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About In House Tax

About In House Tax

This weblog is a news and views site for tax professionals within the UK and international in-house tax community.  You will find information about appointments and people moves in and around the in-house tax market, issues affecting the in-house tax professional, opinions on the state of the tax job market, updates on tax technology, and other general thoughts of the day.

Hope you find it useful.

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Location: St Albans, United Kingdom

This site has been developed by Simon Godley, who also runs the niche tax recruitment company Talentpool Selection . Simon spends a lot of his time placing tax specialists into FTSE companies, large in-bound groups and some professional services organisations. He also recruits and is well networked around the UK tax technology and VAT markets.

Tax News

Improved Jobs Market! Should I look to move now?

Thursday, 10 April 2014

From conversations with both the client side (hiring managers) and the candidate side of the tax and tax technology market over the last few weeks and months, the overall sentiment is that we are in a much better jobs market now compared to 12 months, and vastly different to 24 months ago. 

Often this is sentiment driven, but we can refer to the Reed job index for more an objective viewpoint.  The Reed Job Index is a useful barometer as it tracks the number of new job opportunities compared to the previous month and against a baseline of 100 set in December 2009.

The index is currently showing 202 for March 2014.  This is up from 156 in March 2013, and so a 30% increase over the last 12 months.  This also compares to 142 in March 2012, and therefore a 42% increase over 2 years.  And that was a record high back in March 2012, as the index started in the depths of the 2009 financial crises recession. 
These figures are promising, and does certainly support the claims that we are operating in a rising and dare I say bullish jobs market.

So should you respond to this and take action on anything?  One reaction is that you may feel that you should start to look at other opportunities because it is a good market.  But is this advisable?
Well, let’s break it down into reasons to support making a job move in a rising market, and the reasons not to, a sort of Pros and Cons approach as there are some pitfalls to bear in mind. 

Three Reasons To Make a Move:
1. Career Prospects.  Money, or rather more money, is a big driver to move jobs, but it is not the biggest driver (see other article).  A larger and more common driver is to move away from a manager or management that you no longer feel are supporting or investing in your career.  Unless you can secure an internal move, this is often very difficult to change, and so may be time to look at other opportunities.  You should get a sense in an interview of management style, and you can ask a potential employer how they develop their people.  

2.  More money (tread carefully!)  There is no doubt that your chances of increasing base salary and overall remuneration package is greatly increased in a rising or 'hot' jobs market.  The mechanics of this are quite simple - demand for good people far outstrips supply (given most people are in a 'safe' job), so employers have to start raising the price to attract the people that they need or want.  So if you are feeling undervalued in terms of salary, then now may be a good time to look around.  But be careful.  You may get a higher salary offer, but then when you resign from your current employer, they may try to buy you back and offer even more.  So you win again, right?  Not quite.  Because you have shown a lack of loyalty by seeking out another job offer, your 'cards may be marked' which could slowly impact on the relationship you have with your boss, management and others in the organisation.  Suddenly you are being paid well, or much better paid, but in a more stressful environment.  Tread carefully with money, it should not be the ONLY reason you are looking for a new job. 

3.  Move into a new specialism.  You may be based within one field within a broader sector, but have ambitions to move into a new aligned field, or even to a role requiring a different discipline.  A field in which you feel will enhance your future career.  A classic example could be someone trained up in personal tax, but wishing to transfer across to corporate tax within a tax practice / accounting firm.  Another good example, and within my line of specialism, would be for a tax specialist who feels they are strong on IT to switch into a tax technology or tax automation role.  A rising job market makes this type of career transition much more feasible compared to a downturn market.  As the economy improves, businesses find it easier to offer new (or just more) products and services to their target clients, but they require more skilled staff to deliver this.  Therefore more opportunities arise for people to transfer their careers into aligned or new discipline areas.  So now would be a good time to consider this.    

Three Reasons Not to:
1. Just because it's a good market.  Looking to move jobs has to be on a thought-through basis i.e. there has to exist credible and sensible reasons (push factors) for looking to move on from your current employer.  Often people are less objective, and will slip into a job interview process just because they've heard it’s a good market, and so the 'grass may be greener'.  This will often lead to disappointment, and the main pull factor will be for more money, and any job move should not be on the basis of money alone. 

2. Large Step Up, possibly too large?  So you may be able to get a large pay rise by moving jobs in a strong jobs market, but what does this new role look like?  If you are taking a large step up in level, it still needs to be in line with your overall length of relevant experience.  If it isn’t, and suddenly you are thrust into a role requiring lots of people management or managing a much bigger team, or responsibility for much bigger budgets, then you could be overstretching on what you are ready for.  I’ve seen people make this move, initially feeling very empowered, but then realising that they simply have taken on too much for their level of knowledge and experience.    

3.  Location, Location, Location.  It is possible that you could be hired into your dream job with your dream company and being paid oodles of cash.  You’ve gone to the interview in the middle of the day, and so not in rush hour.  It feels like a longer commute but you got home from the interview in just over an hour, that’s not bad.  However you start the job and suddenly find that it takes closer to 2 hours each way.  That could be up to 4 hours travelling a day.  You will quickly get tired of that.  Think very carefully about the base location of a role, maybe make a few trips there in rush hour before signing the contract.    

If you are operating in the tax or tax technology market, and would like to discuss these issues further, please contact Simon Godley on

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posted by Simon Godley


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