Should I make this career change…or not?
I’d like your perspective on something. I am a 40 something-year-old accountant working for a small private firm. I’ve worked as an accountant for over 15 years and I’ve been with this firm for about 6 years. My yearly income is around $75K, with an annual standard cost of living increase. I enjoy working as an accountant, however, I work in a very stressful and unappreciative working environment. My boss is a tyrant. The demands of the job are affecting my health and my family.
I have an opportunity to work as an operations manager for a technology company. The total compensation is slightly better than what I get from my current employer. However, the health care plan is much better and less expensive than my current plan. The new job is closer to my home and is a strict 9 to 5, Monday to Friday position. The most significant difference in the two roles is that I will not be performing accountant services with the new employer. The new job will also offer managerial responsibilities over the 5-person operations department. Should I take the job?
Thank you for sending in your question.
I must first acknowledge that you are facing a pretty big decision. A choice to stay where you are or make a career change as an operations manager may significantly impact your career trajectory. This is not a decision to be taken lightly. Nor is it a decision which should be based solely on emotions or potential monetary gain.
I am honored that you are seeking my opinion, however, I strongly urge you take time the time to examine your thoughts and emotions about this decision.
Do you really want to change your career? Is your discontentment with your current position related to the practice of accounting or your experiences at your current firm? Have you looked for accountant positions either in a different private firm or with a corporation?
If in answering all of these questions you seriously believe that this position with the technology company is a viable option, then the primary question for you is whether a new job which moves you out of accounting is the right thing for your career.
The technology company offers you work life balance, a flexible work schedule, potentially less stress which will positively impact your stress related health issues, managerial skills, and better health care coverage and cost.
However, despite all those pros for taking this new position, you have at least 20 years before being retirement age eligible, therefore, you will need to maintain gainful employment until that time.
How will this career change affect your long-term employability as an accountant? Or are you willing to practice as an accountant no longer?
Is there something you could do to keep your accountant skills sharpened should you decide to take this new position?
Perhaps you could offer accountant services to personal clients?
By doing so you remain knowledgeable of the changes in the tax codes which may enable you to get a position as an accountant more easily, should you decide to go back to your trained field.
Alternatively, is it possible that you could eventually obtain an accountant position at the technology company? That may be worth investigating!
Based on the limited facts provided, I would advise against making a significant career change without having a backup plan which keeps you knowledgeable of the developments and changes in the tax codes.
Nevertheless, at the end of the day, you must do what is the best for you and your family?
I personally think it is ok to take a career detour if you need to. However, I firmly believe you must have a plan to get back in the game when you are ready…and ideally, you should devise that plan before taking the detour.
Even if the plan changes later….it’s important to have a plan!
What is yours?
Best of luck, and please let me know how things work out!
I’m rooting for you!!