People have asked where I see myself a year from now. It is at that moment that my brain goes into overdrive, scrambling for some answer that seems better than, “I am not even sure what I’m having for dinner tonight.” It is one of those questions that is not exactly on our minds daily. Should it be? Absolutely. If you do not know where you are going, it can be a bit challenging to get there.
As accountants, we are in an industry that is ready for change. Boomers are retiring, and we are not getting enough talent to fill the positions (Accounting Today). What does this mean for us? We have choices. We do not need to be working 80 hours during tax season at a traditional firm to have success. There are options for you now, and I have some ideas.
First, you need a goal in mind. More often than not, people focus on the destination. Let’s focus on the journey, as well. Think about the activities you do right now. What do you find enjoyable? What are you good at? Is there some cross-section there that you can start with? For me, this is helping small businesses, learning, technology, and accounting. My journey includes all of these things, as well as my destination. This needs to be decided by you, for you. You are not going to be happy otherwise.
Once you have thought about your goals, it is time to evaluate how those will be achieved. Do you need help? Are there resources out there that can set you up for success? There are amazing consultants and life coaches out there that can give you solid advice on making things happen. What about programs or groups that can help facilitate? Do you need more education to be successful on the path you have chosen?
Having these answers enables you to take action. This is, by far, the most essential piece to this. What does month one look like? How about month 2 and 6? Where should you be halfway through this year? Go onto your phone’s calendar, set up a calendar invite each month for the next 12 months as a check-in. By giving yourself these checkpoints, you will remember to ask yourself where you are on your journey.
Let’s imagine it is a year from now. You are working 40 hours a week. You have a life outside of work that allows you and your family to go out a few times a month to hit up your local laser tag arena, arcade, ice skating rink, or other activities. With your family, you had time to see The Rise of Skywalker and not need to stay up until 3 am getting your work done afterward. You are not living in that dream house yet, but you are happy doing the type of work you want. You have your practice with everything you do not like to do outsourced, including bookkeeping and admin, to someone you trust to do an excellent job with the client.
I know this sounds unrealistic. Guess what? It is not, and you can do this. Look for opportunities to learn the skills you need, network with other go-getters, and decide where you want to be in a year.