Public accounting has traditionally been known as an industry that requires extremely long work hours in a high-stress environment, at least seasonally. For many years I believed that I was in some way lacking in my dedication to my career because I was unwilling to accept that I had to sacrifice all other aspects of my life for several months of the year in order to advance in my career in public accounting. For me, becoming a mother was a lifelong dream. It was also one that I almost accepted would never happen for me. After years of infertility and a failed foster adoption attempt, my husband and I eventually turned to IVF and were able to have two biological sons.
“For me, becoming a mother was my lifelong dream”
My Search for the Answer
Having my children changed my life completely. I know everyone says this, but I feel the fact that I had such a journey to parenthood made me assess every aspect of my life. Initially, I just wanted to spend as much time as possible with my baby and resented that, financially, I had to work. I was jealous of mothers that could afford to take years off work to focus 100% on their children. I think I needed to grieve the fact that this wasn’t possible in my life and that I could not afford to take a few years off to adjust to motherhood and find my best path forward.
Ultimately, I think, the real issue was that I had been conditioned to believe that I had to accept that my career would take a major dive if I wanted to have a flexible schedule and did not want to work the traditional 60 hour tax season work weeks.
“Motherhood changed me and it turns out, it was not causing any damage to my career…”
I spent the first few years of motherhood in conflict with my desire to be the mother I always hoped I would be, and my desire to have a meaningful career. My sweet boys ultimately inspired me to dig deeper into my career to find a way to work smarter. Had I not had children, I likely would have taken the traditional CPA firm path approach, working toward partner, that I was used to. I likely would have been happy and successful enough to be satisfied. Motherhood changed me and it turns out, it was not causing any damage to my career, as I initially thought. It turns out it was exactly what I needed to become inspired in my career again, it just took me some time to get here.
“….I can enjoy a fulfilling career, grow further as an expert in my niche, and still be an involved mother to my precious boys.”
What I have Found
Through my research and soul searching, I have discovered that there is a place for people like me that want more fulfilment both in their personal lives and career, even in public accounting. Fortunately for me, the world of accounting is changing and embracing technologies that make working remotely from anywhere and anytime possible with more efficiency than ever before. It also turns out that accountants that are willing to embrace these changes fully are creating firms that attract their ideal clients without being limited to one geographical location.
Why does this matter and how does it translate to a more fulfilling and profitable career for professionals like me with a family first mentality? It matters because I do not have to take every client that comes through the door. I can choose to be selective and focus on a niche market and provide a higher level of service and take on fewer clients and service them better than ever before. I am able to communicate with clients more efficiently and spend less time on administrative tasks and more time on the higher-level services that my clients value. I am able to stop trading my time for money and in turn, I can enjoy a fulfilling career, grow further as an expert in my niche, and still be an involved mother to my precious boys. In the future, I also hope to mentor other accountants and act as an advocate for changing the industry as a whole. I am excited for the opportunity to play a role in changing the industry for the better.
Written By: Clare Vazin
Clare is a Certified Public Accountant based in San Diego, CA. She holds both an AA and BS in Accountancy as well as an MS in Taxation (all with honors). She is also a Certified Tax Coach.
Clare plans to provide expert, VIP level services for real estate investors. The idea is to take on fewer clients, allowing for a higher level of services to be provided throughout the year to each client. Accodex provides the technology and the network of support that will allow Clare to focus more time on providing quality service to her clients.