A lot of people ask me if I LOOOOVE accounting when I tell them what I do.
Yes, of course, I just LOOOOVE spending my days with Excel spreadsheets and financial systems and debits and credits and financial reports and journal vouchers and meetings about journal vouchers and conference calls about journal vouchers and water cooler talk about journal vouchers and e-mails about journal vouchers and … okay, you get the point.
I don’t LOOOOVE accounting. I don’t dislike business work, but I’m not jumping for joy every time my T-accounts balance.
Here were some majors I toyed with when I was a freshman in college:
- Journalism (1st declared major)
- Criminal Justice (2nd declared major … long story, but I wanted to be a cop. Yeah, I can’t see that either.)
- Marine Biology
- Broadcast Journalism
- Interior Design (seriously? I haven’t bought a piece of home decor in over 4 years.)
- English (no comment)
Anyways, after I finally sobered up, I got real and choose Accounting as my major. I was always great with math and numbers and had a knack for computers. I knew any business major was a smart decision, so I figured it was the way to go. In the end, I decided that I wanted to make money and live comfortably instead of follow any of my real passions. I chose the most practical major that involved at least a hint of something that I was good at (numbers, math, adding, subtracting, all the basics … yeah, I rocked those out).
G is also, technically, an “Accountant” (insert lame joke here about how we’re a bunch of nerdy bean counters who bonded over numbers and stuff … yeah, we’ve never heard that before …), but he’s not really an Accountant. His Master’s is in Accounting Information Systems (MAJOR nerd alert!) so he works exclusively in IT and data analytics these days.
Still, he, like me, chose his major because it was a smart and practical field to go into with plenty of opportunities and room for growth. And, like me, he doesn’t LOOOOVE accounting.
We chose our majors with our futures in mind. We did not choose our majors based on our interests and passions (because, if G would have taken that route, he would have, and I quote, majored in “watching basketball all day” ).
A lot of people tell me I’m “lucky” because I made enough money to pay off my debt quickly (which is just silly because I was making a teacher’s salary when I was paying off my debt). Those comments always drive me crazy because I chose my profession specifically to improve my financial future. I sacrificed my true interests for a better future for myself and my future family. I know a lot of people do this, too, and, I think, that sort of sacrifice deserves a bit of credit.
I went into college as a Journalism major. I enjoyed writing. I thought it might be fun and exciting to write for newspapers or magazines. I still think that would be fun and exciting – it’s why I write on this little bloggie and moonlight as a freelance writer in the evenings. But I knew there were limitations. I couldn’t make much, and if I did eventually make much, it would take years. It’s different with accounting (or any business job for that matter). Jobs pay well and offer great benefits. You might not go home at the end of the night feeling like you changed the world or even did anything that made you feel alive inside, but you did make a decent salary to enjoy all the good things life has to offer. Plus, like I said, I don’t dislike my work. In general, I enjoy working, having something to do, not being lazy, so I’m very fortunate that I have a good job.
G and I have worked really hard and made smart choices in our twenties (okay, so we did make some dumb choices )so we wouldn’t have to struggle as we got older. We sacrificed interests and passion early on so we could focus on it later in life. People might call that lucky, but I just call that smart.
Do you work in a field that you’re passionate about? Or did you choose a passion so you could have a good job?
Sometimes though it simply takes finding the right accounting program for you to gain an interest in the industry, maybe even the outstanding program at Our Lady of the Lake University