In your country, what is the job called “accountancy” like? What does come to people’s mind at first when making mention to accountancy?
In my country, accountancy reminds people of money, lots of money. Or, simply, accountancy is money ! Being an accountant means that you are wealthy, that you deal with a big chunk of money everyday. Accountancy can not guarantee you have a millionaire-like life but at least it can offer you a wealthy and stable life. This job has both dark and bright sides. With positive attitudes, People may consider this job stable and for qualified people, and that’s good for you. Notwithstanding, negatively, some narrow-minded ones tut-tutted with annoyance that most of the money comes from illegal way, because you just get a basic salary from this job, and if you want more, you have to be a part of the dark side.That’s life!
For me, accountancy is totally, completely NUMBERS. You are encircled by the big whole number world. Unfortunately, I was not interested in numbers since I was a kid. They seems to lie stiff among the alive life and very complicating to work with. Such an unfriendly guy! When i graduated from my high school, I had to make one of the most important decisions in my life – which university I would take for my future career.
At that time, I was just a simple girl living without true dreams or passions. I just like these things, those stuffs or simply to be good at something. Many TV programs or newspapers either usually emphasize or talk much about the importance of passion as well as the pursuit of it, that the Youth have to live wholeheartedly with their grand passion, follow them and success will follow you.
So, What is my passion? I do not love anything so much that I can vow to devote myself to it or to gain something big at all costs. Actually, I love writing. I fancy cherishing daily life stories in words, just little pieces by pieces of them, since it is the most efficient way for such an absent-minded girl as me to conserve everything from feelings to memories. I can sit silently for hours to enjoy surrounding lives passing by before treasuring them in my writings. I am also captivated by sharing, telling and being told stories, which has been, since ancient time, the magical bridge between your soul and the Universe’s one, the magical voice between your heart and the great real alive Life . Words, always carry enormous power in themselves. However, I would not say that it is my passion. I write without any intention of recognition or achievements, yet for my instincts that urge, for my love from deep down in my heart.
I have never taken writing career serious. If I did, I would have to make money from it. As for a high school student with 12 years focusing only on study, I was afraid that the naked and severe truth of how savage the power of money can be, how it changes my life perspectives will erode my writing spirit. I will write for money, and no longer for my soul, my interest.
As the result, I did not choose university in accordance with my passion.
At that time, in my country, economics universities and economics-related jobs were top priorities due to a belief that people could make a lot of money from economics field. My parents wanted me to go to a economics university badly. They even guaranteed me a good job ahead of me as when I get graduated from university.
I did not have much consideration. Economics is fun somehow. I am ambivalent about economics partly because my parents run a family business. I had a snap decision, did not think a lot and be not hesitant to apply to the top economics university in my country.
And now, I am an accountant!
I used to bitterly regret having chosen and followed the major of economy. I got sick and tired of the lessons in my university. Even, there was the terrible period of time in which the worst thing i had done is that i took exams with a totally empty mind. Spending hours in crowded class for long tedious lectures, and as this went on, i felt that i completely fallen down to a big swampy hole of humility and hatred that i judge myself harshly on , no way to stand up and keep walking anymore. I had never felt such a grudge for schooling. I hate economy, I hate the fastidiousness of accounting. Why do they have to invent that whole meticulous system, full of minor details and requires so much accuracy. Too much knowledge to absorb and memorize. Thousands of complicated formulas, hollow theories, and all these analyses that drive me crazy. Facing them everyday bored me to death. I can not figure out why lots of business universities highly focus on teaching analysis thinking as if they are scientific subjects like maths or physics
Indeed, from a macro perspective, whenever any Marketing or business plan is built without demonstrative statistics such as: market analysis, customer behaviors… it will be considered lack of background or even worse, as subjective interpretation. Likewise, without statistics or evidences, business decisions shall inevitably be regarded as sentimental ones. It is demanded that those are based on objective and proved evidences which processed under a logical procedure. Hence, for a long time, the data-driven decision marking has been appreciated so much that every university stuff their future managers’ head with such theories. As a result, it gradually becomes a standard for a scientific approach to management. From a micro point of view,simply saying, since primary school, intelligent students have been classified by how good they are at math.
