Listening to: Wolfgang Gartner – Redline
Things I heard I would dislike about my job and do dislike:
– I don’t really remember hearing anything negative about auditing when I was recruiting. People lie well when recruiting. I do it all the time. Even if the hour before I go to an event, I was ranting to a coworker about how ridiculous the job is, once I get to the event, I’m all “THIS IS THE BEST JOB! I LOVEEE the people I work with and the work is stimulating and constantly changes, in a good way!” And I don’t even feel like I’m being dishonest when I do it. I think the excitement of not being in a small office room staring at an Excel, and instead, eating free food and talking to people who have to be nice to you and are feigning interest in everything you say, overpowers any previous resentment.
Things I heard I would dislike about my job but do not mind:
– long hours. Sometimes I feel like my team is just another close group of friends and work doesn’t even feel like work at all. Work is just a few hours of silence where we are all concentrating, interrupted by random moments of laughter and ridiculousness.
– having to study for the CPA. I tell EVERYONE who ever goes to a recruiting event, “you should REALLY take the test early. AND if you can, you should travel while doing so!” The braggart in me always wants to respond to someone, “the worst year of your career was when you simultaneously worked and studied for the CPA? That’s funny because the best months of MY life was when I studied for the CPA! I traveled AND passed all my exams! It was the best thing EVER. Why didn’t you do that?” but my desire to make friends generally keeps me from making such statements.
Things I heard I would like about my job and do enjoy:
– travel. It may not be the typical connotation of travelling like living in hotels and flying to different cities every week, but it is nice to drive to different areas in the Bay and being able to see different friends or eat in different restaurants and basically remold my schedule every few weeks. I don’t think I could handle going to the same office day in and day out.
– working on teams. Generally. I think overall, my memories of being on awesome teams more than overpowers the other teams that I love less. And those teams aren’t even that bad – it’s just that we don’t talk that much for whatever reason. When I think about all the people in my office, I realize that a very high percentage of them are people I am/would like to be friends with and I can’t think of any that are douches. I’ve also noticed that very few people shit talk others which is nice. But yeah. I think the reason why I am ok with solitary weekends is because I sometimes spend 50-60 hours in a room with people all around me. I often feel like that’s just enough human interaction to satisfy me.
Things I ended up disliking without someone telling me:
– having to track my chargeable time. At this point it’s not really a huge inconvenience because after a while you just realize that you don’t have to keep track of every half hour and everything basically smooths out over a while. But the days when I honestly don’t have that much work to do and I’m sitting at a client site, it seems wrong to charge the client, and at the same time, it seems wrong to charge the unassigned code. There should be another code: the “I just work quickly and finished early and therefore deserve this time to browse the internet on the client’s money” code.
– doing accounting research. It makes me think about how horrible it might be to do something like law and have to flip through all these case studies to prove a point. Accounting guidance more often than not seems so vague to me, and I could spend hours looking for one sentence just to copy and paste it into a workpaper. It’s the worst when everyone knows intuitively why something is accounted in that way, but we still have to look for the guidance anyway. Though, other times I look at a memo someone higher than me has created, and they seem to pull so much out of a few sentences, it makes me wonder if I’m just too dumb to appropriately interpret the guidance
– diminishing English skills. God forbid I ever find a reason to go to grad school and have to write paragraphs that don’t start with “GT notes that” and end with “appears reasonable.”
– how no one ever really knows what I do. I hate when my mom asks me anything about my job because it only proves how little she knows about how ~40% of my week is spent. NO. I do not do ANYTHING with taxes. In fact, out of all the financial statement line items, taxes are probably the thing I know LEAST about. I have no idea why this deferred tax asset went up. I am just going to reference this tax memo and hope someone else figures it out for me.
Things I heard I would like about my job that were untrue:
– how accounting can prepare you for so many jobs. I feel like accounting is just further narrowing down my breadth of knowledge until all I can really master is accounting, and I will one day be unprepared to launch myself into a completely different career, whenever that time comes. People give me differing responses to this argument all the time, generally depending on how long they have worked: people around my level agree “YES I have NO skills in ANYTHING I need to get out ASAP” whereas people who have worked longer often say “really? Hmmm… no … I feel like other companies will appreciate your ability to manage and accounting can be used in a lot of jobs … oh you don’t think you want to do accounting at all in the future? hmm… yeah … I guess …”
Things I ended up liking without someone telling me:
– how hilarious I would find accounting jokes. I imagine everyone in a specific industry enjoy such jokes that only other people in their profession can understand.
– how I can expense things like parking and mileage. I don’t know how I would feel about having to pay my own gas money or parking. It’s kind of similar to the reaction I’d have when I had to buy blue books and scantrons for college. “I have to PAY MONEY to do this HORRIBLE requirement?!”
– team meals. I often wonder to myself, “WHAT did I eat all that time, because I KNOW I didn’t cook.” I think if I charted it out though, it’d be like, 20% team meals that I don’t have to pay for, 20% team meal leftovers, 20% going out with friends meals, 20% leftovers from that, 20% days where I cook aka cut a piece of fruit and buy a bottle of naked juice.
– being able to listen to music while working. If I couldn’t listen to music, I think I would have gone insane. This is why I keep a spare of backup headphones in my car, in case I one day forget my regular ones. Thank goodness for the recent creation of Spotify too.
– constant promotion. I also find it odd to think that if I leave this for another job, I might be stuck at that new position forever. Here, I think I can safely assume that I will be promoted year after year and there is a natural progression up the auditing career ladder and it feels nice to think “well whatever my spending habits are now, I will only have more money as I continue to get promoted.” At first I hated the idea of being shuffled out of the associate position and having to take on more burdens, but on the flip side, it is nice to have new responsibilities and have your job change because being an associate is bound to get boring at some point
– familiarity with Bay Area freeways at commute time. Since we are constantly driving to different offices, I now know more than I would have ever thought about Bay Area freeways. Like, be on the second to the right lane on the 880N as you near the 92 bridge, it is for some reason faster. Never be in the right two lanes of 101S near the 84 bridge. It is slower to be in the lane to the right of the carpool lane on the 101N around the Palo Alto area, instead, be on the second lane from the right (but definitely not the far right lane because cars will be merging into you for several exits). Avoid The Maze at all costs. Driving up to SF from SJ is not that bad if you leave at 7am. Driving on the 880N after 5pm will cause tremendous rage. And so on.
Well it’s time for me to leave because the cafe is closing.