Why A Career In Accounting Might Be Wrong For You

If you’re looking at career in accounting then you have some homework to do. You have to determine if your personality will truly fit one of the careers that we’ve outlined. There’s no point in becoming an accountant if in fact your real passion lies as an artist or a coffee barista. 

You’ll be very unhappy. 

So, how do you actually work out what your talents are? 

Just Who The Heck Are You?

That’s where a formal job skill assessment test comes in handy. They help you assess the core of what actually drives you. For example:

  • Are you an introvert (shy) or an extrovert (outgoing)?
  • How easily do you get nervous? Or are you the one who keeps calm in a crisis.
  • Are you messy? Or are you organized?
  • What’s your temperament like? Moody? Happy?
  • What makes you tick? What gets you excited?
  • Do you like to be in a high risk situations? Or do you prefer to have absolute certainty?

You can go online and complete these job skills assessment tests but they are essentially getting at the points we’ve noted above. 

Seven Questions To Get You Thinking

Now, to get you really thinking we suggest that you answer the seven questions below and consider the specific points we’ve made about actually being an accountant. 

However, when you answer these questions take time to reflect on exactly what makes you happy. Whether it’s a hobby or your current job or playing football. Whatever. Just work out what it is that puts the smile on your face.

1. People or Objects? Do you tend to like working with tools and objects, or working with other people? 

If you like working with tools or objects you may be suited for a career in building, repair, or engineering.

If you enjoy working with others perhaps you'd make a good sales representative, team leader, or manager. And of course  career in Accounting would be a good choice!

2. Chaos or Sanity? Do you prefer things to be concrete and organized, or do you prefer the creative?

Most career choices will involve organization to some degree, but if you prefer creative options you may be suited for a career in art, music, advertising, or photography. 

That’s not to say a career in accounting would still not suit you. Some of the most creative people we know have worked as forensic accountants – you need to think so laterally and deep to investigate and solve a fraud.

3. Physical or Intangible? Do you like projects that involve a finished physical product, or a social result such as improved self-esteem? 

If you prefer to see a finished product, you could be suited for a career in sales or product creation. You may even like science and experimenting. If you prefer social results, you could consider some form of counseling or social work.

A career in accounting can give you both sides. Producing a complete set of balanced financial statements is a physical product. And a very rewarding one at that. But so is completing payroll for the month. Or keeping the debtors ledger up to date.

On the social side, producing high quality management reporting for your business can be very rewarding when the CEO gets a far greater understanding of her company’s performance than she’s ever had before. They start to wonder how they ever did without you.

4. Entrepreneur or Academic? Do you tend to enjoy business or science? 

This is an easy question, but understanding yourself can help you determine whether you would be suited for a career in entrepreneurship or experimentation and research. 

Funnily enough both of these could suit a career in accounting. Why? Because many accountants love the academic side of it and go onto to PhD’s, lecture at Universities or even teach CPA courses. There’s a lot to consider here.

5. Routine or Excitement? Do you prefer when things are the same everyday or different? 

If you prefer a consistent day-to-day routine, you may want to consider office work like accounting, or repair and construction work. If you like to see differences in your day, you might be better suited for a creative profession like writing, directing, or designing.

Careers in accounting do not have to be stereotypically repetitive and boring. Many people thrive on that routine as it can suit their lifestyle. But if you want diversity there are many accounting roles where you have no idea what’s going to happen from day-to-day. For example, you may be working in a rapidly expanding company hence you could be part of integrating many acquisitions.

6. Follower or Leader? Do you prefer to follow or take charge? 

If you're a person that tends to take charge, you could be a great team leader someday. Look for a career where you get to manage people and lead everyone to a common goal.

Accounting careers lend themselves to this. Doesn’t matter whether you’re in public accounting, corporate accounting or governmental accounting. There will always be accounting teams. And if you want to be a team leader then hold your hand up. Go for it. Your managers will love you for it.

7. Are you good at interpreting feelings? 

If you have proven to have a high emotional intelligence, you may be suited for teaching or counselling. These careers require you to understand what your students or clients are feeling and understanding.

From an accounting career perspective this skill is essential if you want to be a team leader. If you can’t read that one of your team is miserable it will running your team virtually impossible. However, if your role is routine and doesn't involve much interaction then having this skill is not really a necessity.

So, Is A Career In Accounting Right For You?

OK. Hopefully we’ve given you some stuff to think about when considering if an accounting career is what you really want. You may even have been surprised to see the diverse set of skills that you actually need to be an accountant. 

As we’ve said often, it is far from a boring career option.