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ThatRandomJanitor

Should I go PT jobs to switch careers?

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Things at my driving job are not going so well. Operations are expanding and it seems like things are very much going down hill. Asides working with my clients I am starting to truly starting to not enjoy the job with how things have gotten internally. As I've mentioned before I am currently taking Accounting online and work as a seasonal tax preparer. As it sits with me full time gig I get ZERO healthcare benefits (loopholes). My FT job does have some PT workers that only come in a certain days. Any one ever work two PT jobs to get out of a job and into a new career? I am highly considering it. Seems like a lot of entry level accounting jobs around here are PT with potential to become FT.

 

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I've never done it, but the trickest part will just be juggling the hours. If you let your employers know that you have another PT job though, they should be able and willing to work with you since it gets them out of FT benefits. If they don't like the idea though (which some may), don't take that job. I'm sure you will end up fired or despising them and them despising you. Good luck though. It'll take some readjusting in your life.

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So many factors to unpack, but lets see if I can be helpful - It seems you WANT to move toward accountant of some sort, so anything you can do to build experience (even volunteering as treasurer with say the boy scouts) helps build legit experience in that field.  If you can do part time it helps even more so.  Do you have a decent relationship with the manager at the driving job? Ask them if it would be possible to move to PT and what that would look like.  When asked why, you could be semi-honest and say you are looking to commit more time to going to school. If you have a good relationship, explain the full reason why - they may be more likely to work with you if you have been an otherwise good employee.  If they are act negatively, then you need to double down on getting your accounting certs and get the hell out of there!

Are you on linked in?  That is where I would go to seek expert advice.  Get on linked in and make contact with other accountants and ask them what they recommend for getting into the field - any recommended site for entry-level jobs/ job advice boards/ man, if I had only know stories/ build relationships - they unveil opportunities!

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I can't speak to the part time part, but I spent the first decade of my professional career in the accounting world and will give you what insight I can. I do have a bachelors in accounting, so that kicked off my career in audit (different than the tax preparation direction you've done) for 4 years and then I spent most of the next 6 or so in SEC reporting and accounting systems work. Not quite the path you're on, but what I can say is that experience in my mind outweighs any of the "schooling"/degrees you will get so if you can get a part time gig or even an internship of sorts, it will help you both get in the door with experience and figure out if it's really what you want to do. My degree (as well as working 3 jobs outside of it) got me in the door, but the real education came from doing the work so if you can get a jump start on that via PT work, then grab it.

There are a variety of paths in accounting to pursue if you wanted, from the tax preparation one you've done, to audit, to cost accounting, to basic JE accountant or even a bookkeeper.

What degree does the online program offer (bachelors, certification)?? Have you looked into any certifications you can work on in the mean time to get tested for/finish education for (CMA, CPA, maybe there are some tax specific ones I'm not familiar with)?

Good luck in the process and I hope you find the right mix for you.

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Well the kicker got let go today. Applied to a local CPA that is apparently in desperate need of accountants. Literally the guy at UI office told me to leave, apply then come back to do job searches at UI office.

mid-long term I am looking to do something along the the lines of EA and payroll. Possibly collections. Ten years from now I'd either like to be a.) gainfully employed at an awesome company getting overly decent benefits or b.)working from home as my own boss.

Currently I am working on just a diploma, although I can roll that into an AAS through the some community college. They do have a few connections that would allow me to upgrade to a Bachelors long term. As far as things I can apply to short term there isn't anything I am aware of. I do have a NCRC but those have fallen to bottom of the list for employer check lists around here.

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20 minutes ago, ThatRandomJanitor said:

Well the kicker got let go today. Applied to a local CPA that is apparently in desperate need of accountants. Literally the guy at UI office told me to leave, apply then come back to do job searches at UI office.

mid-long term I am looking to do something along the the lines of EA and payroll. Possibly collections. Ten years from now I'd either like to be a.) gainfully employed at an awesome company getting overly decent benefits or b.)working from home as my own boss.

Currently I am working on just a diploma, although I can roll that into an AAS through the some community college. They do have a few connections that would allow me to upgrade to a Bachelors long term. As far as things I can apply to short term there isn't anything I am aware of. I do have a NCRC but those have fallen to bottom of the list for employer check lists around here.

