I was talking to a young pup the other day. (Actually, he’s an old military friend who just retired and wants to go back to school. But he’s “beginning” his career, so that makes him young, in a roundabout way…) He wants to go to school to major in accounting, and he has no idea what part of accounting he wants to do–tax, audit, industry, government, etc…
As we were talking, it made me think of the way my career path has gone, and how it has evolved into what I am now. And it made me think, “Never in a million years did I think I would do this, and I certainly didn’t think I would enjoy it.”
When I was 19, I was going to Hacksaw U, majoring in psychology. Wanted to get a PhD in Psych, and solve all the world’s problems.
When I was 21, I was in the Marines, and wanted to be a Marine officer.
When I was 26, I was a retail financial advisor, and wanted to do that for ever and ever, amen.
When I was 28, I didn’t like retail FA anymore (too much sales, too little knowledge of finance). So I decided to go back to school to learn about finance. Wanted to get a MSFinance, and be a security analyst. Around that same time, I took my first accounting class and thought, "This blows. Hopefully this will be the last accounting class I ever take.
When I was 30 (some ten accounting classes and once CPA exam later), I started at a CPA firm, thinking, “I just have to do my obligatory three years, so I can move on to what I really want to do.”
After just a few short months at that job, I got a job in the oil and gas industry, and I thought, “Now I just have to work my way up in the company.”
When I was 32, the O&G company packed up and moved away, so I took another job with a CPA firm and loved it. I’ve moved on from that firm, but I’m still doing the same job. Now I realize I’ll probably never leave, but rather, will try to take over and expand the business to include retail FA and in-house valuations.
What is your experience? Are you more like me? That is, my job had to “find me”.
Or are you more like my friend Rod, who picked a major, stuck with it, got a job in that industry, and has never deviated from his “chosen path” siince he was 17. (He’s 33 now, and doing very well, BTW.)