I'm an accountant, I hate my job, but seriously, I wouldn’t know what else to do

I was born to be a lot of things, but being an accountant isn't one of them. In my heart of hearts I have always known this, but for some stupid subconscious reason, I have always ignored it.

Why? Well...um...err...I didn’t know what else to do.

How many people faced with the same predicament of deciding on a profession upon graduating used “not really knowing what to do” as their guiding compass?

Blink. Ten years have passed and you’re left wondering, how did I get here? In this cubicle? Doing something I cannot stand (and I’m not even honestly good at), with people I quite frankly don’t really care about?

For me that was accounting, a profession that conjures numerous clichés, such as boring, bean counting, personality not needed, number crunching etc etc. These have now evolved and have been replaced by repetition, reconciliations, long hours, fudging figures, high turnover, Enron and even more reconciliations.


But please don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect, admiration and appreciation for accountants. I do. My closest friends are accountants, my mentors are accountants and my accountant is a damn good accountant. I have also been one for seven years in the financial services sector.

So for all those accountants stuck at work between 10pm and 3am in lieu of month-end – who’ve had to forcibly forego dinner, quality time with their family and friends, a favourite TV show and even a quick bathroom break, just so those books are closed to perfection – I sincerely salute you.

I didn’t resign because…

You might be left asking, “If you hate it so much, then why don’t you just leave?”

I’m the first person to berate myself for sticking with it for so long. It never helped that accounting, and the financial sector for that matter, pays so well and instantaneously blindsides with dollar signs. I was always caught up chasing the next pay cheque, hanging around a few more months for a bonus and salary hike, and holding my breath for my well-deserved promotion.

The result always afforded me the trips overseas, a new car, the latest gadgets, elevation up the clothing-label food chain, gambling in a few shares here and there, and even a deposit on an investment property. Important things in a twenty-something year-old’s life, right?

I still don’t know what to do

It sounds like I’m making excuses. Well I am. It’s hard to walk away. But hey, if it pays well and the bills get paid, shouldn’t that be enough? And shouldn’t I just be grateful to even have a job in this economic climate?

Yes it should, and yes I should. But what happens when the answer is no and no? What happens when the “I didn’t know what to do” escalates into “I still don’t know what to do” or “I don’t know what to do, but all I know is I don’t want to keep doing this”?

Sigh. It’s back to my cubicle for now, brushing these things aside and being thankful (half-heartedly) that I even have a cubicle to go to.


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