Why did I chat to Pat?

Pat is another example of the fact that we are NOT boring, grey accountants!

He is in Business Development at BDO, he mentors students and so he understands the journeys of many students. We chatted about his journey, the idea of ‘boxing’ yourself, the breadth of your potential career, your studies.

(If you enjoyed this, want us to chat about something else, or want more of these types of chats, please leave a comment at the bottom of the post)

Take a look at the Table of Contents above to see what we chatted about. You can go straight to the topics you’re interested in

Why do I have this website?

Pat’s clearly the curious and interested type! So he started off our discussion interviewing me.

If you’ve ever wondered why I do this, where it started and what my goal is… now you know!

Introducing Pat

Pat’s in Business Development at BDO, which means that he’s responsible for finding new clients. So there’s a lot of marketing, networking and sales involved! 

A really great, different facet to the classic accountant profile.

Skills and possibilities are broader than your subjects

Skills and possibilities are far bigger than the subjects that you study. There’s so much more out there than the stuff that you’re studying

Your CA(SA) skills are super-valuable, but not always the way you think. The underlying skills, disciplines and problem-solving skills are so important.

The ‘classic’ accountant doesn’t exist. It’s hard to see past that as a student

You need to have a personality! Don’t lose that!

Your subjects require different things from you

Your subjects require different things for different subjects

Your 4 majors are like four different people with different personalities, underlying skills etc.

You can’t study the same way for Audit, Financial Accounting, Tax, and Financial Management. 

What were your expectation gaps?

We all have those moments where stuff happens that doesn’t match what we expected.

Your knowledge is really important, and you may be the ONE in the room who’s studied the stuff the most recently! YOU’RE the one with the latest technical knowledge

There’s a lot of skills you’re going to have to learn, but don’t leave what you know at the door

People skills

The profession currently attracts more introverts, this means that we do generally prefer to work on our own, and we do kinda like working behind a desk and do our own thing. We do find spending time with other people a little tiring.

The reality? You’re always going to be dealing with people… the biggest businesses are run by PEOPLE.

Some thoughts on being an audit clerk and dealing with clients.

Build some skills! Audit clients are intimidated by you

Let's talk about the MONEY!

Where are the truckloads of money?!

We chatted about earnings, and spending!

What does your personal Balance Sheet look like? If you were a company, would this be a smart investment?

And somehow, we talk about spending money on cars.

What has Coronavirus taught us about job and financial security? If you’re barely breaking even every month, your choices are limited

Why aren't CA(SA)'s earning more money?

People don’t need CA’s as much. Smarter technology and systems now do a lot of what CA’s used to do. Why would people pay you a fortune to do what their accounting systems can do?

Your qualification is the BEGINNING of your journey

Again, the importance of the breadth of your skills. It’s going to take a while to build your empire

Messy journey's are NORMAL!

Your journey is just as messy as everyone else’s. Everyone has their own mess.

We feel like it all needs to be perfect and clean and ideal in order to work out well.

This is an incredibly tough journey, it WILL be a mess.

CTA / PGDA is a mindgame

You’ve heard this, but WHAT DOES THIS ACTUALLY MEAN?

You can’t let how you ‘feel’ impact your studying

You will ALWAYS struggle with 'new stuff'

One of the biggest challenges for students is dealing with failing / not getting it right first time.

This doesn’t end when you stop studying. Your whole life and career will be a series of challenges where you start off not knowing what you’re doing.

The world is changing, and this will take you RIGHT back to that same feeling of uncertainty, fear, anxiety that you felt with your studies

Rejection sucks. Your mental strength is important, and you start learning that skill in your studies. You’ll take those lessons with you

What's YOUR why?

Follow the ‘why’. Don’t forget ‘why’ you’re doing stuff, ‘why’ you got into this. What’s your vision

What’s your ‘why’?

YOUR ‘why’ is YOURS. You have to know what that is

You did well in school? Sucks now!

This creates a Fixed Mindset. I spend a LOT of time on this with my Study Coaching students. This has a HUGE impact on your studies… and I explain why.

You can find out more about the stuff I speak about here:

You’re so used to doing well, then you start doing badly. This is INCREDIBLY tough for us.

What we learnt from school, what we believe about ‘struggling’ and learning.

Learning is HARD, and it’s not what we thought it was from school days. We haven’t updated our understanding about what it requires from you.

What does it mean to 'have faith'?

Faith is what you do in the dark. Faith is taking a step forward when you can’t see the path, you’re afraid and can’t see how it’s going to work out.

Appreciate the small wins. Notice your small steps of progress, celebrate the little wins.

Did you know what you wanted to do after you qualified?

The qualification journey is tough, but the nice thing is that there’s a structure, someone’s making your decisions for you, you just have to DO it. When you qualify, ALL those decisions are now yours… and they’re HARD

Working is about 'adding value'

Working is about adding value to the organisation

Whatever paper you do or don’t have. Respect the value that other people bring. it’s easy to feel that the stuff you’re doing is the MOST important thing, so therefore it affords you more status and importance than others.

Pat's study journey

Pat’s study journey wasn’t ‘clean’ either! He also had a bit of a messy journey, and he turned out pretty alright!

Studying and working

Making a connection between your work and your studies isn’t ‘automatic’. If you don’t think about it, and actively work on it, it’s not going to happen by magic

A learning mindset is crucial

The smart ones... ask questions!

We can save ourselves a lot of stress and time and work by asking for help. It’s not a “I’m useless” statement. It’s clarifying, making sure you get it, realign your thinking. You’ll get stuff right faster if you asked upfront.

Again… a learning mindset will serve you well forever!

“You don’t want to be the smartest person in the room”

Growth is uncomfortable

We all want to change the world, have a challenging and fulfilling career… this requires growth. This seems fine… but we don’t realise that growth HURTS!

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. 

But there’s an amazing feeling on the other side when you realise you’ve done something you didn’t think you could do.

Want Pat to discuss something else?

We didn’t end up talking about Pat’s job as much as I thought we would!

If you’d like to hear more from Pat, leave a comment below, and I’ll set up another session with him. 

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Yvonne Starkey CA(SA)

Yvonne Starkey CA(SA)

I coach accounting students who are struggling with their study habits and mindset, and want their studies to be as effective as they used to be. See more on my about page

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