insight magazine

GEN NEXT: Embracing Opportunity

After changing careers, I realized everything happens for a reason. By IRMA BONDI, CPA, PHR | Summer 2018


When I began my accounting career about nine years ago, I never thought the path would lead to where I am today — recruiting. After four-and-a-half years of auditing, my firm presented me with the opportunity to grow the recruiting department by not only assisting with internal hiring, but also assisting with client recruiting services, a newer service line the firm had established.

Recognizing this was the road less traveled for most accountants, I excitedly jumped at the opportunity. To my own surprise, however, I initially struggled with the transition. As it turns out, working for the same firm, but doing a drastically different job, is not as seamless as I had anticipated. I quickly began questioning myself, asking: “Is all my accounting knowledge and hard work going to waste?!”

I am passionate about the accounting profession, but I am also passionate about helping people. My firm recognized this in me, but it was not until I embraced the opportunity I was given that I realized how much more I could do in my new role because of my background and passions.

I relate to accounting students and prospective CPAs because I have walked in their shoes. I connect with clients and put them more at ease because instead of just speaking to a recruiter, they are speaking to someone who has the CPA credential and someone who has worked with the positions they are recruiting for. They are speaking to someone who is one of them. Realizing this, I became empowered and inspired and it changed my career for the better.

So, here are three pieces of advice I have for anyone that is feeling unmotivated or stuck in their careers.

1. If you are dissatisfied in your current role, dig deep to figure out why — do not just jump ship.

When I speak with candidates, I often hear comments like, “I’m leaving my role due to lack of growth opportunities.” This statement only proves you are missing something in your current job and blindly shooting for a target at your next job. Figure out what you are missing before trying to find it elsewhere — perhaps it is something that can be attained at your current company, like a role change, if you just ask.

2. Always prove yourself by giving examples!

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Actions speak louder than words.” Rather than telling a hiring manager you have experience doing something, prove you have the agility and initiative with specific examples of past accomplishments. Give enough detail to let the listener know your story is genuine. You never know what opportunities might arise when you show who you really are.

3. Do not play off emotions.

Whether you are wishing you were doing something different or are second-guessing a job opportunity, look beyond the surface. You will be surprised at how much you uncover about yourself — and what you want in your career!

Illinois CPA Society member Irma Bondi, CPA, PHR, is an ICPAS Firm Ambassador and recruiting manager with the accounting, tax, and advisory firm Miller Cooper & Co. Ltd. in Chicago.

Leave a comment