How I took the leap: from being an Accountant to recruiting Accountants...

  • Gillian Duffy
  • 28 May 2019

This time two years ago, I finished my training contract at KPMG Dublin, after four fantastic years there. I learned a lot, had great exposure across different industries, had fantastic mentors, made lifelong friends and unforgettable memories. 

I always had a desire to travel, explore the world and move to Sydney. In June 2017 I packed my bags and set off on a trip around Asia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Australia. I was even lucky enough to experience the Lion’s Tour in New Zealand - something to tick off the bucket list!

I arrived in Sydney in September 2017, very excited at the prospect of living here for a few years. It was my first time in Australia and I instantly fell in love with this city. I didn’t know what I was going to do here, but I was very open minded about what my next role would be. I won’t lie, I was quite anxious to get back working as I was totally broke. Four months “glam-packing” as my friends called it, and going to the Lions tour, quickly ate into all my savings. 

T+O+M was the first recruiter I reached out to when I arrived in Sydney. They had been recommended to me by a friend in Ireland. I remember coming to meet them, I was nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. Like anyone else finishing up in BIG 4, this is your first real time interviewing.

The minute I arrived in the door of T+O+M, I immediately felt at ease and in a very warm, friendly environment. Funnily enough, two of my good friends here at T+O+M interviewed me… Rob and Aine (AKA the Dream Team). After all the intense audit questions they asked me…we had great chats, as we are all Irish, it was the classic “oh do you know this person?”, so we made a few connections straight away.

During my interview at T+O+M, I had the pleasure of meeting two of the directors here, Rich and Grant. They are both South African and Rich had just made and brought in some Biltong (a south African delicacy). He came in and asked me to try some, me not knowing if this was a prank or not, decided to taste it. He was also trying to see if we were related as his mum is also a Duffy from Ireland. Again…what a small world. Sadly, I can confirm, we are not related. 

Anyway, back to the reason I am writing this blog about my transition to recruitment. I left T+O+M’s office and went to visit another recruiter. Funnily, it was this recruiter who asked me if I would consider recruitment. I was a little taken back but it wasn’t something I said no to at all. I said yes straight away to “thinking” about it. I rang Rob (at T+O+M – who had told me of his recent transition from accounting to recruitment). He was very helpful and went through all the reasons he enjoys recruitment. Next thing I know, my accounting job search turned into a recruitment job search.

After meeting two or three recruiters, I had no doubt in my mind which company I wanted to join. I knew this the minute I entered the door for my first interview at T+O+M. Here I am now, 18 months in to my new career as a recruiter at T+O+M, which has the most supportive, collaborative and friendly culture. 

The first few weeks and months were not without their challenges. I had completed my accounting exams which took me three years and sometimes I felt I was not utilising my Qualification. Fast forward 18 months and I have to say, I am so happy with all the choices I have made. I enjoy coming to work every day and feel very lucky to be working with an amazing group of people. 

As you can see, my path to recruiting was not a direct one and I like to think that this helps me every day in my role to understand the twists and turns that each of my candidates might face. Although, I may not be posting journals or doing month end analysis, I have been able to use my experience and qualification to guide my candidates and clients through some of the most challenging aspects of their job search in a supportive and consultative manner.

My favourite part of my job is that every day, I get to meet fantastic, career driven people who range from big 4 first movers to Senior managers/ CFOs of large companies. It’s great to be able to use my accounting experience to really get an intimate understanding of what my candidates are looking for and what they’ll be suited to, guide them through their interview process, and give them first-hand insight into what they’ll be doing on a day-to-day basis. 

If you are considering your next move and wondering what that next step in your career looks like, please give me a call and let’s have a conversation.

Gillian Duffy

Gillian Duffy

Consultant - Commerce and Industry - Commercial Finance, T+O+M Executive

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