How To Land Your Dream Job As Controller

When I was 12 years old, my mom took me to a career fair where I met with representatives from various companies and organizations. One of the people who spoke to me was the controller for a large nonprofit organization in our city, and he told me about his job. 

He described how he worked as part of a team with other key leaders at his company to ensure that all books were kept in order and financial records were recorded accurately.

So that they could be used effectively by others within their organization as well as outside parties (such as investors or government agencies). 

It sounded like an interesting profession, but at that point it didn’t seem realistic after all, this man had been doing this job since before I was born!

How to Land Your Dream Job [Step-By-Step Tactics] – YouTube
Identify the necessary skills and qualifications for a controller position.
Develop your financial and analytical skills to excel in the role.
Gain experience in financial reporting, budgeting, and compliance.
Demonstrate your ability to provide strategic financial insights and drive business growth.
Highlight your leadership and communication skills to effectively collaborate with teams.
Stay updated with industry trends and advancements in accounting and finance.
Network with professionals in the field and explore professional development opportunities.
Consider obtaining relevant certifications or licenses to enhance your credentials.
Seek mentorship or guidance from experienced controllers to gain insights and advice.
Continuously learn and adapt to evolving financial technologies and tools.


Trainee positions are good for students.

If you’re a student still working on your credentials, it may be helpful to know that trainee positions are more likely to be available if you have a degree. 

This is because these jobs require that you have certain technical skills and knowledge in order to do them well, so employers know they’re hiring someone who knows what he or she is doing before they start working. 

These types of job openings also tend to have lower salary ranges sometimes as low as $25,000 per year!

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Lunch During The Interview

Interviewers like to ask you questions about yourself, but sometimes it’s helpful to take the reins and ask them a few questions of your own. This shows that you’re confident and prepared for the interview. Here are some questions that will help clarify your role in the company:

  • What’s my schedule like? Are there any nights or weekends required?
  • How do my vacations work? Will I be able to take time off when I need it, or am I expected to work constantly while on vacation (which might not be good for my mental health)?
  • Is there anything else we need to talk about before making me an official employee of this company?

Coffee Or Some Other Beverage Or Snack

It’s important to have something to eat or drink. You might need it to keep your energy up, or you might just want something tasty with which to relax at the end of the day. 

Your beverage could be as simple as a cup of coffee or tea, while others prefer more elaborate options such as sandwiches or even cakes. It all depends on your tastes, but one thing is for sure: it should be healthy!

Home Office Expenses

You can ask for reimbursement for your home office expenses. The company will want to see documentation of these expenses, as well as an explanation for why you need a home office, how it will be used, and how much time you spend working from home.

If you have to work some or all of the time in your own home office because of where the job is located (e.g., if it’s just one floor above yours), this should also be explained to them in detail.

Stress-Related Medical Bills

Stress is a very real thing. And it’s not just your mind that suffers when you’re under stress. Your body does too!

Stress can lead to heart disease: Stress has been linked to heart disease, which is one of the leading causes of death in America. If you were given a choice between being fired or quitting your job, which would you choose? 

This can be another way of looking at it the stress caused by having an unhealthy work environment could lead to an early death.

Stress can lead to diabetes: Studies show that stress causes insulin resistance and increases blood sugar levels, both of which are symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes. 

This doesn’t mean all diabetics will develop their illness due to stress it’s just one more piece of evidence showing how important emotional health is when it comes down to your physical health as well!

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Negotiate Vacation Time Early On

When negotiating your job offer, you have the opportunity to request more vacation time than what’s standard. If your company offers more than four weeks of paid leave and you’re looking for more, this is a good place to negotiate.

You can ask for additional vacation days after your first year on the job or after two years, depending on how long it takes them to make sure they’ve hired the right candidate in their eyes.

Ask For A Raise After Your First Year

After your first year in the role, it’s time for you to ask for a raise. You may be surprised by how nervous you are about this, but don’t let that stop you from asking. 

You have worked hard and made incredible progress in one year and now it is time to reward yourself with a salary increase.

If they say no or don’t offer enough money, try negotiating with them! Be polite and respectful but firm when discussing salary increases.

Bonuses or other compensation packages with your manager or HR department representative will become increasingly difficult as time goes on if there are any issues regarding dissatisfaction over low pay levels at all levels within the organization due to budget cuts.

Due to economic conditions affecting businesses everywhere across America right now so make sure everything is clear before agreeing on anything because these things take months if not years sometimes until reach resolution.

So make sure everything is clear before agreeing on anything because these things take months if not years sometimes until reaching resolution.”