In opinion of a dreamy girl like me, human beings basically do not have enough time and information to scientifically produce a decision. Imagine that a manager has hundreds of decisions to make a day, how can he afford time and effort for seeking data?
Therefore, I feel exhausted and powerless, seriously. I am just like a fish out of water, have no destinations to reach, totally lost among the boundless world. Not a time did I question myself why I was in this class. I wish to spend hours cycling around and seeing people busy with their own works, enjoying the endless flow of nature when I truly senses the essence of life. Even, in a summer day, raising my head to sky, drifting banks of cloud strolling around have soul. Everyone is lively while only I was stucked deadly among numbers, formulas, definitions or theories… I am living such awfully boring days on campus, which are totally ruining my expectation about a university life before.
In the darkest days of my life, I resorted to writing crazily as a last way to run away from reality, consequently misinterpret it as my sole great passion. I wrote days and nights, hours and hours, forget all limits of time and space, try to locked myself and be sunk in the gorgeous world of flowery words I made up, with the aim of forgetting the real one for seconds, which hopefully can calm down my trapped-in-hatred stormy soul. Write, write and let the restless feeling inside me pour down and crystallize into precious sentences, let me feel ALIVE for a while. I once even disgusted those classes which interrupted my stream could not write forever and forget everything while reality still struck me hard with exams and grades. My fantastic world cracked slightly under the pressure of my real life. The the stories were finally left incompleted, stayed back behind…
I shall never chose to quit my major as Economics. My choice says no to “Give-up”. The only tight tie between Economics and me is Money. My mom and dad did sacrifice a lot for my university, have shed tears and sweat to support my education, I cannot easily let all these hard earned money go to waste like throwing a crumpled note to the waste basket. There were days when tears shed with torment and regrets soaked in guilt. My choice, my parents’ struggling to finance my study. My family’s business had no longer flourished, it’s harder and harder to earn money, which is accompanied by my parents’ stronger burden. My tuition fees, my living expenses in the other city have became the root of most conflicts and squabbles between my mom and dad, the underlying cause of the rudeness in my father’s words, the self-pitiness in my mother’s tears and the gloomy atmosphere of the whole family. My heart had broken and hurt badly when both my reason and sentiment were overwhelmed by sense of responsibility. What did I do that caused my parents’ suffering?
What should I do? I was the one who made the original choice. It was me, my own self, who chose to set foot on that street, therefore, I have to keep on, no matter if I am moving or just crawling.
I continued to study Economics, despite my grudge against it, just to make sure that my parents’ money will not be wasted. I was not strong-willed enough to give up my major and to switch to another career pathway, pursuing writing success. This might have been cowardice, but the reality had never been absolutely easy and I was not competent enough to spread my wings in this big big world. I did not want to upset my parents, I did not want to see my father’s sigh or mother’s crying… Between the vague hobby that I was not even sure my true passion and my parents’ happiness, even if my soul would have withered, I would still choose my family, my beloved mom and dad.
Coming back, I continued university life with the mantra: fulfill all the requirements of the university.
thread of financial issues and responsibility. I studied it for the sake of my future.
I studied and still remained the habit of writing, I wrote for myself, in my special corners of inspiration, writing for the salvation of my poor soul which was becoming gradually bare, apathetic and withered.
4 years had come and passed quickly. I graduated with a fair amount of professional knowledge, not excellent but still palatable, enough for me to attain an internship position for accounting in a multi-national company.
Working as an intern did open a new exciting world for me. It is not exaggerated to say that it healed my soul! It did !Thanks to it, I would not say that I hate university life any more.I don’t hate numbers any more as I did at the beginning of campus life.
