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Hi Everyone,

I wanted to create this post as I was searching for INTP and Accounting careers, but all I came across is mostly negativity discussing INTPs in entry-level Accounting jobs, so I wanted to provide my own personal experience and struggles I have as a INTP, when it comes to Accounting careers at a higher level, which probably applies to most administrative leadership roles (Finance, business admin, purchasing, etc.) the good and the bad.

Some background about me: I'm 32, male, married, currently work as a Director of Accounting for a Healthcare Organization. My role is similar to a Controllers in many regards. I oversee multiple functions within Accounting such as General Ledger accounting, cash management/accounting, Accounts Payable, and Internal/External Financial reporting functions. All in all, my team has about 20+ people. I started out of college as a Public Accounting Auditor, then jumped to more financial analyst role, then to a Accounting Manager role, then to the role I have today. So I have never really worked as a typical "entry level accountant" that most people think of. I majored in Accounting because I was good at it, I appreciated the logical structure of the field, and I wanted a career that was safe and provided good income so I never have to worry too much about money which meant that I could pursue my "real" interests which was Music at the time (played guitar and drums). My passion to create music was my drive, my "greater purpose/meaning in life". Before I learned about personality types, I always had a disconnect with my band mates in that they were all about wanting to perform because of the rush they get on stage, while I saw that as a hassle for the most part.. I just wanted to write and create interesting music. Ultimate success to me in music was to write a epic song that will last for eternity.

So with that in mind, here's the good and bad of my career today, which I think applies to most higher level administrative leadership roles, looking at it with an INTP personality trait lens:

The good:

- Being over many functions, the job requires me to be a jack-of-all-trades, which is a natural thing for an INTP. I'm not the detailed expert in 95% of the processes in my team, I have great managers/supervisors in my team that are which I rely on to manage the detail day to days activities.

- I have never booked one single entry in my 4 years in this position. My job is not mundane for the most part. I solve complex problems that requires a lot of analysis of data, trend, interpreting agreements, or research of Accounting guidance to come up with our "position". I also jump from function to function, problem to problem, where ever I'm needed, so I'm never talking/thinking about the same topic for too long, which is good for my INTP ADD-ness.

- My job requires me to constantly assess and review the hundreds of processes in my department to think of creative ways to improve them, such as through automation, investigation and identification of waste in processes, researching new systems and solutions in the market place that can make our processes more efficient, etc. Most accountants are not creative. it's just the way it is. So INTPs knack for being naturally creative is a huge asset for us in this career. Makes us standout and be very useful in meetings/process reviews as we're prone to challenge and throw out insightful/interesting questions.

- I believe that being a good/effective leader in any field require the ability to analyze the cost/benefit of every decision. INTPs open mindedness and tendencies to evaluate the many possible outcomes of a decision is a great tool to have as a leader so that decisions are well-thought out. Although this can (and has for me) also lead to indecisiveness and dragging on a project because we're too cautious and want to test/assess every possibility.

- It pays well and every company out there needs a Controller-type function, so I'm never really worried about money for the most part, allows me the mental/financial freedom to pursue hobbies that require financial investments (motorcycles, music equipment, tools, etc.).


The bad:

- Lots and lots and meetings and socialization. On average, 60-70% of my day is meetings/talking to people. The introvert inside gets tired. This was worst in the beginning but I think somehow my mind got used to it and it doesn't wear me out as much anymore. Couple things which helped me was 1) the closer I got to know the people on my team the less energy draining it was (introverts prefer to spend time with people they feel comfortable with, so I think it makes sense that the more I build a personal relationship with my team, the less draining the interactions became), and 2) I also learned to take little anti-social breaks here and there throughout the day quickly recharge myself, I usually eat lunch by myself and just look at my phone reading up whatever my interest of the week was. May sound sad to others, but it's actually a great recharge for me mid-day!

- The lack of appreciation by the organization. Accounting/Admin is a support function and no matter how good of a job you do, it's not the organization's priority, and often times you feel under-appreciated. My boss is great and appreciates what I do. I always received great feedback/reviews. For some other personality types, this may be enough; however, I think for INTPs, we want to feel that we are part of something bigger, what we do has a lot of impact to the greater purpose of the organization. Unfortunately, this is just the nature of support functions.

- The search for life's meaning! I think this is the biggest one for me in which I'm still struggling with. For the most part, Accounting and most administrative functions do not give INTPs the "higher meaning in life" that we seek. As I said earlier, I seek meaning in areas outside of work. Unfortunately, as I grow older, the dream of creating the ultimate life-fulfilling music is fading. I'm still trying to find my way back into music, but in the past year, haven't been successful in setting a goal in this field that I truly care about and would give me meaning. Like many other INTPs, I had many many hobbies within a wide range of topics in the past years (motorcycles, surfing, kayaking, scuba diving, home aquariums, basketball, different music projects, air guns, etc. etc.), but they were all temporary interests and have for the most part "dried up" and I haven't been able to find something that excites my inner seeker to explore lately.

Hopefully this helps other INTPs when they look into Accounting as a long term career options. I think it helped me understand myself and my life better to write it out and process it "out loud" :)
 

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Yes, I thought of switching years ago, to a supervisor position such as that, so I would not be doing the more mundane things. But from my experience when I was in a larger firm, I don't think I would meld well in a larger organization. As for one, the meetings you mentioned. Often it seems as wasted time. And when my job and me are at our best relationship wise, I can sit down, get my work done in the most efficient manner and then move on to what interests me.

At smaller organizations, you have to be more hands on with everything, but there is not as much pressure to conform, pretend, etc either. And I've told the other partners I'm not going to be the one to take over, and I have a limit as to how much I can put into it, and I'm willing to be paid accordingly. So, in those respects it has freed me up more to pursue other interests.
 

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I do concur with the draw of being in a smaller organization. I've always thought it would be cool to work at a start-up environment where I'm a much bigger piece of the puzzle. Would probably also help if that company's product/mission is somehow aligned with my own interests (e.g. working for a music instrument manufacturing company).
 
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