Not sure what to do...

ChazGDChazGD Just JoinedPosts: 3Registered
Hey, such a shame my first post should be full of doubt but here goes -
I completed level 2 just before Christmas and in the middle of Accounts Prep 1&2 (the book has them combined) and I'm seriously having doubts about whether or not to continue.
I felt like this in the middle of level 2 but figured "hey, let's finish the level and see how it goes". I understand the content (eventually) but it does nothing for me. And to carry on takes so much commitment and I'd rather put this determination into something that I'll be most happy with, and for me, accountancy isn't it. I work in a bank but I'm an artist (at weekends, and at heart), and knowing this probably wouldn't get me the lifestyle I would like, I thought I'd qualify in a good, well-paid job to have the disposable income (and time, flexi-time, part time hours etc) to do what I love. I can't afford uni for a profession I'd really like to go for, I had a very simple and strapped-for-cash upbringing so always promised myself to make my life into something and have the quality I deserve, so I thought, even though it won't be easy, I'd go for accountancy. I'm very hard working and accomplished a lot for my age (23), 7 A-levels, HND's in Business Management, and 2 managerial jobs but none of these have taken me anywhere. Have no idea why I'm telling my life story but my point is - my heart isn't in it, I dread my work life ahead of me if I become qualified but I don't know what the alternative is. Also, quitting would disappoint my husband, mum and a posh (and quite snobby) extended family of professionals. I know it's me who has to live my life and not them but I dread what would happen both if I quit and if I don't. To accomplish such a mammoth thing like the AAT, I'm not sure I will feel the satisfaction at the end, it would be like "wow, you have a qualification for something you have absolutely no interest in". Yeah the money would be awesome, but I don't think I can push for that level of income in something I don't like and, as a career, it's something I will be doing for the majority of my life (after sleep). I just wanted to know if anyone had any advice or if anyone approached AAT with the same things in mind? I am truly sorry for the long-winded waffle, but I literally cannot talk to anyone I know about this in case they see me as a dissapointment.
Thanks
Chaz

Comments

  • TryMyBestTryMyBest Settling In Nicely Posts: 15Registered
    Hi, from what you have posted I'd say don't continue - why put effort into something you don't want to do??
    Don't live for other people,its your life and you get one chance (as far as we know!) I'm in a job now that I hate and its paying the mortgage but I've realised there's more to life than that... Do what YOU want to do , have no regrets!!!
  • guinea pigguinea pig Trusted Regular Posts: 402Registered
    Hi Chaz, you have done really well to do so much by age 23, and have probably spent so many years studying, that you might benefit from a short break?
    I can undersatnd your frustration as an artist as I have friends and relatives that are artists at heart/have an artisitic training, and find it very challenging to earn a living in that field. However, look at possibilities where you may eventually be able to combine Art with Finance - Art Galleries, Art colleges, Art companies etc all need accountants sympathetic to their needs and with good financial knowledge.
    Stay positive - I found that I enjoyed studying the further I got, and it began to make more sense.
    Good luck,
    GP
  • ChazGDChazGD Just Joined Posts: 3Registered
    Thanks for the replies!
    TryMyBest, I very much agree with what you say - I have the same views and hope to live by the same principle that you only have one shot at it and live without regrets, I guess sometimes I just can't judge when i take it too far in which I shoot myself in the foot, like "I wish I had the money to buy a house" or live without money worries. But what's money when you're not happy.
    guinea pig, I've never thought of mixing art and finance before but worry it might not have the creative input I'd like even though being an artist will, as you said, add to my cap by sympathising with their needs. Also, I agree with what you say about the further you go in, the better it gets. I had doubts at the beginning but when all the information and strategic approach of moving figures around sank in, it was quite interesting but soon became anit-climatic, for lack of a better phrase. I could go further but is a big investment, financially and mentally, to get to the end and not enjoy my career. Thanks so much you two for the advice, it will certainly get me thinking.
  • readerreader Experienced Mentor Posts: 1,039MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    ChazGD wrote: »
    Hey, such a shame my first post should be full of doubt but here goes -
    I completed level 2 just before Christmas and in the middle of Accounts Prep 1&2 (the book has them combined) and I'm seriously having doubts about whether or not to continue.
    I felt like this in the middle of level 2 but figured "hey, let's finish the level and see how it goes". I understand the content (eventually) but it does nothing for me. And to carry on takes so much commitment and I'd rather put this determination into something that I'll be most happy with, and for me, accountancy isn't it. I work in a bank but I'm an artist (at weekends, and at heart), and knowing this probably wouldn't get me the lifestyle I would like, I thought I'd qualify in a good, well-paid job to have the disposable income (and time, flexi-time, part time hours etc) to do what I love. I can't afford uni for a profession I'd really like to go for, I had a very simple and strapped-for-cash upbringing so always promised myself to make my life into something and have the quality I deserve, so I thought, even though it won't be easy, I'd go for accountancy. I'm very hard working and accomplished a lot for my age (23), 7 A-levels, HND's in Business Management, and 2 managerial jobs but none of these have taken me anywhere. Have no idea why I'm telling my life story but my point is - my heart isn't in it, I dread my work life ahead of me if I become qualified but I don't know what the alternative is. Also, quitting would disappoint my husband, mum and a posh (and quite snobby) extended family of professionals. I know it's me who has to live my life and not them but I dread what would happen both if I quit and if I don't. To accomplish such a mammoth thing like the AAT, I'm not sure I will feel the satisfaction at the end, it would be like "wow, you have a qualification for something you have absolutely no interest in". Yeah the money would be awesome, but I don't think I can push for that level of income in something I don't like and, as a career, it's something I will be doing for the majority of my life (after sleep). I just wanted to know if anyone had any advice or if anyone approached AAT with the same things in mind? I am truly sorry for the long-winded waffle, but I literally cannot talk to anyone I know about this in case they see me as a dissapointment.
    Thanks
    Chaz

