What comes to mind when you hear the word Accountant? The type who wears brown suit jackets and crunches numbers all day in a tiny cubical in some depressing office building?
Here’s the awkward part where I tell you that I’m a Chartered Accountant (equivalent to a CPA in the USA - which means I studied for a further 2 years after graduating university whilst working full time).
Although…I don’t think people wouldn’t describe me as dull or boring and I haven’t owned a brown suit jacket in my life!
In fact, working as an accountant in corporate consulting for the past 10 years has given me some amazing opportunities. I left my home town of Perth, Australia to work in the British Virgin Islands (in the Caribbean, mon!), and I’m now living in the USA in the city where I left my heart, San Francisco.
In early 2013, after breaking up with my partner of 5 years and re-assessing many things in my life, I realized that I hadn’t been making my career a priority and I’d resigned myself to the status quo. I didn’t know where I was going with my career let alone how I was going to get there.
I reached out to other women at similar stages in their career and found that many didn’t seem to know the answer to this question either. They told me, “I like my job, but I couldn’t imagine being a Partner at this firm” or “I’m not happy where I am now, but I don’t know what to do about it”.
I’ve been an avid reader all my life so I turned to books (so many books!) for answers. As a way of distilling my thoughts, sharing my experiences and documenting my journey, I started blogging.
Writing and talking to others about the issues impacting women in business led to me organizing a women’s networking dinner. That dinner acted as forum for business women to inspire and motivate one another and the atmosphere was so electric that I knew I had to do it again.
All of a sudden (it seemed) I was blogging, organizing networking events, holding monthly events for women at my firm, and advocating for certain changes for women within the office. I also took on the Treasurer role of a not for profit giving circle, 100 Women.
During that time I met the man who would become my husband. He had an exciting work opportunity in San Francisco so in October 2014 we made the move from Australia to the USA.
Here in San Francisco I sit on the steering committee for my firm’s Professional Women’s Network and I also lead the TAS Women’s Network. Being in a senior management position within my firm has enabled me to coach, mentor and guide professional women in their careers. I continue to blog about issues impacting women and organize networking events for women.