There is a once and a while commenter, calling himself Stu Nod, (that’s Donuts for those of you who don’t read backward) who doesn’t much like when I “bash” conservatives. Well, I have news for him. Most accountants and auditors are conservatives. And I am an accountant/auditor. Therefore, I am probably a conservative.
Ok, I admit, my accountant/auditor tendencies tend to center around the job related ones, and not the social and political ones. However, like most people who start to make more than their parents ever did, I don’t like paying so much in taxes, for example. However, the difference is, I would be glad to pay more if it was used well and effectively and to truly help others.
And I don’t much like the focus the Big 4 have these days on work-life-family balance and diversity. Not because I am against work, life or family or diversity, but because I think the job is one you choose and the rest is something that you implicitly agree to adjust in order to fit in and do the job well. If I wanted to be off during the summer, I would have been a teacher. If I wanted my team to not miss me when I’m out and clients to be able to live without me when I’m away, I would have become an assembly line worker, able to turn off my job when the whistle blows. If I wanted everyone I work with to know about, respect and celebrate my personal, sexual, and lifestyle choices I would have become a nun.
According to various career sites and psychological studies, many employers look for specific personality types to fit certain roles.
The top three personality types in the Accounting & Finance field, according to several academic studies are ISFJ, ISTJ, and INFJ.
For example, an ISFJ(Introvert, Sensor, Feeler, Judger)
People of this type tend to be: cautious, gentle, and thoughtful; hesitant until they know people well then affectionate and caring; very literal and aware of the physical world; uncompromising about personal standards and easily offended; diligent and conscientious, organized and decisive. The most important thing to ISFJs is living a stable, predictable life and helping people in real ways.
I probably fit this character profile as well as any other accountant, except for the part about living a predictable, stable life. I was never very good at that. I embrace change and variety. But I guess that’s my wild card…
I once went through an extensive personality survey and profiling process as part of the Women’s Leadership program at the Center for Creative Leadership. I attended this program shortly after being promoted to Managing Director at BearingPoint, the first woman at this level in their Latin America practice – and still the only one ever. I learned that I was, actually, according to all the tests, an introvert with learned extrovert tendencies. In other words, I prefer to be in a one-on-one situation or even alone, but have learned how to be with and enjoy other people because of the career I have chosen and my desire to succeed.
But this explained a lot. It’s the reason I am often considered aloof, conceited and cold by those who believe I am passing judgment on them or don’t care about their work-life-family balance issues (because I am single and don’t have children) or that my standards are too high.
The point of my story is that I’m really not so different than my accounting and auditor brethren in most of my personality characteristics, except that I have broadened them and chosen to use them in different ways.
Am I rigid? Yes, but not in the same ways as some auditors and tax accountants I know.
Am I strict and moralistic? Yes, but not in the same ways as some of my former colleagues that could not see grey or see the fact that not everyone had the same advantages and exposure as they did when growing up.
Am I socially conservative? Yes, I believe a day’s pay for a day’s work is the expectation, but I also know that some can not care for themselves and believe that from those to whom much has been given, much is expected.
Why do I highlight the “conservative” side of some firms and some leaders of the firms? For the same reason I highlight the self-serving, selfish and transparently manipulative activity of contributing to whatever politician holds the right Committee seat, regardless of party, just because you may perhaps be able to buy their influence.
The blog is meant to highlight, for you the reader, the broad-based influence the Big 4 have in business, politics and social policy. Their reach is only exceeded by their constant grasp. In that sense, I critique, highlight and often times criticize each equally, although unevenly, depending on how the news cookie crumbles. I also try to highlight the firms’ biases equally, but I won’t apologize for the fact that I find those biases falling more often on the political, economic and socially conservative side, except for their window dressing in the areas of equal opportunity and diversity. The actions of the firms with regard to equal opportunity and diversity speak louder than all the words and videos and other public relations events.
And I won’t apologize for my biases when they show. I am still my parents’ daughter, with all the attendant attitudes, baggage and early life experiences that brings, no matter where the world or my chosen career have taken me since.
It’s my blog and I’ll write whatever I want to write.
Where can I find more postings about your 8 years of consulting? I’ve moved from public accounting to internal audit, in a consulting role, and my life has changed quite a bit as well. I’d love to read more about how it changed you! Thanks!
@Fan M Some of the posts that talk about my consulting experience and as an executive with JeffersonWells are:
Thanks for your interest.