USA Dead end job

May 16, 2018
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United States
Hey all. I have been a staff accountant for 7 years at my current job. I started out as an accounting assistant and worked my way up. I pursued my undergraduate degree while working for my current employer and just recently graduated with a master's in accounting. I am currently studying for the CPA. My dilemma is that I have been stuck with a clerk job such as, AR/AP, and general ledger work. I am so bored at work it drives me crazy because it's routine and not challenging. I had approached my boss to provide me something challenging and to give me some experience in preparing the financial statement. Unfortunately my boss will not let me work on it because another accountant is in charge of the financials. I feel really stupid because I feel as if I don't have the experience. To add to that, I don't have any say in regards to take charge of the accounts i have responsibly for, AND my coworker always question why I code certain stuff into certain accounts. It's really frustrating when they change the work I put effort into.
So I have been activley seeking new opportunities for over 3 years, had some interviews but nothing. It doesn't help that I don't have the experience in other roles of accounting. I am starting wonder if I am dumb or just not cut out for this. It's just a dead end position for me with no advance position.


VIP Member
Jul 18, 2016
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Please do not take this the wrong way, but at times, it can depend on how you carry yourself. Interviewing well is essentially a chance for them to get to know you, and if you don't come with the right energy, the right responses, and the able to convince them that you are the right fit, then you won't get the job.

Two things.

1. If they're interviewing you, then they believe you are qualified, but the interview you fell flat.
2. If you fell flat, then either you lack the confidence or someone come across as not sufficient for the role.

There are a number of things that you can do in order to get ahead.

1. Get practice interviewing. Ask a good friend to give you an interview (someone you trust) and have them ask you difficult questions. Get practice answering them and giving clean responses. You want to be clear, articulate, and confident. You want to demonstrate that you can clearly structure a response.

2. Learning at your current employer can be difficult, so try to pro-actively learn. Much of accounting is about processes. Look at the processes that you currently follow and see if you can find a weakness in them. Draft a solution and vet it (will the solution work) then present it. It may be rejected, but the exercise of assessing the process objectively is a valuable one and will build skills that are useful for a more advanced career.

Starting with the above, (plus google search additional tactics related to the above) you should be able to get yourself ready. Once you get your CPA, then join a firm (a top firm if possible) However, be prepared to work 12-15 hour days, as a junior CPA in a large firm is a LOT of work.

I hope that helps.
Jun 3, 2018
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United States
Your best option is to go into public accounting for a few years as an auditor. You will likely start as staff and work your way up to manager. Find a regional or national firm. This will jumpstart your career.

John Baker

Your experience is common in this profession.
What you're looking for is getting a head - right? Well, getting a head means bumping somebody else - right?

John Baker

Sorry for the break in my response. My computer went Dixie on me in the process of replying.
So, to continue - job security is a big thing is this profession. Trying to progress by being a hard worker within the same company, practice, is a hard sell. Especially if your smarter, or getting there, than the person over you. Politics and other negatives can be ramped sometimes.
Don't forget, accountants are considered a dime-a-dozen in the business world. In fact, many cost accountants, who are responsible for the valuation of millions of dollars worth of inventory, and all the rippling impacts that that entails, make pitiful paychecks.
The only what to get ahead in this profession is to go as far as you can in one company, then:
  • take stock of where you are in that company.
  • is your experience defined narrowly within a specific industry, type of business, progressive and evolving.
  • are you in a dead industry that's being shoved to the side because of technology?
  • do you see a need for your experiences?
  • can you transfer your professional experience to other disciplines within the accounting profession.

Finally, be very careful going into Public Accounting. This side of our profession is very cold, a dog-eat-dog environment, and cost
benefit judged DAILY. You not only have to pull your weight every hour on the hour, but you must show enhancements at every
turn. After all, the main partners are in that business to make money - period. Also, in public accounting your dealing with clients
that will have you questioning their overall honesty and reasonableness. Adding to all that, public accounting firms have a certain
client base, and they stick to it. Many firms have a small, family business base, while the big boys have major national and international
clients. Another thing to consider with a career in public accounting - be prepared to spend your life in the profession. Hours upon
hours are required.

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