Strangely this is a question that comes up time and time again with clients, and the copywriting and freelance communities. Now, most people would probably have a really clever alternative, like a cake taster or bed tester, or something a child might dream of, like an astronaut or taking care of animals.
I probably crave to do the one job that a lot of people mock for being the most boring job in the world – I’d be an accountant.
I’ve studied finance at A-level and degree level since it’s a big element of Business Studies, and embarking on a freelance career I studied a diploma in accounting. But even before this, I enjoyed maths at school and despite having a brain that’s shocking at remembering names it excels at remembering numbers. There’s something about those lovely little digits that just sticks. And I love how it’s black and white – either the numbers add up, or they don’t. It’s not like English where you were able to bluff your way through if you could justify your point appropriately.
I have friends who work in finance, and through employment, I’ve witnessed finance departments shut away at the back of the company. They’re never invited to client hospitality, included in team building days and rarely offered a cup of tea – and yet they’re arguably the most important business function (and that’s saying something coming from a lifelong devoted marketer!).
Finance isn’t about money, not really. It’s about the data that helps you to understand how the business is performing, where your company strengths lie, how to identify new opportunities, testing ideas to determine their effectiveness…
I’d love to be an accountant because of all the wonderful knowledge and insight it gives you.
Running my own business, I track everything I can and make the time to regularly analyse this data and adjust the way I operate accordingly. It’s through finance that I feel confident to say no, talk about pricing, take calculated risks and invest in my business for the future.
So yes, testing cake or spending all day playing with animals would be fun, but I definitely feel that being an accountant would be far more satisfying!