A Career Post

I honestly do not post about work and my job too too often, as it is such a minor part of who I am.  My home job and my fitness job are so much more who I am as an individual, so I chose to focus my blog on these two things.  But I do want to talk about my career, and today is the day.

I am definitely learning things about myself in my "real job" - versus one of the OTHER jobs discussed yesterday.  And it really only applies to certain people.  I think it is because of the shift in focus that I have had within my career mindset.  And I am not sure how much that has been addressed. 

I wanted to be a Partner in a Public Accounting Firm.  That was the end all, be all of my graduation with my Masters degree goal.  That's what I wanted to do, and there were no ifs ands or buts related to it.  Heck, I wanted to be a partner at a Big 4 firm.  So as big as I could get in that world.  I don't know why that was my goal.  Honestly, I chose accounting kind of randomly.  I picked it because I needed a career that I could be good at (potentially, you never really know in college) and make enough money to pay off my student loans! 

So I started my career at the firm of my choice (a Big 4) and made friends and worked my butt off for a year and a half.  I was well on my way toward my ultimate goal (typically about a 10 year plan).  And I was even feeling ok about the massive work weeks that I was pulling in.  I was dating, although not necessarily happily, and doing nothing other than work.  That's the life that a lot of people that I know live for their first 5 or so years of public accounting.  At least, a lot of people that I know.

After my first year and a half, my aspirations did not change, but my life did.  I was single for the first time in more than 4 years, and I was back on stage for the first time since college.  I wanted to date and enjoy myself and I was playing the lead in a musical.  So lets be honest, I started working 8-9 hours per day (never less than 8!) instead of 10-12.  I was more distracted, I was not as motivated as I was initially...  and a year later, I had enough, and I moved on.

I went to a smaller firm, where I hoped the pressure for "face time" would be less at a smaller firm, not to mention less hours required, etc. 

The small firm was tough for me right off the bat.  Its the kind of place where people do not come and go too often, and everyone has been there pretty much since their co-ops/internships, and everyone knows how to do everything in their  systems already, etc. Because they are a small firm, they don't really offer formalized training for experienced hires.  About 6 months in when a new crop of co-ops came in, they did have a training for them, which I sat in on, but at the same time, it had been 6 months.

I had adjusted my life goal to become a partner here.  Not a Big 4 firm anymore, but still, it would be a good place to be in.  And I still wanted it.  Although slowly the environment of this job was wearing on me.  I wasn't friends with anyone here the way I had been at my other job.  And I definitely was starting to see J early in my second year there, which was taking time.  I was making plans for 5 pm most days so I would not have any reason to stay at work any longer than necessary. 

And then in March of 2010 I had enough.  I started looking again.  This time, I was looking for things outside of public accounting.  My dream to become a partner had gone, quickly, and I was not all that sad about it, to be honest.  I interviewed a few places.

In May, my search became more urgent as I was let go.  Apparently they were feeling as apprehensive about me as I was about them.  It was technically post-busy season lay offs, and they had done the same thing the year before, but this year, my time had come.

Now, in my current position, which is the position I found in July 2010 after my layoff, everything is completely different, my mindset has changed completely and I think that is completely ok.  I am ok with the fact that a lot of my focus is on my other two jobs and that those are very important to me as well.  In other jobs, that would not be ok with everyone else.  I get to enjoy my life now.  I get to do the things that I want to do and it is ok that I want to run a marathon, go to the gym at lunch time, leave at 5 pm so I can take a nap after work. 

My new life is great.  Is it ideal?  No.  Its not my ultimate goal anymore, now that my interest in health and fitness is so piqued.  But its a wonderful wonderful place to be to make money, to learn about business and accounting and to develop. :)

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