On maternity leave? Perfect time to start a career in accounting

working mum and child featured

Believe it or not, starting a career in accounts is not as hard as you may think. There are even a few courses you can start which don’t have entry requirements of 12 A levels and a degree in wizardry. In fact, one provider even offers an online assessment which will tell you where you should start.

But accountants are boring people who just get over excited about numbers right?

Well……. Not really (I might be bias). Accountants can come from all different backgrounds. I was working as a car mechanic before I started my apprenticeship. It’s less about what you have done and more about having the right attitude and being prepared to get your head down and study.

Maternity leave is a great opportunity to retrain

I recently interviewed someone who was coming back from maternity leave who had spent 12 months completing their first 2 levels of AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) while away. Which made me question why aren’t more new mums taking advantage of maternity leave to re train, it seems like a prime opportunity. The lady in question took 2 years off so spent the first year enjoying her time with her new daughter, but spent the second 12 months studying from home.

Now, I’m recommending the first few months after having a baby are a good time to start studying for a new career. But once you’re in a routine, nap times are a great time to read study material or even squeeze in a few practice questions. If you choose to study at college in the evening it even acts as a way to get out the house!

What to expect

There are a number of different routes to study AAT and I’ll highlight the 2 most popular.

Home Study

This is perfect if you are well disciplined and are happy to learn on your own. The course I’m particularly impressed with are the online lecture courses. Essentially you log on to your student area and have lectures you watch in your own time. These are no longer than 45 minutes and you’re sent a copy of the lecturers notes at the beginning of the course so you can follow along. Then, once you’ve finished you complete some practice questions on the lecture you’ve just watched and past lectures to reinforce your learning. Plus, you can re watch the lectures on any area you’re not confident on and if you are stuck you can call your own personal tutor.

This is great as you can structure your studying around the time you are free.

Evening Course

The other most popular route is to attend college 1 or 2 evenings a week. This is great for people who prefer to learn in groups and like the support provided by a tutor and others around them going through the same course. It will require additional study at home for a couple of days a week on top of college study too but with the advantage of having face to face tuition.

sam boothroydAbout the Author

Sam Boothroyd is a chartered global management accountant and founder of Rymer Associates Online Accountants. Sam has spent several years training across several industries to offer expertise to start ups and small business. A keen family man he can often be found knee deep in playdoh or close to a vending machine at dance practice.

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