July 23, 2018

While Climbing the Career Ladder, Know When Steps Are Missing


Recently, Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse wrote a book entitled The Vanishing American Adult. All the talk about generational differences prompted me to read some of the reviews. What was his point of view? An example Sasse gave really resonated. Here’s a summary from the Chicago Tribune:

His advice is rooted in his experience as both a father of three and a former president of Midland University, where he was taken aback by a culture of passivity.

He was particularly unnerved, he writes, when some students from the athletic department were tasked with setting up and decorating a 20-foot Christmas tree in the lobby of the basketball arena. The students only decorated the bottom seven or eight feet — the branches they could easily reach. No one bothered to look for a ladder.

“I simply couldn’t reconcile the decision to leave while the work was still incomplete with how my parents had taught me to think about assignments,” Sasse writes. “I couldn’t conceptualize growing up without the compulsion — first external compulsion, but over time, the more important internal and self-directed kind of compulsion — to attempt and to finish hard things, even when I didn’t want to.”

I don’t believe for a minute that no one in the group realized they needed a ladder to get to the top. Someone must have had the necessary critical thinking skills. Maybe they were just tired of the project?

The truth is that there always have been, are and will be different generations—different viewpoints and ways of doing things—in the workplace. One of the reasons there’s so much noise about millennials is that they’re such a large cohort. Another is that there was less change between the baby boomers and Gen X than between those generations and the millennials. The Internet and all that came with it accelerated the pace of change to the point that many of us can’t even remember when we didn’t have a smartphone or when formal dress was correct for any business meeting. Of course things changed. And Gen Z will bring even more changes.

Whatever happens, though, everyone needs their own ladder, their own way of getting help. As you progress in your career, who are the people who will help you climb higher?  Who are you networking with so you can get the right help when you need it?

No one person can be your ladder for everything. Most of us need someone we can rely on for technical advice, another for soft skills, a third for dealing with difficult situations, and so forth. Some of these people are likely to be from older generations and others from younger ones. That’s not important. We all can learn from each other. The important thing is creating a ladder that works for you. One that doesn’t have any missing steps.

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Job of the Week: Do You Have a Preternatural Ability for GAAP Disclosures?

hire me2.jpgSince there seems to be some unhappy campers out there we’ll take a moment of your day to tell you about a position that might make you less miserable or hopefully better compensated:
Company: Morgan Stanley
Location: New York
Title: Associate/Manager
Description: Associate or Manager for our Legal Entity Accounting & Disclosure Group. Responsibilities will include gaining an understanding of the firm’s equity financing products, derivatives and securities lending business in order to assist in producing and analyzing many of the division’s financial accounting disclosures.
Skills Required: BS or BA in Finance and/or Accounting, CPA preferred; 3-5 years of experience in Public Accounting and/or financial services industry; Must have thorough understanding of FAS 133, FAS 140, FIN 46, FAS 157 and FAS 161 FASB pronouncements
See the full description at the GC Career Center and if this position doesn’t tickle your get your ass off the couch/ship-jumping bone, go to the main page and find your next temporary dream job.

Recruiting: Considering the Non-Big 4 Employers

BelushiCollege.jpgAs recruiting continues this week, we’ll put out the idea of opting to starting your career with a firm or company as opposed to starting at a Big 4 firm. Regardless of the Big 4’s dominance of the BW list, there are several smaller firms that make good offers and all businesses need number crunchers to track all the bloody money.
And this year, since many of the Big 4 don’t appear to be making as many offers, going with a national or regional firm or private company becomes a serious option for many recruits.
For the recruits out there, are you giving serious consideration to taking a position with a non-Big 4 firm? For the rest of you, is starting your career at a Big 4 the only way to go or can relative happiness and success be found elsewhere?
Discuss in the comments.