Ask Amanda: Should I Change My Career Path?
posted on November 18, 2016 | by Amanda Holstein
I graduated from University with a Business degree, majoring in Accounting. Not long after, I landed my first job out of Post-Secondary, and I honestly don’t really like it. I’ve been applying at other companies, but the economy is still rather poor right now, and my chances have been bleak.
I also began pursuing the CPA designation and failed my first attempt at one of the modules. I decided to retake the exam, but now find myself no longer interested in becoming a Chartered Accountant. I retake the exam in 2 weeks, but I no longer want to study, and would rather just fail the exam and move on. I discussed this with my husband, who’s been supportive and understanding, but I feel like I’m letting down both him and my parents.
I explained to them that I have simply lost interest, have no passion towards Accounting, and cannot picture myself doing this for the rest of my life. I explored my options, and found Human Resources interesting and promising. I have reached out to friends who are in the field for advice, and they all encouraged me to switch.
I’m still in a dilemma whether to give up CPA, and pursue HR instead…because I’d be disappointing my husband and my parents. At the same time, this is my life, and I cannot force myself to like something that bores me. What would you suggest I do? How do I make my parents and husband understand that I simply don’t want to be an Accountant anymore?
An avid reader of your lovely blog
Happy to help :).
It’s totally normal to go back and forth with what you want to do with your life, especially after just graduating. It sounds like you know what you want to do, at least for now, and I say you need to go for it. If HR is sparking an interest then you need to take action and explore it. Your husband and your family just want you to be happy. You just need to commit to it and they’ll follow along soon after to support you.
I also think it’s important that you don’t feel like you’ve “failed” just because you decided you don’t want to do accounting anymore. You may be projecting these feelings onto your family and husband. Changing your interests does not mean you failed in any way. It just means accounting wasn’t for you. The only way to figure that out was to try it, right? There’s no way to know until you pursue it and see where it takes you.
There is all this pressure to know exactly what you want to do with your life as soon as you graduate (or sooner), but that’s just not the way the world works. You don’t need to pick one thing and do it for “the rest of your life”. You need to go with what feels right at this current time in your life, try it out, pursue it, and see where it leads you. It may lead you to realize you want to do something else or it may lead you to take it to the next level — either way, it will lead you somewhere. If it’s not where you expected it to lead you, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. That’s just the path you’re going on — that’s life!
Remember, it’s your life and you need to live it the way you want to live it. Other people’s opinions are usually a reflection of stuff that’s going on with them, not you. People who love you will support you no matter what. Even if they can’t see it just yet, they’ll get on board, I promise.
I hope this helps! Good luck!
Photography by Andrea Posadas
It’s never too late to switch your career! I quit my sales job after two years to take a year of post-baccs followed by two more years of graduate school for speech-language pathology. It’s totally okay to change your mind, so long as you set your mind to it and you’re willing to put in the work :)
Chelle's Well Says
This is good advice. It’s definitely not a bad idea to look into HR. I would also suggest that the person continue to study for the CPA designation and pass the exam just because they’ve already put so much work into it and it’s reliable if, with the market, the HR things doesn’t work out.
Amanda W. Says
Great advice! I am struggling right now with a similar decision and this helped me.
I LOVE your thoughtful response to such a hard question. There is always a space to evaluate if your job is right for you and make a plan for “what’s next.” It’s also OK to not know your 5 year plan and important to not stress about not having one.