New Careers & Transitions During COVID

We’re rounding out this series of Find Your Dream Job in 2020 by rolling it back. Up until now, we have outlined how to leverage your recruiter’s expertise to help you connect, interview, and negotiate your offer at your dream company. While we spend the majority of our time doing this, we’re not confined to these tasks — sometimes we even get to coach new grads and/or help those who are looking to take their career on a different path!

Yes, it is true, AquantUs is an executive-based recruiting firm, but our real-world experience makes us dynamic and agile in the staffing industry.

With a dream to break out of the business of audit, our founder, Tiffany Hoffine, transitioned into the recruiting industry herself! She was able to combine her expertise in the accounting and audit fields (did we mention she graduated with honors with a degree in Accounting from Clemson?!) with her love of connecting to people and *bam* a career match was made. Since the genesis of AquantUs, Tiffany has been diligent about enlisting recruiters who are not only charismatic and warm, but are also knowledgeable about the accounting and finance fields. Together, we offer a whole spread of knowledge, experience, and advice.

While there are slight differences in starting a career and changing careers, the foundation is the same; both parties are almost starting from scratch and might need some guidance through their transitions. Before coming to us, consider the Five W’s: Who, What, When, Where, Why.

First, the Who:

Not to get too deep, but who are you? This is a great time to identify your strengths and weaknesses and the qualities you bring to the table. In fact, in this article by Forbes, a way to help you pinpoint your strengths is:

“Identify all of the times you have had success in your career and […] what characteristics and strengths helped you achieve these successes. Then be curious about how you could use them to support you in this new career path. If you notice a gap in skills, don’t be afraid of it. Create a plan to close the gap and take the first step, knowing the next step will follow.”

Even though that quote is geared towards people who are shifting careers, the advice still applies to those who are just starting out! For recent grads, what in your college career made you successful?

That same Forbes article continues by saying:

“By leveraging your strengths, you increase your chances of success. By following your interests, you stay engaged. By honoring your expertise, you are able to pivot much faster. Your strengths are found in tasks that give you energy! Keep these in mind to land a successful career change.” 

Second, the What:

What kind of transition are you looking to make? Are you looking for a different job in the same field? Do you want a new career in a different industry, using the same skills? Or do you want to totally change what you’re doing?

What keeps you motivated? Is it crunching numbers, checking someone’s work? Is it running a company’s finances, or is it something completely different? Burnout can happen, and it’s normal, so we want you to focus on the tasks that you enjoy, even during monotonous periods.

The other What is “what is it going to take”? Are there any licenses or certifications, classes or software knowledge that stands between you and your new career? Talking to your recruiter about your options and how to obtain any of these things is going to be a crucial conversation to have!

Next, the When:

When are you looking to make your transition? Many people think that when working with a recruiter, you are wanting to jump ship immediately, but that’s not always the case! We work with many great companies that have later start dates in order to get the most curated pool of candidates possible. If you don’t feel like you’re quite ready to make the leap, you can always sign up for our monthly jobs listing where we’ll send you the most up-to-date list of the jobs that we’re currently working with!

For recent grads, we recommend starting your search during your last year of college. This is a great time to get an internship to learn some hands-on skills and to build your resume.

Then, the Where:

This one might be obvious, but in which city/part of town do you want to work? With many companies changing their in-office policies due to COVID, that job in that city that you would’ve passed up on a few months ago might be more within your reach.

Lastly, the Why:

This is another obvious one, and it’s geared more towards the career-transitioners, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. Why are you looking to change careers? Do you want more work/life balance? Are you just looking to get out of public accounting? Do you, after all these years, realize you despise Excel? Knowing these gripes and preferences will help you communicate to us what you want in this next stage of your life.

The Encore:

Once a number-cruncher turned recruiter turned business-woman, Tiffany Hoffine has been in your shoes and will make sure you are matched with a recruiter who will help you through your life change. If you are flirting with the idea, but not ready to take the leap, browse the jobs we’re working with and start to gather intel about what sticks out to you. When you’re ready, email us at — we’ll be ready when you are!

Which Recruiter is Right For Me? (Part 2)

If you’ve been chomping at the bits for part two of this post, welcome back! If you have no idea that there is a part one, you can catch yourself up to speed here. When we last met, we suggested – before reaching out to a recruiter – to outline your goals of working with one. By doing this, it will help you establish what you are looking to gain by working with us and it will help you outline, to us, the path you want to head down in your career. In this part of Which Recruiter is Right for Me, we’ll be sharing more insights from AquantUs’s founder and managing partner, Tiffany Hoffine, as well as some suggestions from our candidate recruiters!
Now, forgive me for assuming, but I’m sure you’ve read our article about the benefits of partnering with a recruiter, right? Or, maybe you’ve poked around our website and walked yourself through our No Surprises Process. Either way, you should know by now that partnering with a recruiter is all reward and no risk. So, without further ado, let’s jump into it!

Get Comfortable

There’s a rumor floating around – one that has probably detoured you from recruiters before – that goes like this: recruiters don’t have your best interests in mind. I’m here to tell you that that is not the case. Tiffany makes it clear that you should be able to tell if the recruiter is the appropriate fit from the very first conversation because recruiters should be asking more than telling. “They should be asking what is important to you. They should be asking great questions about your criteria for a new role and your long-term career goals.”
On the contrary, Tiffany makes sure to point out that your relationship with your recruiter is a two-way street. It is your responsibility to articulate your goals in a way that brings you the right roles. If a recruiter brings you a role that you are not interested in, take the time to tell them why because that helps us say ‘okay, now we know’.

Questions to Ask Us!

We understand that it can be difficult to brainstorm questions to ask, especially if you’ve never worked with a recruiter in the past! Below are some examples to get you started.

• Do you specialize in my area of expertise?
• What percentage of the candidates that you work with are in my expertise?
• What types of clients do you work with (e.g. what industry, size, are they public or private)?
• What happens after this initial call?
• Walk me through your process
• What do you do to maintain the confidentiality of my search?
• Is this a client you have worked with before?
• Are my expectations realistic (in regards to title/compensation)?
• What will the interview process look like in terms of the quantity and methods regarding this specific client?

Okay, I’m Convinced. Now what?

If you’re ready to give us a shot, then reach out! You can reach out to any of our recruiters via LinkedIn, or, if you’d rather get to know them and their individual personalities better, you can see them live and in-person in these videos.

If you see a job posted on our website that interests you, apply and we’ll have a recruiter who specializes in your expertise reach out to you. However, we don’t post all of the jobs that we work on, so you can also submit your resume via email at or via the contact page on our website.