With the fourth quarter approaching, you may be on the lookout for a new career opportunity. In today’s candidate-driven market, you may be thinking that finding a new opportunity will be easy. So easy, in fact, that quitting your accounting job in order to focus on your job search sounds like a winning strategy. While this may seem like a good idea at first, it’s a plan that has potential to backfire.
“Many accounting professionals think they can quit their current role and find a new one instantly,” says Elisa Dammacco, a Senior Manager in The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting and Finance division. “The reality though is that quitting your accounting job without a back-up plan can severely hurt your chances of finding a new role.”
If you’re in the market for a new accounting job, here are four reasons why you shouldn’t quit your current role until you’ve secured a new position:
Even though the current job market for accounting professionals is strong, there’s no guarantee that you will find a new role. “While there are plenty of opportunities available, you can never be certain that you’re exactly what an employer is looking for,” says Laura Gutierrez, a Managing Director in The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting and Finance division. “If you aren’t familiar with the programs and functions most roles call for, for example, it may take you longer than you had anticipated to find a new opportunity.”
One of the most important reasons why Elisa advises job seekers to avoid quitting your accounting job until you find a new one is that your marketability will take a hit. “When an employer sees you’ve quit a previous job, they’re going to assume you’ll do the same to them in the future,” warns Elisa. “This type of concern can not only make you less attractive as a candidate, but it can also cause you to lose leverage during contract negotiations.”
Since no one can predict how much time they’ll be off, an extended period of job searching can result in your skills becoming rusty. Unfortunately, this is something that won’t go unnoticed by a potential employer. “Time spent away from the workforce might raise some red flags about your ability to stay up-to-date on emerging trends,” says Elisa. “As a result, this is something you must be prepared to address if you do plan on quitting your accounting job without a back-up plan.”
Despite there being a wealth of opportunities available, quitting your accounting job before finding a new one may not be best for your career in the long-term. “Finding the right fit can often take time,” advises Laura. “Keeping your current position can therefore ease some of the pressure you may feel during your job search. Knowing you have a steady source of income, you don’t have to settle for an opportunity that doesn’t meet your personal or professional needs.” Having more time to interview will afford you the flexibility to make the best decision for your career.
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