companies still rely on drug tests to validate their hiring processes. As recruiters, we speak with hundreds of candidates every month, many of whom believe themselves ‘safe’ from discrimination based on marijuana use. This simply isn’t true. Don’t let your dream job slip away in the last stages: here’s everything you need to know about marijuana testing in today’s post-legalization world. The basics: risks, rules, revelations. Marijuana ...
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Counter offers: necessary evil or desirable endgame?

Most counter offer articles hinge on one magical statistic – 60% (or 75% or 90%, depending on the source) of people who accept counter offers leave their company within 6-12 months. These articles, unsurprisingly, are written by recruiting firms. They are also devoid of sources or concrete studies to support their claims. In our extensive research, we haven't been able to uncover a single study to back this commonly quoted statistic. What’s different about this post? We’re also a recruiting firm, and we also don’t want you to take a counter offer; accepting a counter offer means the hours spent finding you a job, coaching you for the interview, debriefing, and negotiating with the hiring manager, were for nothing. And yet, it is in our best interest to encourage trust. So in the spirit of full-disclosure, here’s what you should really know about counter offers - the good and the bad. Counter offers aren’t all bad. Few things are ...
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Checklist: 3 ways to survive your first year in recruiting

If you're in your final year of college and you have no idea where your life is headed – consider this your survival guide. During my final year of studies, I was unexpectedly forced to graduate early. I wasn't mentally prepared to start job searching and I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do, or even could do. While I enjoyed my major, my main interests were in co-curriculars. I never excelled at any one subject, and I never felt pressured to adopt a definite path. All I knew was that being around people and helping others reach their goals made my life feel purposeful. I'm sure many of you are or have been in a similar boat - unsure of where you should go to start or pivot your career. While recruiting isn’t for everyone, this profession does allow anyone to succeed if they are eager to learn and willing to work hard. It can be difficult at times – especially when you’re just starting out – but if ...
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Going corporate – what to expect & how to excel

Overwhelmed, intimidated, out of place. I’ve been there: coming from a non-traditional work environment, where I spent 6 years working as a uniform-wearing, hourly-paid, customer-facing employee, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I accepted my first corporate office job with Proven Recruiting.    There are certain things you can do to succeed in corporate, and the faster you figure them out, the better your chances of sticking around. Our fears rarely match reality, and - as you may have guessed - the transition was far less scary than I’d made it out to be. But that’s not to say that there wasn’t a significant adjustment period; everything I knew about work had to be rethought and relearned. READ MORE

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How to ace your next interview, according to San Diego’s top Finance and Accounting recruiter

Google ‘interview prep’ and you’ll find a lot of lists - lists of potential prompts, lists of common mistakes, lists of questions to ask, lists of lists. But not everything can be filtered down into an easy-to-digest checklist. Some things - the most important things, usually - need a little extra detail. When it comes to interviewing, you don’t want to leave your hiring manager with a superficial catalog of your skills and experience. If 5 years of recruiting has taught me nothing else, it’s that stories are your friend. Focus on core themes, use narrative, and be specific. The power of specificity will get you far. It can mean the difference between leaving your interviewer with a sense of your competence and aptitude - and leaving them with the feeling that you’re ‘all talk.’ Here’s how I coach my candidates:

1. Craft the story you want to tell.

Start by considering your audience. What do you have to offer t...
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The anatomy of a thank you note – what you need to write to get hired.

You already said what you had to say – and expressed your profuse gratitude – in the interview itself. Why should you take the time to rehash what’s already been clearly spelled out? Is a Thank You note really necessary? The short answer is yes; the Thank You note is a lot more than an antiquated tradition. A recent CNBC report reveals that, despite hiring experts saying the Thank You note is ‘critical,’ only 25% of entry-level applicants actually send thank you notes after interviews. Still think they’re unnecessary? A client of mine - a CFO at one of the fastest growing companies in DFW - goes so far as to closely monitor not only ...
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