Career A-Z

Whether you need direction in your career or are considering something completely new, this A – Z list can be of help.  Over time it will develop.  Do feel free to suggest content where it is lacking.


AAT Accounting qualifications – The AAT is the professional body for accounting technicians.  They are a professional membership body who award skills-based accountancy and finance qualifications including helping you to gain your Chartered status.

Administration – love it or hate it, administration is a fundamental part of business.  If the ‘paperwork’ has not been done properly then all hell can break lose.  Administration is the backbone of an organisation and also a home.  The idea is that effective administration will lead to things being run professionally and smoothly.

Acting – there is the debate as to whether you need formal training to turn to acting.  There’s also nothing to stop you from changing career later in life and turning to acting.  There’s only one way to find out if you would enjoy it or even be cut out for it and that’s to find an amateur theatre group or class.


Book Keeping – The Institute of Book Keepers is the world’s leading bookkeeping organisation promoting and maintaining the standards of bookkeeping as a profession through the establishment of relevant qualifications and awards.  But what is Book Keeping? Technically it’s about financial management on a personal or professional level.  It’s the recording, storing and retrieval of financial transactions.


CV or curriculum vitae – Either way, regardless of the digital world we live in it is highly likely you will need one when job hunting.  Ideally on a maximum of two pages it is an overview of a person’s employment, education and experience.  It is recommended that a CV is tailored to change the emphasis of the information dependent on which role the applicant is seeking.

CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting – The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants is more to do with management and can lead to very senior roles in finance.

CIPD – The CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) is the professional body for HR and people development.  If you want to, or already manage people, work in HR or are a PA, then a CIPD qualification can help you progress.


Digital marketing – otherwise known as online marketing or marketing that makes use of digital channels and encompasses web, smartphones, tablets, TV, game consoles and social media platforms such as email, apps and social networks, and just like any marketing and advertising is regulated predominantly by the ASA.


Ear to the ground – whether you are running a business or looking to change jobs by keeping an idea of what’s going on in the background will help you enormously.  By doing this you will be in a much better position to react to what is going on – to your competitors, legislation, technological change, economic changes.

ECDL – The ECDL (the European Computer Driving Licence ) is ideal if you have been out of the work place for a while or do not have formal qualifications to prove skills in IT, the internet, email and Microsoft office.  It has nothing to do with driving!


Facebook – An online social marketplace whether you’re an individual or a business.  Make sure to use it wisely and keep your security settings appropriate.  Ad posting is currently a relatively cheap form of getting your message out there whether you’re running a business or looking for work as it functions in very much the same way as an online newspaper.


Gaining investment – There are a number of ways to help fund your business.  Many sources will require that you put together a sound business plan incorporating research findings.  Government schemes, bank loans, even selling shares.   You can also look for sources of equity funding including ‘business angels’, ‘venture capital’, ‘crowdfunding’ and ‘peer to peer’ lending.


Health & Safety – No matter whether you are renting out property for investment purposes, running a retail unit or employing staff health & safety is a crucial element not to be ignored.  Doing so could potentially lead to future problems including legal disputes.  To find out more information contact the HSE (Health & Safety Executive).


Information Technology – No matter what you do, Information Technology is a fundamental aspect of day to day living and there is always a demand for people in this industry.  To consider changing a career to IT later in life is much easier than to choose many other roles.  Studying can be done virtually, online and in a flexible way.  The skills are in the main transferrable both via industry sector and geographically.


Job-share – For those of you who have commitments where a full time job would not suit, why not consider job sharing?  Typically this would involve two people who are retained on a part-time or reduced-time basis to form what would be a job normally fulfilled by one person working full-time.  This could be a great solution for busy mums or careers or those who wish to keep a portion of their week free for other commitments. Any employee may request a job-sharing arrangement.


Knowledge management – The process of capturing, developing, sharing and effectively using organising knowledge.  It’s basically about getting the right knowledge to the right person and at the right time.  Knowledge management incorporates strategy, culture, processes, management and leadership, technology and politics.


Limited company – An organisation that you can set up to run your business instead of being a sole trader.  Any profit made by the company after it pays corporation tax can be kept by the company.  The company can then share its profits.  Every limited company has members who are people or organisations who own shares in the company.  You can be limited by shares, limited by guarantee, or a public limited company.


Marketing plan – You don’t have to be a business to have a marketing plan.  If you are seeking employment you need to market you and to do so effectively you will need a plan.  Consider what you want to do, what you are doing now and then detail how you are going to reach your goal.  These steps can be broken down in to long, mid and short term steps.


