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September 24, 2023

Ask Yourself These Questions to See If You’re Really in the Right Job


You like your job and want to stay, but you aren’t sure whether staying is the best decision. It’s quite the conundrum. As an accountant, you probably are making a pretty good salary, but that’s not the only thing—and maybe not even the main thing—motivating you.

It’s easy to get lost in your day-to-day obligations and not take the time to think about what you’re missing. I touched on that a bit in my recent blog about goal setting, but here’s a checklist of five questions that will help you expand on the concept. This list isn’t meant to be definitive; it’s meant as a start point for thinking about what you want from your job and your career:

How would you feel if you had to report to a different manager?
It’s not unusual. You report to someone who gets you and your quirks. You’re loving life. Then there’s an organizational shift or that person leaves and suddenly you have a new manager, and that person may work differently than you’re used to. Maybe he/she is a micromanager and that isn’t something you’re comfortable with. Perhaps the person is less open to delegating, which may lessen your opportunities to learn and grow.

Are you feeling vulnerable in any way?
It’s a given that a lot of firms hire extra help to get them through tax season. Some of those people are pretty good at their jobs. Did you feel, even for a moment, that you might be replaced by one of them? If you did, it’s time to take a moment to think where these feelings came from. Were they were amorphous feelings prompted by being unsettled by layoffs in general? Did they come from a gut feeling that things aren’t going right for you? Something else?

Are you getting the training opportunities you want?
Most firms provide technical training to their staff. Soft skills and leadership training are different. Often, these trainings are reserved for rising stars. Others might get some minimal training, but not the whole enchilada. Are you satisfied with where you stand?

Do you want to change your specialty?
Suppose your firm/company is short-staffed and you’re assigned work you don’t normally do. Then, surprise, you like it and want to do more in that area. Is there a way for you to do that or are you forever in the group you started with? This is something to really focus on, especially since employee retention is such a big part of what business leaders are worried about these days.

Does the feel of the firm align with you?
Firm/company culture starts at the top and works its way down. It makes no difference what the vision or mission statement says: it’s your daily experience that counts. Gossip is a good example of this. Is that the way firm news—good or bad—is shared, or does it come directly from the C-suite? Is that an okay atmosphere for you or does it make you feel disconnected?

There are a million scenarios and exponentially more ways to think about them, but the core issues remain the same: How are you affected and what do you want to do about it?

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