Headstart: Careers – A week in the life …

Angus Farr is the national training and HR manager at HLB Kidsons.

He joined the firm as a trainee in 1994, qualifying as a chartered accountant in 1997 before moving across to the training function. His responsibilities include not just technical and soft skills training but also development programmes and graduate recruitment.


At my desk by 8.30 to respond to the few dozen e-mail queries from graduates interested in training contracts. Next I analyse our performance in ICAS’ recent TPS exams. Although the results are a little disappointing, our priority is to support those unsuccessful trainees, and we therefore always try to learn any lessons to improve our chances of success at the next sitting.


Second stage of our manager selection process sees three recently qualified accountants receiving feedback from a bank of psychometric tests and the results of a 360 degree survey that went out to their office partners, colleagues and clients. Some will take longer than others to progress through the stages of reaction we call SARA (Shock, Anger, Rejection, Acceptance).


Working from home in the morning gives me the opportunity to develop material for a course on strategic business planning I will be delivering next month. I also have time to review the ACCA’s impressive new syllabus. After lunch I pack up the car and head to Durham for a careers fair.


Much busier than I had expected. The students respond well to the ideas we are putting across – that accountants have to concentrate on the business issues and add value here rather than simply crunching numbers.

The long drive back to London in the evening is eased by my trusted collection of 80s music, albums which are actually older than the students I’ve been talking to today – now there’s a scary thought.


Until 4pm I’m at college studying for my Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development qualification even though I vowed never to sit another set of exams at the age of 16. After college I hotfoot it to the last hour of the LSE careers fair to catch up with the trainees on our stand as well as my counterparts at BDO and Tenon. Home by 7pm for chicken shashlick, mushroom bhajis and a bottle of red wine with my fiance Viv. How could life get any better?

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