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You’re Asking The Wrong Question

October 19, 2017

Dad, do accountants make a lot of money?

Well, they make pretty good money. Grandma was an accountant and Uncle John is an accountant. Why?

Well, I think if I had the choice of a job that I really liked or one that made a lot of money, I think I’d take the money.

My son is 14. Other than chores at home, his only jobs have been doing yard work for the neighbors. That’s not to say he doesn’t have a plan.

I want to go pro and play for several years. Then afterward I want to join the S.W.A.T team.


Yeah, and I think maybe I’ll start a family while I’m playing football.

Who am I to tell him what he might accomplish? His older sister decided when she was 12 years old that she wanted to become a veterinarian in the Army. She’s now 23 years old and is in second year of veterinarian grad school at Utah State. Oh and she’s a 1st LT in the US Army Reserves with a veterinarian slot waiting for her when she graduates.

I did have advice for him about jobs.

I love my job. It’s demanding. It’s stressful at times. I am often asked to work through other teams to meet my objectives. Teams whose management doesn’t always prioritize my requests at the same level I do.

But still, I enjoy this job more than I have almost any job in my 30 year career in IT. But, it wasn’t always like that. A year ago, I was in the same job with the same stresses but I was attached to a different team and a different manager.

I was miserable. In addition to the normal stresses of my job, my manager was forming a new team and attempting to put processes in place that often directly conflicted with my ability to do my job. It led to a huge amount of stress. In fact, it was so stressful that I decided I needed to leave.

Life is too short to stay in a job that is making you miserable. I went to management (not my manager, but further up the chain and said, “Do you have any positions in your organization that might be a good fit for me? I don’t think I can be successful in the position I’m now in.”

The senior executive and I had a very fruitful conversation. The result was that he did some additional research and ultimately changed my position in the management chain. In a single day my job went from one of the worst experiences to one of the best.

I tried to explain this to my son.

The point is to find something you like to do. Don’t look for the highest paying job. Look for something you enjoy and then work at become really good at it. The money will eventually come.

You spend a lot of time at your job, even if you don’t work as many hours as I end up working. If you hate your job, it really wouldn’t matter how much money it makes. And if you love your job, it really doesn’t matter how much it pays, assuming you can cover your bills.

Don’t chase the money thinking it will bring happiness. Chase the happiness and it will bring the money.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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