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Career path in Shared Service Center (SSC) in Poland

marcoc10 2 | 6
13 Dec 2013 #1
I am in contact with a couple of companies which operate in Poland through Shared Service Centers (SSC). My field of activity is accounting / tax, with 2,5 years of experience in Western Europe.

We are talking about a 7.000/8.000 zl gross per month, as first salary.

I have a question:

Is the career path interesting? I mean, is it possible to raise the salary over the years and, if yes, in what percentage?
Nojas 4 | 110
13 Dec 2013 #2
1) It is a very good starting salary, and I mean very good.
2) About career path I guess it depends on yourself, but yes there is a lot to learn in these centers. I would say it depends mostly on which company. "Accountant" will most likely lead you on the expert path (pretty much ends on position of Senior Accountant, if that is fun I don't know).

3) Money and salary isn't everything. But salary developments isn't much different in Poland from other countries, meaning that the only sure way to get a higher salary is to switch companies.

I would say in general that you will find more oppertunities and a more interesting workplace in a global SSC than in a standard accounting department. It's all a question about how much you value a high salary (which you won't find in Poland) versus the actual work. And again, it also depends on which company. Plus of course the invaluable experience of working in an international enviroment in a foreign country.
DominicB - | 2,709
13 Dec 2013 #3
Is the career path interesting? I mean, is it possible to raise the salary over the years and, if yes, in what percentage?

If it's earnings that you are interested in, then no, the career path is likely to be a dead end with a low earnings cap. Most jobs of this sort are outsourced from wealthier counties, with the really interesting and well-paying jobs remaining in those countries. The primary reason they outsource the grunt work to countries like Poland is to save on wages, and you will quickly find that any decision they make regarding your eventual advancement will be primarily evaluated in terms of that.

Another thing that will greatly limit your ability to seriously advance is the relative lack of continuing education options. You will find little in this area until you master the local language. Courses offered in English at Polish universities are usually of abysmal quality, and the certificates or diplomas obtained will be of very little value, both inside Poland and abroad.

If your coming to Poland for a year or two of fun and adventure and to get a little useful experience to spice up your CV, then great. Go for it.

If your thinking of making a career in Poland as an accountant, think again. Your lifetime earnings potential in absolute Euros will be a fraction of what you can earn in a western country, and your absolute lifetime savings potential in absolute Euros will be an even smaller fraction, with greatly reduced chances for advancement. The difference in the cost of living will never offset the amount you lose.

As an accountant, you should be aware that the really interesting and rewarding jobs are for specialists and high level managers and consultants. You would be extremely foolish not to continually improve your qualifications, acquire new skills, and beef up the skills you already have. Your earnings are mostly limited by your knowledge of advanced applied mathematics and computer skills, especially programming and modeling. Management skills are also a big plus, but make sure to get them in an excellent management program at an excellent university. Language skills are also a plus, especially at the advanced near-native level rather than a superficial familiarity.

Getting a degree in financial engineering or actuarial mathematics would greatly increase your opportunities and earnings. High-level actuaries are in great demand everywhere, and will always be during your lifetime.

I'm guessing you're in your late twenties or early thirties. Focus on beefing up your education NOW, because it's going to get harder as you get older. Take advantage of your youth while you still have it.
OP marcoc10 2 | 6
16 Dec 2013 #4
Thank you both for your replies. I am 27 and i am from Italy.

With regard to the accounting activity, i have to admit it's not a lot fun but working in an accounting department serving Italian market would let me open doors when i want to return. This is my idea.

I am aware that specific and high paid jobs are still here, but actually i aim to obtain, throughout my carrer a satisfactory work / private life balance. I am saying this because i currently work for a big consulting firm (Big 4) and i see that yes people in here with time get high wages but i also noticed the must of them have sacrificed their private lives.

With regard to salaries, in my particular case, i would say that differences are not so high. For example, an accountant earns 1.000 / 1.200 euro per month in Italy, a senior accountat 1.800 /2.000 (but after a lot of years) and cost of living is really high. I am considering Poland because if i could get a slightly lower salary it wouldn't make a big difference, especially in terms of saving. The main problem is that in Italy it's really DIFFICULT to find a new job while in Poland i see many offers for accountants / tax specialists.

With regard with beef up my skills and expertise, i totally agree, i would like to learn a new language and deepen my knowledge in accouting principles, but Big 4 working pace doesn't allow me to do this, for the moment.

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