    I completely understand how you feel- I made a big decision to change careers from working in a science laboratory to working in accounts (accounts is much more fun!!!). My heart wasn't in working in science so even though that is what I trained in, I re-trained (via AAT and now ATT) and work in accounts and love it. I guess the point I'm making is sometimes that the path you initially take in your career (in my case science) isn't necessarily going to be the destination. I don't have regrets about leaving science and not doing a PhD as I'm much more suited to accounts/tax.

    Whether or not you decide to finish level 3 in the meantime, to add another string to your bow, while you look for your dream job is completely up to you and will be dependent on how unhappy AAT is making you. When I left science I guess I did disappoint a lot of close family members however now I'm in accounts/tax those same family members as for my advice re: their tax!!! It's funny the difference a few years make, what feels like an absolute disaster now will be just a memory a few years later.

    I really hope you find exactly what you are looking for because when you do you'll feel much more settled and happy.
  • StuartWStuartW Online Community Manager LondonPosts: 492Registered
    Hi ChazGD,

    Your post caught my eye - I will say straight off that I work for AAT, but I'm not here to try and convince you to carry on with something you won't enjoy ;-)


    I forwarded your post to Aimee, AAT's career coach, to ask if she has any advice. She emailed me back with:


    "AAT is a great qualification to have, do you think you could keep going and power through? From your message it seems you're unable to do this.


    "You talk about your husband's family and you are concerned about their thoughts. You need to work out in your head (and heart) which causes you most upset: 1) Continuing your studies or 2) Telling your family you have decided to focus on something else.


    "I understand you want a steady career with good money, but this isn't a good motivator to kickstart your career. I speak to unhappy people every day who earn good money, but wish they had made different choices. You have to be the driving force in your career and the chances are if you do something you love, you will be very good at it... and the money will come.


    "Finally, I want to say how brave it is to be so 'real' online. You are clearly a passionate, authentic person and this will get you a long way in your career, regardless of what qualifications you have to your name."


    I'd add that if you're not sure exactly what you want to do instead, it might be worth putting a bit of time into thinking about this. Art is a broad spectrum - I know talented artists who now make good livings as web designers, for example. Are there skills you can add to open up a new career in new directions?

    I'd also say that any qualification will look good on your CV. If you finish Level 2 and then decide to head in another direction, you still have that level to your credit, which demonstrates determination alongside the successes you already have at your young age.


    To end, I'll just suggest a couple of links that might offer you some inspiration:


    How to find your purpose and do what you love


    How to find what you love to do

    B
    est of luck - I know it's a tough situation to be in. I hope you're able to make a decision that will make you happy. :001_smile:

    Stuart
  • ChazGDChazGD Just Joined Posts: 3Registered
    Thanks so much reader, StuartW and Aimee for such good advice. I'm not just saying that to be polite, I'm genuinely touched. reader, I can see how this dilemma would be ancient history in a couple of years (if that long!) and I just know myself; I'd be kicking myself that much for getting into such a tizzy about this!! I admire your courage for leaving science and how your family dealt with it - I'm sure my family will come round to it if I decide to leave and if they don't, hey-ho, can't please everyone!
    Thanks Stuart for getting in touch with Aimee on my behalf - what she said has me think a lot for sure. I know a few people who she describes - a good steady well-paid job but they're just not happy and I guess it was niave of me to think that this could be suitable motivation. I have thought about applying my creativity to stuff like graphic design and web design - paying for the training might be an issue, but then again, I've managed to pay all the fees for books and exams for AAT...never saw it like that before actually! And thanks for the links - can't stop reading all of the articles! I'm doing the 2nd link's test tonight and see what comes up. I think my minds pretty much made up but think I'm going to have a nice Friday night and good night's kip before doing anything too brash!
    Thanks again everyone!
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