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Doubting your career choice

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It is not uncommon to have doubts about your career choice at some point in your studies. We give some insight into how to overcome career doubts.

There can be a lot of excitement when starting a new qualification and taking your first class, however after time it is not uncommon for feelings of doubt, restlessness or uncertainty over your career choices to creep up.

"Those first three years of an accounting career can be challenging," says Sarah McIlroy, director of undergraduate programmes at BPP University. "Studying hard while also working hard and trying to build a career can be very tough, so it’s no surprise that, during this time, some people get cold feet or think that the profession is not for them."

But before you burn your study books and delete all the notes on your computer, it is worth taking the time to determine whether these feelings of doubt are temporary emotions that can be easily cured or worked out.

Find out your career choices

If you are unsure what you are aiming for or where a career in accountancy can take you, it’s a good idea to find out your career choices online. Have a look on Jobs Boards to get some insight into what options are for you after graduation, what an accountant’s life is really like, what is expected of them and what you can expect in an accountancy role.

Get a different perspective

Sometimes it’s hard to see beyond the exam you have coming up and even more impossible to see yourself qualified, therefore it’s a great idea to read about or talk to those who have been in your position. ACCA member Ben Catlin, went through the qualification process and found that having the ACCA Qualification meant he wasn’t limited to one area of finance once he graduated, therefore he could gain experience in a number of roles before becoming Head of Acute Finance at North East London CSU. 

Give it time and seek support

Starting a new qualification or sitting a more difficult exam can push you out of your comfort zone, but don’t be put off by struggling a little. Connect with the accountancy community or seek support if you feel like your doubts are coming from struggling with study.

Finally, remind yourself why you initially decided to pursue a career in accountancy, the first three years of qualification can be a struggle, but the opportunities that open up are endless. 

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