Your training experience is one of the biggest adventures and career assets which will cross your journey, so make the most of every moment!
Your training contract will be a period in your life where you will learn more than you would have ever thought is possible: it’s a journey that will change you in more ways than you are prepared for. Everyone always focuses on the technical benefits of completing your training contract, but I want to focus on ‘miscellaneous’ benefits.
I am calling it ‘miscellaneous’ because these are benefits other than those focusing on your technical skills, and they vary in nature.
During your training contract you will learn a whole new side of your personality, a side which you did not know existed or was vaguely aware of but had never developed. You will find your professional personality, whether you are introverted or extroverted in the workplace (this can be totally opposite from how you are at home), maybe you are a mentor/coach or the big brother/sister figure for the team. You will discover whether you are a team player or more of a lone ranger (within a team environment, it happens).
You will learn professional skills and soft skills which will set the tone for your career. During a training contract, you are placed in a lot of situations which you have not faced before, you will learn how to respond, how to adapt and how to act. You will learn the balance of how to respond to situations in different ways to get the desired results by reading the situation.
You will discover what part of finance you most enjoy and in what direction you want your career to go, as it is true, not everybody likes auditing. However, even if you do not like auditing you will be exposed to different industries whether it is manufacturing and distribution, insurance, financial institutions, communication, etc, and you will find which of these industries your interest lies most (or you will decide finance is not for you and have a career change after your training contract, this also happens).
You will meet new people and build relationships. You will not only meet fellow trainees: you will also have contact with managers and partners, heads of finance and chief financial officers, industry leaders and future entrepreneurs. Your training contract period is one of the biggest networking opportunities you will receive in your career.
You will go on adventures, creating new memories which you will carry with you forever. Your training contract will take you to different parts of the country (depending on the size of the firm), open secondment opportunities or, going by the saying ‘local is lekker’, create adventures within the firm and the community. Making the most of these adventures, building relationships and making memories is an invaluable part of your training experience!
You will make lifelong friends with shared interests. And when you go out, force yourself not to speak about your work or your career (because we just cannot help ourselves!). Make friends in the workplace; they are usually some of the only people who understand what you are going through when auditing. These are friends who can become your business partners, your voice of advice, or be the connection to your future career.
The one thing very few people ever tell you about your training contract is that it will be a journey of self-discovery. The amount of personal growth that you will go through is indescribable.
To get everything out of your training contract which you possibly can, grab as many opportunities as you can juggle, get involved in different engagements and do as many different projects as possible!
Chantal Potgieter AGA(SA), Senior-In-Charge at SAPRO