Updated on August 2, 2007
Oh, what to do with my life?
Jobs after school and CPA boards and behavior from childhood. Oh, what to do with my life?
It’s hard to find work you love; it must be, if so few do. So don’t underestimate this task. And don’t feel bad if you haven’t succeeded yet. In fact, if you admit to yourself that you’re discontented, you’re a step ahead of most people, who are still in denial. If you’re surrounded by colleagues who claim to enjoy work that you find contemptible, odds are they’re lying to themselves. Not necessarily, but probably. – Paul Graham
When I was a young girl, I would go to the mall with my mother (a rare occasion) and merely content myself with window shopping. When I would buy, I would make sure I had good grades first for bargaining power and I would get a book or something “practical”. I don’t remember asking for Barbie or toys or trinkets. That’s not to say I didn’t like looking at them though. I was a miser child.
I never learned gymnastics or figure skating and had only one ballet class. I really enjoyed watching exhibition sports and I have this deep yearning of being the one performing and competing. I knew though that ice skating lessons were expensive and I thought only the pretty popular skinny girls are entitled to do those sports. Looking back though, I was quite slender myself, it’s just that I had dark skin, so there was the whole self-esteem-fair-girls-are-supposedly-prettier issue going on. So I held myself back.
I did get to try acting for a while. I loved performing on stage. I like singing too but have been too shy to perform in public (karaoke is OK!). I even wanted to try out for Ang TV (a local Nick’s “All That” in the 1990s). My mom wouldn’t let me go to the auditions though.
I’ve been good at debate, swimming, and chess but something was missing. Piano and web design are skills that I tried and built on for a while but gave up when I saw that there other’s more gifted. When I tried finance at an international bank, I was doing spreadsheets and cost analysis but something was missing too. When I was at Unilever, there was no mentorship and I’d have gone into finance too, ergo, something was missing too. The Nu Skin business was okay but, aha, you guessed it, something was wrong too.
(Now you’re thinking – Marie, you just have to get yourself some experience! You’re so arrogant! Why don’t you content yourself with these really good opportunities others can’t even imagine!)
My mom says there is no perfect workplace. I think that the workplace is where you work. It’s where YOU work – it’s not the place that works you. YOU are the one who’s doing so isn’t it logical to believe that YOU have the choice?
Studying my behavior from childhood and reading up on polarity and the universal laws have guided me to realize that I have been messed up – by myself and by my environment. I want to polarize. I need to polarize. I choose to positivize. I need to be in a position where I could give to people, have an impact in their lives. That’s why I loved acting, writing, speaking, and leading.
That’s what’s been missing! In finance as a support service, whatever effort I was giving only benefits the internal customer, then it’s diluted from him to all the other stakeholders. (They should teach this in ORIENT3 career counseling class.)
Many people get by never really deciding whether they want to give, give, give or to take, take, take. Let’s say writers. In a perfectly polarized world, Writer A is driven to create beautiful stories – and then he’s compensated some way. Conversely, Writer B wants to gain prestige and get fees or royalties – so he writes. What happens when Writer A = Writer B? Now that’s messed up. You don’t know which motivation is driving what effort but the writer will most likely get by. This is what happens ordinarily.
I’m a CPA. CPAs play an important role in regulation and transparency of businesses. They provide value by offering a thoroughly studied opinion. It will take a number of years to do the actual signing of the audit opinion though. Before you earn that privilege, you have to foot, do sampling, spend sleepless nights (and wasting your beauty, health, and youth) checking stacks upon stacks of invoices, receipts, and bank statements. The benefit you provide as a junior goes to to your senior associate and from him it’s diluted to the partners, the clients, SEC, and the public. You can’t see the smile on the client’s face (IF ANY). Thank God, I didn’t listen to the elders (some even top business leaders) who say “Go to SGV! You’re young! You should gain experience…” I’d reasonably expect I would have been miserable if I’d gone to audit. I do hope my friends who are in audit feel motivated and inspired where they are. Apparently, it’s just not me.
So, I think a call center job could work. OR setting up a business. Or being a writer (like here!). Or acting (where you can see the delight or dismay yourself – not diluted!). When you’re an account executive, you service a client or customer directly. Something in relationship management, client service, or training could more likely click for me.
It would be best if I can apply what I know of economics/finance/accounting to provide value to others. In time, I’m seriously considering personal financial planning. I would guide others in creating and building wealth! The field is just so beautiful to me.
How about you? Do you know what you want to do with your life?