Does your job keep you from meeting personal priorities? Do you miss your kids’ events because of work? Are you traveling all the time and have to find out details about your family’s activities by late night phone calls? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you likely are not afforded much flexibility in your job.
In this post, I described reasons 12 and 11 as to why I love public accounting as a career: travel and working with decision-makers. Reason number 10 as to why I love public accounting is the flexibility I have. As long as I take care of my responsibilities, I can work when it is convenient for me. Sure, I have to generally abide by set office hours but I’m able to arrive late or leave early if needed.
Early in a public accounting career, schedules are not that flexible. You work when and where you’re told. You don’t have much flexibility within the first few years. However, the longer you stick in the profession, the more flexibility you will achieve. It’s something to work for so don’t give up on it.
Maybe a partner or two will be watch dogs and make sure you work at least 8 to 5. Most are not like that though. Today, more than when I began in public accounting in 2000, it is easier and more socially acceptable to provide flexibility to employees. It is not as frowned upon by the old school partners as it used to be.
Generation Y especially appreciates the flexibility that can be achieved through hard work and tenure. They want to make their own decisions and not be told what to do all the time. Actually, I think this is true of most everyone, regardless of generation.
I’ve been lucky my entire career to work for a great boss. He provides only the oversight needed instead of being a micro manager. He does not want employees to work late nights and every weekend. In fact, it is quite frequent that he tells me to not come in on Saturday.
Because of my boss, I know it is okay to attend my kids’ events, even in the middle of busy season. I know it’s alright to leave early during a weekday to attend my oldest daughter’s high school games. I’m afforded the flexibility to take a vacation day without notice. It’s such a blessing to work for a great boss and a great company.
If you’re a business professional, do you have flexibility with your schedule? If so, in what ways do you take advantage of the flexibility? If not, what can you do to be given that flexibility. In many cases, employers will make special arrangements for top employees. Is that you?