Ever since I received my exam timetable this January, I’ve been concerned that March would be a draining month. As a trainee studying CTA, the firm sets internal progress ‘link’ exams in order to allow us to practice exam technique and keep on top of the books. These are usually set a month or so apart. In March, I had four.
I left my compliance role at Grant Thornton several years ago, following the closure and relocation of the Poole Office. Keen to apply my scientific research expertise, I accepted a specialist post with a larger firm, advising large corporates on Research and Development (R&D) expenditure tax relief. Within six months, I was back.
I like getting involved in everything. By moving to a larger firm, I felt I could apply my rounded experience gained at Grant Thornton, combining this with my scientific expertise in R&D. What became really apparent was how much the competition really values the breadth of experience that Grant Thornton employees have.
One new challenge I had in my new role was hotdesking. However, I often found myself adjacent to people in completely different teams. Conversations were interesting but I felt increasingly frustrated at the lack of opportunity to get involved in work outside my specialist team. Although I had gained some valuable experience with the firm, I decided that I would prefer to work in a firm offering a greater variety of work and client type. I looked around and quickly found another job, approaching Grant Thornton for a reference.
Having left on good terms, Grant Thornton invited me back. Since returning the firm has grown and increased its market profile considerably, winning higher-profile clients.
Now as a manager, I get the opportunity to advise businesses of all shapes and sizes. By seeking out the opportunities available at Grant Thornton, I have been able to apply all the positive experiences gained during my six months away, as a member of Oxfords R&D team. Since joining, this team has grown significantly, seizing a larger slice of market share, and we were recently shortlisted for the “Best Tax Team in a Large Firm” at the esteemed Lexis Nexis Taxation Awards.
From my experience, I would recommend that people think carefully about the variety of work they would be doing in their desired role when applying. I believe working for the larger firm in London was a great experience and I feel it is important to take yourself out of your comfort zone and try new things as a way to develop. I have learnt it is important to always stay on good terms and maintain contact with those who have supported your early career.