Do you like working with different people?
If you work with someone with whom you have a personality conflict, you will appreciate only working with that person for a limited time. When you have to work with that same person every day of every year, you will lose your energy and passion for your work (assuming you had it to begin with).
Maybe you work with Ms. Smiley who is as pleasant and happy as anyone you’ve ever met. But, that happiness needs to be toned down. At some point, the excessive happiness gets really annoying. You’d be wishing every day you were working with different people more frequently.
Working in the same place with the same people each day has its pros and cons. If you have a great job and enjoy working with each person, that can be a great thing. You can create some incredibly strong bonds and friendships. Rarely, though, will you love everyone with whom you work.
Hopefully you are the type of person who respects everyone. Respecting someone, though, does not mean you have to enjoy being around that person every day. You are always civil and polite but you find it hard to communicate with that person. Sometimes working with different people is what you desire.
An auditor in a non-Big 4 public accounting firm will work with different team members frequently. Rarely will one work with the same person on every engagement. An auditor may work with individuals from a finite group but usually that group is big enough so the teams are different on each engagement.
Engagements in my firm last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. It’s nothing like working in the same cubicle farm of an office every day. An engagement is just long enough to really get to know a co-worker before the next engagement begins. This way, close friendships can be made with many people over time rather than being limited to a few possibilities.
Not only does an auditor get to work with different co-workers, she also gets to work with different clients. Working with clients is essential. Without clients, there isn’t a business. Working with different clients all the time, though, is one of the things that makes public accounting fun.
One can create awesome friendships with clients, regardless of industry or career. Only four years into my career, I had created close enough friendships to invite some of my clients to my wedding. They meant that much to me.
Building long-lasting relationships is what makes a public accounting career fun. Earlier today, I had the pleasure of having lunch with the CEO and founder of a local community bank with which we do not currently work. I had met him a couple of times previously and he came across as incredibly personable and genuine. We had agreed to get together in the future
While thinking about our lunch discussion after the fact, I realized just how much I liked him. I’ll continue to keep in touch with him even if he doesn’t hire me or my firm. He’s one of those few people who is polished, yet country. He’s intelligent, yet down-to-earth. These types of relationships have become an unexpected benefit of my public accounting career.
Even though I am a proponent for working with different people and clients to build many relationships, there is nothing inherently wrong with working with the same people all the time. I’m sure there are people reading this who do enjoy working with the same people. That’s great. I advocate enjoying one’s work.
We are each unique and have different personality traits, different goals, different tastes. What is best for me might not be best for you. If we each live with open minds, we will experience much more joy.
If you do enjoy your work, share your reasons why in the comments below. Share whether you like working with different people or you like the closeness of working with the same people.