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I’m Calling BS on Your Cliched Career Aspirations


This sunset is less everyday than your career goals.

Happy Tax Day everyone! Today is the day for alcohol, sleep, and breathing a big sigh of relief. Another busy season complete! Today is also the day to start career brainstorming for potential post-busy season job hopping, ladder climbing, and startup launching.

So it’s also the perfect opportunity for me to call bullshit. Yeah, you heard me. I’m calling bullshit. Why do you ask? For every person (myself included) who answered the questions, “What is your career goal? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” with the following response: “Oh, I want to be a partner.” or “CFO.” That canned response means you:

A) Still have no idea what you want to be when you grow up,

B) Are so burned out that you are actually asleep right now, or

C) Secretly know that you definitely do not want to be a partner or CFO but say it anyway because it is the socially acceptable response to the question.

I am guilty of all three.

I remember a little over a year ago driving home from work, listening to Scott Dinsmore’s TED talk “How to Find Work you Love.” At first, I scoffed at the idea of being able to do work that I loved that also fit with what I was good at. Then, I started to do research and met other CPAs who were fired up about their work. Then, I realized I could do something with all of my ideas and it wasn’t so crazy after all.

It can be overwhelming to think about other options, next steps, and putting together a plan. It can be scary to do work that you really want to do. Especially if you are struggling with burnout and have no idea where to start.

So I’m challenging you right now. Ask yourself the following questions to start the brainstorming process and write down your answers:

  • What do you really want in your career?
  • Why are you doing the work that you’re doing?
  • What’s working for you right now and what’s not?
  • What do you want to see changed at your company?
  • What ideas do you have on how you would do things differently?

The accounting industry is changing and honestly, we will be the ones that continue to change it. By 2020, millennials will form 50% of the global workforce. Yup, that means you and me, everyone! Imagine the impact we will have if we can escape the burnout and become more innovative. It’s our ideas that will continue to move this industry forward.

That’s why today, on April 18th, 2017, I’m calling for a Millennial Accountant revolution! No more canned career aspirations, no more burnout, and no more status quo!

Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic…but seriously, are you going to live a life of quiet career desperation with your cliche career responses? Or are you going to take the time to think about the career that you really want?

Back to your regularly scheduled happy hour programming.

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