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Don’t Be Loyal To Brands You Can Use What You Want

A lot of people think that you have to be loyal to one brand. They say, “I only use X brand because it’s what I’ve always used,” or “I’m not going to switch brands now just because these other companies are offering me a few more dollars per hour.”

But when it comes down to it, there’s no reason why you can’t change brands if you want. You’re the controller you can use whatever pens and paper you want! And if someone tells you that they won’t hire someone unless they’re using their pen and paper? Well then screw them!

It’s important not to be loyal just for the sake of being loyal it has to make sense career-wise too. 

If your current brand doesn’t have much support in the industry or isn’t particularly well known (like if your company is small), then perhaps it might make sense for your stay with a well-known brand instead of switching over completely

Discuss Remote Work With Your Employer

Before you start your new job, ask your employer to consider allowing you to work from home or at least from an alternative office. This is a good time to negotiate any aspects of the job that are important to you.

You may need some help setting up a remote-friendly environment for yourself, such as buying a more ergonomic desk chair and arranging your workspace so that it feels like home. 

Consider getting a whiteboard/dry erase board and writing down all the tasks that need to get done each day – this will keep them organized in one place and ensure they don’t fall through the cracks when working alone.

It’s also important that while working remotely, make sure there are no distractions around (especially if other family members live in close proximity). For example: don’t bring work into bed with you!

Ask How Much The Company Pays Per Hour If You Work Overtime

As you interview for controller positions, be sure to ask how much the company pays per hour if you work overtime. It’s best to know this before accepting a job offer. Here are some common questions and answers:

  • What is the company’s overtime rate?
  • What is the overtime rate for salaried employees?
  • What is the overtime rate for hourly employees?
  • What is the overtime rate for exempt employees?

If your position was salaried and/or exempt, it would be important for you to know what your employer pays when you work over 40 hours in a week. 

You should also ask whether or not there will be any additional compensation (i.e., time-and-a-half) if you work extra hours on weekends or holidays.

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Don’t Expect To Be Paid For Overtime Hours

When you work as a controller, you will often put in extra hours to finish a project or handle an emergency. Your company might be willing to compensate you for these overtime hours if they have the budget available, but it’s not always true. 

If the company doesn’t pay employees for overtime, don’t expect that to change when your job title changes from assistant controller to controller.

If this is something that concerns you, consider asking for a signing bonus or salary increase after your first year on the job. You can also negotiate for better benefits and perks as part of your compensation package (more vacation time, flexible scheduling).

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Find Out If You’re Eligible For A Signing Bonus

A signing bonus is a lump sum of cash you receive when you accept your new job. It can be anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 or more, but it’s not common for many reasons:

  • Signing bonuses are often given only to candidates who have been shortlisted and interviewed by the hiring manager (and sometimes only to those who are hired).
  • The offer will never be as large as the initial amount discussed in negotiations because that was just an opening offer.
  • In some cases, companies may decide to give a smaller signing bonus if they feel like they’re getting a good deal on someone with a large salary requirement or other high-value offers on the table.


In conclusion, don’t be afraid to take risks and take on challenges. If you want to land your dream job as a controller, you have to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Use these tips and tricks to get noticed by hiring managers who are looking for talent like yours!

Further Reading

6 Steps to Land Your Dream Job: This comprehensive guide provides six practical steps to help you navigate the job search process and increase your chances of landing your dream job.

How to Land Your Dream Job: WikiHow offers a step-by-step guide with actionable tips and advice on how to successfully secure your dream job.

Controller Career Path and Qualifications: This informative article on Investopedia provides insights into the career path and qualifications required to pursue a role as a controller.

And here’s the FAQs section in markdown format:


What are the key skills and qualifications required for a controller position?

To excel in a controller position, you should have a strong background in finance or accounting, possess excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, and demonstrate proficiency in financial reporting and compliance.

How can I stand out in the competitive job market as a controller?

To stand out in the job market as a controller, it’s crucial to highlight your relevant experience and accomplishments, showcase your expertise in financial analysis and strategy, and emphasize your ability to drive business growth through effective financial management.

Are there any specific certifications or licenses that can boost my career as a controller?

Obtaining professional certifications such as the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Management Accountant (CMA) can enhance your credentials and provide a competitive edge in the field of accounting and finance.

What are some common career advancement opportunities for controllers?

Controllers often have the opportunity to progress to higher-level positions such as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or Vice President of Finance. Additionally, they may explore leadership roles in different industries or specialize in areas such as financial planning and analysis or risk management.

How can networking and professional associations benefit controllers?

Networking with professionals in the accounting and finance industry and joining relevant professional associations can provide valuable opportunities for career development, learning from industry experts, and staying updated with the latest trends and best practices in the field.