A View from up here

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I was looking back at some old blogs from January 2020 – pre Covid-19, pre home working – where on 5th of January 2020 I was discussing how ready I was to go back to work. Well, I don’t know about you but this year feels like ‘a whole new ball game’. First of all my whole immediate family, e.g. husband,  14 year old son and 75 year old mum all had Covid – for the second time across the Christmas holidays, So this year I feel I crawled back to work and really only came out of a blurry haze somewhere around the middle of January. For me the feeling of new start and optimism that usually comes with a New Year arrived with the presidential inauguration in the US.  Whatever your politics the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris feels like a new start and another positive step for diversity.

For lots of tax folk the New Year begins at the end of January when personal tax busy season is over (though of course this year we have an extension to the end of Feb) or when corporate tax year ends are done.

So what are you doing this year to ‘restart’ ? Have you booked in to do a further qualification? Perhaps the ADIT? Have you decided to go for fellowship for your professional qualification? Note if you are ATT qualified you can get fellowship after 10 years of membership. Are you determined that 2021 is the year you get a proper work life balance? Have you decided that pandemic or not - this is the year that you go for promotion, move in-house, or go part time? I think most tax folk would be surprised that even with a global pandemic all these options are still open. As a recruiter I’m incredibly busy and I am finding that my clients across all areas of tax from personal tax in small independent firms to trust roles in law firms, corporate tax roles in Top 20, Big 4 and industry and VAT roles are all looking for staff. 

To those worried about being ‘last in first out’ (sorry but that always makes me think of LIFO basis) remember that in the current climate, only critical jobs are being signed off.  This sign off is at a higher level and more thoroughly vetted than normal. This is not the market of speculative jobs –accountancy  firms and in-house tax teams are only looking to fill key roles and needs in their teams.

I also think though that it is fair to say – that this is also a year that it is ok to consolidate, so you can just make the most of your current status, do a job you know how to do well and just keep your mental health stable, look after your family whether that might mean home schooling or meal delivery or whatever needs to be done to keep your status quo ticking over. It is enough to try and fit in some exercise, or anything which helps you get through lockdown. I’m trying to keep a sketch book going for example. If you feel guilty then just follow the tax year and count April 5th  2021 the beginning of tax year 21/22 as a new start.  Let’s hope the new tax year brings an end to lockdown.

Georgiana Head is a Director at Georgiana Head Recruitment specialising in recruiting tax professionals. She trained in tax and is an ATT Council Member. In her spare time she is a school governor. georgiana@ghrtax.com www.georgianaheadrecruitment.com