A huge amount of knowledge was learnt, actually it was not that I swallowed them all to get to work, but it provided me with a big picture of the current economy. And I, as an accountant, was just a small piece of the giant picture, a part of an enormous machine. I could apply not very much amount of knowledge learnt from university into work. To be earnest, I was instructed more carefully and efficiently on doing hands-on tasks. It’s not about the formulas, the calculations or boring numbers any more. The thing now is real money, which is not stable yet lively through every transactions or contracts .All the formulas, calculations and boring numbers were wonderfully replaced by real transactions and contracts. The knowledge i learnt at university was frankly applied to work. How lively and interesting it was. Finally, i could see clearly how an economy could operate and controls every walks of life.
The internship really opened the whole new world to me, extremely exciting. And what should I say? It was the lifebuoy for my miserable life and soul! Definitely, it was!
I started off from trivial task like purchasing stationeries, preparing coffee for the officials. I closely observed how everyone worked, from adjusting Microsoft Word and Excel document, to how they handled different situations in the workplace, ultimately interesting and creative. I’m full of admiration for their fertile brain and their great competence. The sector of economy and finance really gathered those who were incredibly smart, meticulous
I took my toddling steps in the new work. It was not really tough as I had been trained and equipped with proper specialized knowledge, though there were still many cases that I needed first-hand experience to handle. Travelling forms a young man. The more I went deeper into the accounting world, the more I gained experience and wisdom which enhance my expertise. I wrote my diary everyday. And you know what? They are lively stories of “talking numbers” and human intelligence! That was the moment I finally found the harmony between my interest and the job I had long been pursuing. I found myself in work and in everyday life, I considered my occupation as the gorgeous art and tried to perfect it, because art needed to be beautiful and inspiring. I am not sure when it initiated, but accounting, economy had become one of the topics in the writing that I held so dear.
In the gossiping stories with my high school friends who had chosen different university majors, we had really been assigned our distinct roles in the society. Those who had followed medication, engineering, education careers, their skills totally differed from mine. I did not have the faintest idea of their professional life stories, and vice verse, they did not really understand economy. Life had become so engrossing and special. Each one of us had our own missions, our own career.
Now I have got a stable job, and had put aside a fair amount to take care of myself well, and sometimes I present gifts to my parents.
And the most important part is, I am still writing, even better, because I have had a firm financial foundation. Above all, my passion for writing has still been maintained well.
I can now find peace, I have found the interest of my life. The thing is, you do not choose your career, it chooses you. This career chose me. If I had quitted, I would have had missed so many valuable experiences, and many engrossing stories behind them.
Where there is the sun, there is shadow. Everything has two sides within it. However, that two sides do not conflict, they are integral and supplement for each other. We never learn to appreciate beauty if there’s no ugliness. For the Western world, black or white, good or bad, they are distinguished very clearly. It should always be either right or wrong, strong or weak, there’s no such thing in between. But in Asian perspectives, everything is just relative, but the other side kills. I was too negative to only focused on the negative side of the figures, I had never really listened to them. I forgot the simple fact: in this life, there are only two types of attitudes: useful and useless.
That’s it, whichever hardship shall pass. There are people who desperately follow their passion, and those who don’t because of external factor. And there are those who will find a way to moderate between these two, balancing between passion and mundane jobs. Even if you don’t have your passion goes in line with your everyday job, it doesn’t mean you are a loser. Sometimes, our career cultivates our passion. You might not do what you are good at, but let’s finish what’s needed, and for your passion, just maintain and perfect it. People do what they are good at to pay their living, but they do what they love to satisfy their heart.
Never think of accounting as tedious or monotonous. If you dig deep into it and do it with your whole heart, even figures would have the potent power of words. They have emotion and they influence people’s life. And for accountants just like me, I am so happy and fortunate to have mastered these both almighty sources of power, am I?
A little story of a Wraccontant – half writer – half accountant.
By Huong Mai Quynh from Vietnam