I've never done this before!
November 26, 2011 7:17 AM Subscribe
Some tips for an older accountant trying to transition into a less-stressful work environment? Also, some culturally specific issues.
posted by leedly to Work & Money (5 answers total)
Family member currently works for a large corporation as an accountant. (she got her BS in accounting, worked at a nonprofit for a few years before transitioning into this job, where she has worked for 10+ years) Unfortunately, this position has gone through a lot of restructuring, has been bought out by a national and subsequently international brand, and the company cultures has become, for her, toxic. Much less focus on how much work you do or how well you do it, moreso whether you bolster the company image. E.g., 50% of her work review is based on "leadership," like whether you sponsor a Diversity Day type initiative. So she has a record of being a productive worker, but not one who takes enough "initiative."
I think part of this is because of her background (immigrated from China in the 80s) - so ESL/communication difficulties are part of it, but she also doesn't understand or like the whole go-getter/self-promotion aspect of her company. She would much rather quietly do her job, not have to go through a lot of bullshit, and then go home at the end of the day. I think she also has some larger difficulties with asserting herself, bragging, saying no, etc., and kind of views this as a permanent personality trait by this point. (seems fairly resistant to change) So right now she is looking at a lot of jobs in at nonprofits or universities, that kind of thing. She is fine with a pay decrease as long as she still has benefits. Is there a good way to couch this transition to prospective companies? Another thing, is at her age (50s), she is not really interested in learning a lot of innovative programs or having to constantly keep up with new advances. I think what she really wants is a lower-stress environment where there isn't a lot of expectation about promoting the company or padding your resume, but it's okay to just do your work. So - is there a way to indirectly ask about that kind of environment to prospective employers?