Maria's story

I qualified in Cyprus then worked in the UK for a number of years. I was doing well but when my husband got offered a position in Germany I felt confident I could make that work for me too. I thought some experience in Europe could be an exciting opportunity.

The move happened quite quickly and I contacted everyone - including caba - to tell them of my change of address. caba got back to me almost immediately to make me aware that their services are also available overseas. It's nice to be part of such a supportive community.

After a month in Germany I wasn't getting the kind of interviews I had hoped for so I did 2 things: I signed up for an intensive language course to improve my German, and I contacted caba to see how they could help.

caba told me that they could arrange for me to have high quality face to face career coaching, in English, with a coach quite local to me in Germany. They said they could fund me to have 6 sessions, and after meeting with the coach, we agreed I would focus on the coaching once I'd finished my language course.

Having a plan in place made me feel a lot more confident - moving countries and starting again can be quite unsettling. It was good to feel I had a structure, and that caba were behind me.

how caba helped me

The sessions with the coach were very, very useful. So much about job-hunting relies on understanding the culture. For example, in Germany you won't even get short-listed unless you have a professionally shot photo on your CV. I just wasn't aware of that. But once the coach told me, and advised me where to get my photo taken, that was another barrier out of the way. Also, she was able to provide insight on the subtleties of the language. Professional conversations in German are very formal, there's a slight shift in grammar that you need to make. My coach took me through all of that and as the interviews started coming in, she was able to help me identify possible interview questions and appropriate responses.

After nearly 3 months coaching I felt very positive and I was offered an amazing position that will allow me to make the most of my skills and experience with a very well-respected organisation in Luxemburg. I accepted it as the position represents a really good move for my career and will not require me to commute. I am very excited about the prospect of working in a German speaking team.

I recently went to a networking event for accountants from the UK who are based here in Germany. Talking with others made me realise what a head-start caba has given me. I was in a strong situation compared to many people who had moved out to Germany around the same time as me.

And it was so simple really. I just sent them an email and they called me back. There was no big procedure, they just said 'Yes, we can help you.' The words I would use to describe caba are supportive, helpful and human. I felt that they genuinely cared about my wellbeing and career and they definitely accelerated the process of establishing myself in a new country.

are you eligible for caba's services?

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. Our support is free, impartial and strictly confidential. For advice, information and support please click on the button below.

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You can access our self-help content for career advice

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your questions answered 

Who is eligible for support?

We support past and present members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW), ACA students, ICAEW staff members, and the family and carers of members and students. 

  1. No matter where your career takes you, past and present members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England Wales (ICAEW) are eligible for caba’s services for life, even if you change your career and leave accountancy 
  2. ACA students (ICAEW Provisional Members) who are either an active student or have been an active student within the last three years are eligible for caba's services 
  3. Past and present staff members of the ICAEW or caba are eligible for caba's services for life, even if you leave either organisation. Please note, for former employees, our financial support is only available to those who have had five years continuous employment with either organisation 
  4. Family members and carers of either an eligible past or present ICAEW member, ACA student or past or present employee of the ICAEW or caba are eligible for caba's support. We define a family member as a: 
    1. spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner 
    2. widow, widower or surviving civil partner who has not remarried or cohabiting with a partner 
    3. divorced spouse or civil partner who has not remarried or cohabiting with a partner 
    4. child aged up to 25. Please note, children aged between 16 and 25 are not eligible for individual financial support 
    5. any other person who is dependent on the eligible individual supporting them financially or are reliant on the eligible individual’s care 
    6. any other person on whom the eligible individual is reliant, either financially or for care 

You can find out more about our available support both in the UK and around the world on our support we offer  page. 

Are your services means-tested?

If you need financial support, we carry out a means test where we consider income, expenditure, capital and assets.  

*Please note none of our other services are means-tested. 

I’m an accountant, but not a member of ICAEW, can you still help?

Unfortunately not. We only support past and present ICAEW members, their carers and their families. If we are unable to support you, where possible we will point you to help elsewhere.

caba has supported me in the past; can I receive support from caba again?

We understand that circumstances change. If we’ve helped you in the past there’s no reason why we can’t help you again. You can contact us at any time. Please call us if you need our help.

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