Where to Start – Seeking a New Financial Role During Covid 19

Paul McClatchie

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One of our key Missions at Engage People is to ‘Shape a Better Future’. We are well positioned to observe and analyse the job market. This piece will hopefully be useful to focus on what is in your control during this challenging period.

Like most sectors, recent weeks have been challenging in the recruitment arena. Many companies have put hiring processes and jobs on hold which is understandable. While there is great uncertainty, there is a view that April and May will be about doing as best we can and hoping for a bounce from June 2020. A range of professions have been hugely impacted and the Accounting and Banking sector are no different.

Managing Your Expectations

At the best of times seeking a new role is emotionally challenging, particularly when you are not in a position at the moment. While some companies are still actively hiring, there are fewer active roles. The numbers are down considerably. Be kind and realistic to yourself. The Irish Government have set up Job Seekers’ subsidies which are in place to provide for this wildly unusual period. Availing of this while you look for a new role is smart.

Focus on Medium Term Goals

If you are seeking a permanent role, it is smart to take a medium-term view on your search. Taking on a role in a market with less opportunities may result in you seeking a new job again when the market hopefully improves in the months to come. Set out your personal criteria – what type of role will you feel most fulfilled in, sector, location, people fit – all key to your future career progress and enjoyment.

Your Daily Focus – 3 Objectives

Our business is working remotely at the moment. We have a 9am Microsoft Teams session where we each set out 3 objectives for the day. Ideally these objectives will be a push to complete and there is a feeling of satisfaction for hitting 3/3. We have a daily wrap up call at 5pm to discuss. Taking these steps in what is a challenging market gives daily purpose. Setting 3 objectives for your job search daily will help you progress significantly. What could those objectives look like?

Prospecting – Understanding the Market

What sectors do you know best? Companies value sectoral experience and know how. This is natural, they are keen on a hire that can come in and perform in their role as quickly as possible. Understanding the terminology and processes can save several months. In the Sales and Marketing world prospecting means looking at who is in this space? Who may be interested in procuring your services for employment? How many companies and how big is their finance team? If you have gained experience in more than one sector, pick the most recent and go from there. Undergoing this process will also be helpful for the longer term. If you know what you are looking for then you’ll be quicker to identify the prioritise the good roles as they arise.

Build and Reconnect with your Network

Who have your worked with that really rates you? Most companies hire through referral programmes. Commonly your friends and former colleagues can connect you to other people and perhaps companies who are hiring. Be proactive – sometimes it takes courage to call out of the blue. Make life easier for yourself by emailing/messaging to see how they are going and ask if they have 10 mins for a call in the coming weeks. Start with the best people you know and go from there. If you trained in a Professional Services firm, contact your former Partner/Director/Manager and reconnect.

Practice Video Interviewing

At some point in your career it is likely that you will be asked to perform a video interview. Practice will be very helpful in this regard. Find a list of common interview questions, your phone and a quiet room and off you go. Record yourself on video asking each question and then answering. While you may not enjoy it at first, this is incredibly good practice for all manner of interviews in future. If you are feeling brave share with a peer and ask for their honest feedback.

The Basics:

  • Your CV should be the finished version, rather than the first draft. A document that really does your career justice.
  • Ask your friends for recommendations of Recruiters and ask them to introduce you.
  • If you are seeking contract, demonstrate that you are agile and able to step into and adapt to a variety of situations. These skills are invaluable now.

I hope you find this information useful. Please feel free to contact me on paul@engagepeople.ie

#workhappy #engagepeople #shapingabetterfuture

About Engage People

Engage People is a specialist Irish recruitment firm, connecting ambitious career orientated candidates and clients. We have deep expertise across two niche strands:

  • Accountancy & Financial across Commercial organisations & Professional Services
  • Banking, International Financial Services & Insurance