I used to work in public accounting where extra hours and a grueling schedule were badges of honor that all in the industry wore with pride. It was as if it was a statement about how much you could withstand against all odds. Coworkers ate poorly, they didn’t exercise, they went to work in the wee hours of the morning and left work in the dark of night all in the name of accounting properly (insert weird smiley face here). It was fueled by integrity, old standards and I do believe, an interest in serving ethics and accounting intelligence and accepted standards. 


Early on in my accounting career, I took note that many of my coworkers were super inefficient during “tax season” and during other busy times of the year. Who wouldn’t be with being at work for 14-16 hour work days for months at a time? It was weird to me that most didn’t recognize when they were burnt out. It was weird to me that they didn’t notice when they got up to distract themselves with inane chatter with coworkers, unhealthy snacks, surfing the internet or other things that kept them from the real work to be done. 


I realized that I could shortcut by staying efficient in order to cut down on burnout and stress levels. I never really felt comfortable in public accounting (although I stayed for 8 long years…..sometimes it takes awhile for me to process) for so many reasons but these really stood out. Why, because I wouldn’t NOT do the things that made me feel healthy and strong. I worked out daily. I packed a healthy lunch rather than jumping on the fast food train with my coworkers. I hustled and stayed focused during the day so I could go home earlier than most. THAT WAS FROWNED UPON REGARDLESS OF MY OUTPUT….(insert long pause).....(have you ever searched up crab fishing….if not, do so…….it shows so well how a mass mentality keeps individuals from escaping the drudgery of the common idea)

People resented me for this. I was “the other” and they made me feel that way. I think, in some strange way, it made them feel better to ostrasize my choices to be different. I recognized this and eventually made a career change because of it. Remember, it took me eight years….eek...


It is so important in life to really fight for what is important to you even when it sets you apart from others who you think are like you. I was really good at my job. I liked accounting work itself. What I didn’t like was what came after getting the job. It was realizing that the badges of honor in that industry were not ones I chose to display on my lapel. I didn’t want to sacrifice my health to show that I was “partner bound” to then only get to take time off at older ages because I had “earned” that right. I didn’t like that I was frowned upon for holding to my values. I didn’t like that others made me feel like the outsider for being me. 

Do you conform to a position in your life, personal or professional that is not really suiting you? Do you do things just because others do them? Do you feel like you are in a career that you are good at AND that you love because it supports your overall values in life and dreams? Do you relate to your coworkers and leaders? Do you feel supported? Do you ever find yourself not sharing who you really are with them because you don’t think they will accept you fully? 

If the answer to any of these questions leaves you feeling less than awesome, rethink where you choose to spend 70% of your life. Your job happiness is SO IMPORTANT. Your work is SO TIME CONSUMING. Make it matter. Consider a change if it isn’t serving you, your heart and your values. Your impact will be greater when you are living FULLY as the TRUE YOU supported by those around YOU.

Lisa Pevateaux