That's good news on that local CPA. Sometimes the best changes happen over difficult times (getting let go) so I hope this turns out well for you for sure! Had the same thing happen to me and glad it did to end up at the company I've been with for the last 12 years.

One thing I will say about my auditing time (and it's more seasonal on the tax side I believe) is that the hours can get a bit wonky as I was salaried and there were times when it was like working two jobs for 1 pay check, but I enjoyed what I learned and the people I came across during the experience for sure. May not be quite that bad with the path you're headed towards.

With regards to the degree, I honestly see it in two lights: 1) it's used to get you in the door and 2) it may be required for some certifications depending on the state you're in (CPA license can vary state by state, or at least it used to). After that, the experience is what gives you the real skills.

That would be awesome if you can get into that local CPA firm. Smaller usually means more variety in job tasks so more to learn and greater skill set growth.  I hope that works out!

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Thanks Jon. I also reapplied back to my part time tax job, my boss is supposed to call me tomorrow. Who knows he might of gotten word from corporate that they are opening up a store front here. I am also applying to a smaller franchise company that is not corporate owned. Sadly just working weekends I didn't get much case variety and didn't see a whole lot. With the smaller company I believe I'll also get more guidance.

Iowa requires 150 credit hours to earn a CPA license, however, you may sit for the CPA exam after earning a bachelor's degree along with 24 semester hours in accounting courses. The work experience requirements are pretty standard and require one year of public or non-public accounting experience. 

If I recall right the company I applied to does to auditing. If memory serves me right they actually audited the company I worked for.

Trying to keep positive about this. I've got a small amount of cash put back and I'll be getting all of my vocation hours on my last check (this friday). I'm going to my Financial Advisor tomorrow to have him shed some light on my IPERS account and what I should do. Being forced into it like I was I can say I'd of better w/o it as I'd of been $4,000 less in debt right now with $4,000 less in stress.

 

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As someone who is currently working a FT job, PT job, and going to school full time, here's my two cents for what it's worth (probably not two cents). My FT sucks, it's a monotonous job that offers benefits that are just good enough to make it hard to leave (good insurance and tuition assistance). My PT is at a local theater that is light on hours right now and I'm going to school for Design & Technical Theater to be a Sound Designer/Costume Designer. 

Now that the background is out of the way, I would be much farther along if I didn't have to worry about my FT prohibiting me from spending time doing things to get hands on experience in the theater. Like it was mentioned earlier, the best experience you are going to get is actually doing what you are wanting to do. You can learn about the various types of accounting, but until you dig in and start doing them then you won't truly know how you feel about them. I never, in a million years, would have thought that I would be interested in Costume Design until I was actually doing it for shows during one of my classes. 

Basically, do what you enjoy and what is going to help move you towards what you want to do instead of slowing down your progress.

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Thank you for the advice!

It does suck. About the only thing that kept me at the FT was the PTO. Being terminated has in a way been a blessing....no more being forced into 403b while in debt and a chance to explore endless possibilities. I was in same boat, after I started my seasonal gig doing taxes I was hooked. I enjoyed learning something new that also paid was I was making at FT, I even had chances to get bonuses with every client. Asides the money its just something I see more long term potential for my own side gig but also employer wise (getting out of the driver's seat).

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So now my question has changed a bit...I got my rehire papers for my seasonal tax prep job. They are giving me a promotion to Tax Preparer II and a pay increase plus some bonuses. My new job pays a slave wage and does give small pay increases but I don't see myself being there 5 years from now. Granted the tax prep job is only four months out of the year I can see myself rolling some big bonuses if I go on FT and quit my my new job when the time comes plus a chance to gain experience doing what I love to find a better year around FT job.

Things can always change, with tax time right around the corner in a few months I want to start a plan on what I should do. I am highly leaning towards working my new job and getting any and all pay increases I can but I just don't see myself there 5 years from now like I said. Only way I would quit the job I have now is if something way better popped up.

Come the end of December if I was still at the same job I have now with very little pay increase if you where in my shoes would you quit to go do something you love for more money full time even it was just for four months?

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