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How to restart your career plans

Text that says ‘What next’

Due to current world events, it’s unlikely that the economic climate will be ‘back to normal’ very soon.

And this has left many students, learners, and newly qualified accountants insecure about their career prospects.

So in collaboration with CABA, the charity which supports the wellbeing of the chartered accountant community, we’ve come up with a list of ways to help make the most of the current circumstances.

Review your plans

The timescales on your career plan might simply need adjusting. Like a business, you need to be adaptable and open to revising your plans, to fit the current environment. Economic cycles take time, but history proves that there are always peaks and troughs. Your time will come.

A zig zagged progression

Your original plan may have been to progress from role A to role B. But be open to progressing in a less conventional manner. There could be a few extra steps to take in order to reach your final destination. You never know, being flexible could open up other opportunities you never anticipated.

Use the time to upskill

With the extra time you may have, keep honing your technical skills. Consider what skills and experience will make you stand out, in a new role or even at your current company. Be ready for when those opportunities become more commonplace.

During lockdown online courses have never been more popular, so see what’s out there.

Build your experience

There might be some limitations with this, but keep an eye out for opportunities to gain experience in fields you may want to move in to. At work, offer to help out, maybe seize opportunities to shadow a team as they work. Gaining tangible experiences is another way to make yourself aware of opportunities and develop yourself.

Build your brand

In a competitive job market, it can take quite a lot of effort to stand out. Learn how to build your own ‘personal brand’ to promote your skills and develop a unique identity so you can be at the front of recruiters’ minds.



There are all sorts of things you can do. You could start a blog, build a new professional network, or contribute expert opinion to discussions and forums on LinkedIn.

Invest in yourself

The restrictions that have been implemented during the pandemic have forced people to slow down and re-evaluate how they were spending time. Maybe this is the time to reset your work-life balance in a more permanent way. Connect with family and friends. Develop your hobbies and interests, enrich your personal life.

Talk it over

You don’t have to find all the answers yourself. Talk over your ambitions and objectives, as well as your frustrations and disappointments with a colleague, manager or mentor. They may offer a fresh perspective or have helpful experience they can share. Your friends and family can offer a balanced viewpoint that includes your personal life and goals too.

It’s always helpful to have a soundboard and someone to offer you an alternative perspective on your thoughts.

This blog is a joint collaboration between Kaplan and CABA. CABA is the charity which supports the wellbeing of the chartered accountant community. They provide lifelong support to ACA students, past and present ICAEW members, and their close families across the globe.

For more information on how CABA can support you at this time visit cabamywellbeing.org.uk.

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