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Moving from one sector to another within Financial Sector can be quite challenging. The reason being that companies like prospective candidates to come from the same sector as they are presuming such people will slot into the organisation a lot easier. This is the simple truth.

Let’s go through the 3 different scenarios you will face.


1. Practice to Industry/Financial Services

This is the most typical transition and the easiest to accomplish. Within Practice you would be familiar with all areas of accounts i.e. month end, tax, audit, payroll etc.

However, because of the limited time you would spend on each client, as time is money in Practice, you would tend to not have as detailed an understanding of a specific industry or would not have as much of a commercial mind as someone coming from industry and specifically, in a similar field like manufacturing.

This is a very typical route and with a common sense approach, it is very doable, particularly if you are coming from a very reputable Practice such as the Big 4/Top 10.


2. Financial Services to Industry/Practice

This is the most difficult to transition from, as the perception, whether right or wrong, is that Financial Services is completely different.

If you work in the Financial Reporting department of a bank or Funds company then it is easy to see the parallels around month end procedures etc.

However, if you are in the thick of these organisations at transactional level or in a more specific department e.g. Fund accounting or transfer agency, it is a lot more difficult to convince a Financial Controller (FC) of a company or a Managing Partner of a practice that you can hit the ground running, versus your competition.

An exception to this would be if a practice has some major clients in your field and hence, your Financial Services (FS) knowledge could be invaluable.


3. Industry to Practice/Financial Services

This is rarer, but it does happen. The Practice world refer to these as “boomerangs” as you would typically have started in practice having moved to another area, only to discover you preferred the former. Time is the main barrier here.

The longer you are away from Practice or indeed FS, the harder it is to get stuck in straight away. A couple of years is not a huge issue but much longer will raise a myriad of questions and concerns.


So how do we deal with this?

The first thing you must understand is that the issue is not you, it is the competition.

As I said at the beginning, people/companies gravitate towards what they know and what they understand, so any jargon specific to your current area needs to be stripped away from your CV.

You need your CV to read as close to the job spec as possible. Reorganise your CV, particularly the duties and responsibilities to mirror, while always being truthful, what the company/firm is looking for.

We want them to forget the company you are in and especially the area of specialty. Also, refer to the elephant in the room.

Why did you join your current sector and now, why do you want to change?


If you would like to learn more about the opportunities available in the Finance Sector please contact Alan Grant or call 086 1452280




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