After I qualified as a chartered accountant, I took a secondment to Melbourne, Australia, and immediately fell in love with the lifestyle. It took me a while to take the plunge, but I eventually emigrated and took a job in Sydney working for a recruitment company in a senior finance role. I really enjoyed it, I worked on a few big projects, got to travel to Asia regularly and had a key role in an AU$5m new payroll system implementation.
When the global financial crisis hit, there was a lot of restructuring in our company, and in 2013 I was made redundant. After 7 years with the company, I'd earned a good termination payment and I actually saw it as a real opportunity. I'd always had the dream of studying languages, so I took a degree at Sydney University in Mandarin, German and French, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I always intended to return to my professional career, but after I graduated, having been out of full-time work for three years, I found that my confidence wasn't where I needed it to be.
I was talking to the ICAEW president at a networking event in Sydney, and she suggested getting in touch with CABA. I hadn't realised CABA had career development support and career coaching. I thought, I have to tap into this.
I got in touch with CABA via LinkedIn, and they set me up with a programme based in Sydney with a very well-regarded career coaching company. It was fantastic - I got my own dedicated career coach, and there were workshops on CV writing, covering letters, and mindfulness. The most powerful part for me was the chance to network with other people in a similar situation. I got to share lots of tips and advice, but also learned to be more tenacious and resilient. In short, I discovered the importance of networking. I took my coach's steer to reach out to people that I'd worked with previously, and it wasn't long before I had three offers including two permanent posts.
Working with a coach helped me to take stock of my skills and crystallise what I wanted to do, and to gain the confidence to sell my skills. I'm really grateful to CABA and feel lucky to be part of an industry that not only provides these services in their home country but reaches out to us overseas and make sure that we're well supported.
You can trust the quality of support you get with CABA because they're partners with the best people in the industry, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this experience to anyone. Leverage CABA and their coaching opportunities and you will find yourself a better-fitting job, with great longer-term prospects that fit in with your skill set.
How CABA can help
CABA supports the wellbeing of past and present ICAEW members, ACA students, ICAEW staff members, and their spouses, partners and children up to the age of 25. For advice, information and support please contact us.