Networking – Every day you will be presented with the possibility of networking.  When speaking to a friend you might make recommendations, and what you should aim for is to have others promote you  to others.  Start with your friends, your colleagues, family and move to the outer circle.  Identify existing networks and join industry or focus groups.  Most of all be clear about what you want to gain from networking before you start.

Non-Executive Director programme is run by the Institute of Directors, and can help you become a non-executive director (NED) and either use that experience to gain a promotion or build a portfolio career of different roles.  It’s a one-day programme to help you prepare and is aimed at experienced executive directors.


Office politics – Whether you love the drama or detest it there is often very little chance of escaping the politics in the office.  Some people just want to be tactical, and more likely they use their insecurities to try to get on, get promoted, gain popularity or even gain power. To avoid it remember that you go to work to make money not to make friends.  Be careful what you say and to whom.  Keep a good line of communication going with your boss.  Don’t gossip.


Property investment – Many believe that property is a wiser investment than putting money in the bank.  It can provide a regular income and can be a good long term investment.  However be aware of legal fees upon buying and selling, any maintenance costs, and the time and money involved in finding, retaining and management your tenants.  If done wisely having a property portfolio can be a lucrative career providing you with sufficient time and flexibility to do other things.


Quitting – You may not be surprised to learn most people find it difficult to quit their jobs.  If you have fallen in this category it could be because of the fear of the unknown, which can be broken down to you worrying about money or the time it might take for you to potentially be out of the workforce.  Whilst it is important to really be aware of whether you have a legitimate reason to quit, not relying upon impulse, if you are so unhappy at work that you are waking of a night then it may be you need to take drastic action and have faith.


Research – If you are considering a new career it is vital you do your research.  Equally if you are about to launch a new business, a new product or service, you must do your research.  Research is fundamentally about building up your knowledge so you can best position yourself.  It would incorporate qualitative (more about behaviour which can be gathered via images, videos or words) and quantitative data (numerical data).


Sole trader – A person who is the exclusive owner of a business and who is entitled to keep all the profits after tax yet who is also liable for any losses.  It is someone who sets up and owns their own business.  To become a sole trader you must register with the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and follow certain rules regarding the naming of your business.  You can be an individual and be self-employed.


Tax – As they say, there are only two things in life that is certain – one is death and the other is taxes.  Whatever your status you will have to pay some form of tax.  If you a business owner, self employed or renting out property, receiving capital gains from selling property, valuable items or shares you will undoubtedly have to declare your taxable income.  Contact the HMRC for further information.   If you are earning an income through your wages where you’ve already paid tax you don’t need to contact HMRC.

Trustee – Becoming a trustee of a charity is a chance to get experience at board level – and can propel you up the career ladder as, often, board roles are only available to those with experience.


University – Whether you’ve already attended university, there’s no age limit for learning and gaining more qualifications.  Should you want to refresh your skills, knowledge or gain valuable certifications there are many ways to do so be it distance learning even from an overseas university, attending part-time or full time as a mature student.  Visit UCAS for more information on course, subjects, study types and university or college placement opportunities.


Volunteering – Whether you are in employment or taking time out volunteering is a great way to give back to your community whilst gaining skills and meeting new people.  There are so many charities always seeking help from a couple of hours a year to full time senior management positions.  If you have been out of work for a period of time a great way to booster your CV is by gaining some volunteering experience.


Website design – If you run a business and are yet to make the most of the internet then this is your wake up call.  An online presence is not just about having a Facebook page.  If you are looking to succeed in the marketplace today then you would need a site that accurately reflects your business, you and the products or services you are selling.  It is critical to get it right and a web strategy can help your chances of success.


X-Ray Technician – If you are thinking of something completely new it is highly likely you haven’t thought of being an X-Ray Technician as your new career path.  You would need to study and most probably in the field of Radiology.  This normally takes two years.  Whilst studying you can gain experience which can benefit your applications. You must register with a professional body.


You – It is very easy to lose focus on you and what you really want out of life when you are wrapped up in every day life, a demanding, laborious, or even challenging role.  It is important to take stock and look at what you really enjoy and reflect back on what you enjoyed when younger too.  Consider your hobbies also as turning a job into a vocation is possibly the ultimate for career fulfilment.


Zoology – If you love animals and wildlife in general and are considering a career change to go work in a zoo, this is an option.  To start with get as much volunteering experience as possible and start studying toward a degree in a relevant subject such as Zoology or Biology.  Gaining experience in your local zoo can not only help you identify if the role is right for you, it can create leads and hopefully help in your application.  Each zoo keeper opening receives hundreds of applications.  Consider working in the administrative side too.