With winter having settled in, students are often thinking about what the next year will hold. As a student of the chartered financial analyst program, you can have many options from which to choose. But how can you become a more desirable candidate in 2017-18? Here are a few tips to consider as you think about the next step.
Have a Plan
The most important thing you can do to make yourself more employable in 2017-18 is to plan your actions. Having your 1 year, 5 year, and “however many” year plan written down will help chart your course after you’ve completed your education.
Small Steps Are Important
After you’ve created your plan, it’s a good idea to compartmentalise it to a point.
Breaking down your plan into small steps can help you tackle the plan as a whole. Take time to develop skills within the role you have now, find a mentor, acquire new skills during the process – these are all good things to do as you move through your grand plan towards your end goals.
Keep Your CV Updated
High calibre bookkeeping jobs aren’t usually given away to people who aren’t aptly qualified. Having your CV arranged and ready to go means you’ll be ready for when a job offer comes along. Don’t be afraid to put any big wins you have between now and 2018 on your CV, either. With these new successes on your CV, you won’t have to scramble to add things once that new opportunity presents itself.
One can’t go through this life and not give back in some way.
Helping our fellow humans is a big part of life. Volunteering is a great way to give back while gaining intangible skills simultaneously. You are able to practice teamwork, improve your emotional intelligence, flexibility within a role you’re given, as well as people skills. Volunteering is not done to make a good impression on a CV, but it certainly will help you get hired.
According to Greg Harper of Torrens University, it’s important to have realistic expectations when entering the job market. He states that “You might have a set salary in mind, for example, but it is worth considering taking an offer that is slightly lower if the organisation is a place that is going to offer you more long term career opportunities.”
This is an important point. No matter what job you think you deserve, it may be better to position yourself in a lower role at first. As you progress through your job in that role – and greatly succeeding in it, no doubt – your managers will see your work ethic and you’ll see yourself with a better job in no time.
In today’s business climate, it’s increasingly becoming about who you know, not just what you know. You need to be out in the field and meeting with prospective allies. This includes your online presence, through sites like LinkedIn.
Having a large number of contacts on this site doesn’t mean you’ll be getting a job, but it does mean you have a larger pool to swim in when you are looking for work. Meeting people outside of the office is always a good idea as well. Whether it’s through social events, weekend football, conferences, or however – it’s important to keep in touch with those who can help now and in the future.
Use Your CFA Next Year
It’s time to start making connections and plotting a course.
Having your CV up to date while making new business friends will help, but be sure to work hard in the job you have now. You never know when those skills will pay dividends.