Our guest for this episode enjoys working in public accounting (yes, you heard that right) and absolutely loves what he does for a living. He shares with us today how to enjoy being an employee, the myths about being a CPA, why he’s glad that he was forced into being an extrovert and how to build your network.
Bert Purdy is a certified public account and is the writer behind the blog, The Intentional Employee. He was also featured in episode 51 of All About Business which aired on ABC in St. Louis.
Here are some highlights from our conversation:
Being an employee versus being an entrepreneur
All people are wired differently; some are meant to be employees, and some to be entrepreneurs. But even if you choose to work for “the man”, you will be more successful if you manage your work as if the business was your own.
The myth of being a CPA
Public accounting is a people profession. You may be surprised by that, but Bert is sure that it is. The numbers piece is there, but that’s not the whole focus of the accounting field. You teach, you travel, you interact with clients, therefore there is no typical day in the work life of a CPA. This is what Bert loves the most about the profession: every day is simply different.
Contrary to what one might think, the hardest part in an accountant’s life is not the math. Bert shared that the hours and the travel that they have to put in can be grueling, prompting the need to work hard at balancing work and family life. Loving what you do is a must in this field, especially considering that it’s typically a salaried position, meaning you get paid the same amount of money for working 40 hours as you do for working 60 hours.
Forced to be an extrovert
Bert started out as an introvert but was forced to get out of his comfort zone when his job demanded that he talk to clients and deal with people to keep the job. Eventually, he found himself having the fun that he did not expect…and he is still enjoying every aspect of his work to this day.
Being a CPA is actually a path that fate ushered Bert into. He had to choose an elective to be able to play volleyball and had, on a whim, chosen accounting. From there, he discovered he loved the work, it fit his personality and the rest is history.
What advice do you have for people who want to turn their job into something they will enjoy?
Find somebody that does what you do and talk to them. Build a network: the bigger the network you have, the better.
Quotes from Bert in this episode
“The happiest employees are the ones who view themselves as CEOs of their own cubicles. They are the entrepreneurs within their company and you can achieve great success that way.”
“If you have a job that you don’t like, decide what you like most about your job and focus on doing that. Fill in all the other stuff around that key thing that you enjoy doing.”