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You Can Take This Job andâ€¦.. Fill it!
Andy was a manager at a national public accounting firm doing fixed asset cost segregation studies for large corporate clients nation-wide.Â He was paid very well to do this and was quite good at it.Â In another economy, he might make partner but not nowadays when only a select few were anointed.Â Besides, he wasnâ€™t sure thatâ€™s what he wanted.Â He spent about 75% of his time on the road, worked extraordinary hours and was under continual pressure to finish the current project so that the next one could start on time.Â The travel was fun in the beginning but that was five years ago and now it was just a grind.Â The work itself was repetitive and a bore, he had stopped learning a long time ago.Â The wow factor was nice in that he never failed to impress the client with his results, but that was it.Â Worst of all was the weekly weekend ritual, the tension and dread building to the airport trip good-bye to wife and young daughter.Â Saturdays werenâ€™t bad but Sundays became increasingly painful, and he had to force himself to leave them each week.
Last year, Andy got a small bonus and no raise, the firm was struggling although he had a good year.Â Shortly after that, he quit and enrolled in a Masters of Education program.Â He is now on his way to becoming a high school teacher.Â He had decided with his wife that teaching was what he wanted to do, and quality of life was more important than compensation.
Lou was a corporate tax manager at a Fortune 500 company, responsible for federal and state income tax returns.Â He was a CPA with 12 years of experience earning a total of $160k per year.Â However, he had hated tax for a long time and had finagled the companyâ€™s tuition reimbursement rules to pay for a top-school executive MBA degree program.Â Most of all, he wanted to move into finance, in short he wanted to do deals.Â He finished the program in 2007, seemingly all set with an Ivy League MBA finance concentration degree.Â He looked for a new job but selectively and not aggressively.Â He wanted the right job, company and salary. He requested an internal transfer but it never went anywhere, as is common.Â Beginning in 2008, the floor fell out on finance jobs and it only got worse in 2009.Â Now, its 3 years later and heâ€™s still in the same job.Â Worst of all, heâ€™s competing with thousands of unemployed but experienced finance professionals, and his MBA education is dated.Â Heâ€™s gradually come to the realization that heâ€™s unemployable except in tax, and has become increasingly unhappy.Â Itâ€™s gotten to the point where itâ€™s affected Louâ€™s entire personality and outlook on life.Â He knows what he wants but not how to get it.
In short, Andy is dandy and Lou is, well Lou is in deep doodoo.
Our advice to Lou at this point is to create his own job.Â Start his own practice, take a commission-only job or buy himself experience as a very low paid apprentice at a small shop.Â Use his savings to fund at least one year of needed experience.Â A good area to start in for him would be helping small businesses obtain financing or capital.Â There are many new businesses started during the past two years, and traditional sources have their vaults closed.Â Â After that, keep going if he likes it or use the experience to get another job if he doesnâ€™t.
This is risky advice and might not work.Â It will only work if Lou was right about wanting to do finance and deals, and if he is in fact good at it.Â If it doesnâ€™t work out, however, at least Lou will know he gave it a shot and that would eliminate a lot of his current frustration and unhappiness.Â And he has a relatively easy fallback option of being a tax manager in public accounting, where he started his career.
Our advice to Lou:Â â€śTake This Job andâ€¦..Re-staff itâ€ť.Â Life is too short and work is too big a part of it not to do what you want.Â Go for it.Â In the words of Albert Einstein "Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value".