20something profile: Alexis
When I was a naïve, know-it-all teenager, I thought that by the time I was in my mid twenties, I’d be set — making big bucks, CEO of my own empire, and doing whatever I want, whenever I want to do it. I’m turning twenty-five in less than two months, and it didn’t take me long after I graduated college to realize just how inexperienced I was as a teen.
In 2009, I graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, and I went straight into the ten-month master’s program that they offered. During my master’s program, I worked part time at a one-woman CPA firm — mostly doing taxes.
Also, during my master’s program, many of my classmates were studying for their CPA (Certified Public Accountant) license — to which my mindset was, I’m in college, and I want to have fun in my free time, not be stressed and worrying about getting my CPA (for those who don’t know, it’s four, four-hour ridiculously hard tests).
We all graduated in December of 2010 with our Master’s in Accounting — some with new CPA licenses, others still struggling, and me — just content with graduating but ready to embark on my CPA license adventure come January 2011.
Towards the end of my master’s program, I changed jobs. I began my first official Monday through Friday, nine to six, real-world job as an accountant, reporting to the controller and CFO. On December 17, 2010 — my six-year anniversary with my high school sweetheart — we found out that we were pregnant, and there went the CPA.
Of course, I was excited to be a mother — I mean, I had only been waiting since I was a baby doll toting four-year-old — but I was also kicking myself for not getting my CPA license during my master’s program, like some of my friends. Anyways, I put it off indefinitely — well, until July 2011.
At nearly eight months pregnant, I got the bright idea to take on the CPA. My grandparents bought me the Becker study program (which is NOT cheap — sorry Abi and Abuelo), and I got to it.
Obviously, I had to take a break while baby Diego was born, but once I picked up again, it wasn’t long until I was beginning to realize that I couldn’t keep up — I just didn’t have the time (newborns are demanding, and new parents don’t sleep) or the motivation — all I wanted to do was be with my baby: playing with him, feeding him, or just watching him sleep.
I went through a pretty rough patch when my baby was about three months old. Coming back to work from maternity leave was different than I expected, and unfortunately many moms go through this. When I came back, they had given me a raise, but my job duties were still with the woman that was hired as my temporary replacement — a woman that I trained, and who I trained very well.
I voiced my opinion to my supervisors so that I could get my tasks back from the woman that was doing my journal entry reports and bank reconciliations, and I was repeatedly told that it would just take some time to sort of ease back into things.
Well, it was three months after I returned from maternity leave that I decided to look for work elsewhere. I still didn’t have my job duties back, my boss became cruel, and I was stressed, unhappy, and jaded.
Thankfully, it only took me one month to land a job, and what a great job it is. I now work for a construction company, and I act as the controller, though my job title is officially Accountant.
I do everything from payroll to bank reconciliations to journal entries and closing the month, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and then I do clerical things as well. I really love that my job is well rounded, that the people I work with are great (to say the very least), and that I have a future here.
Many say the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, and I know that the job market right now is far from ideal. However, if you are unhappy in your career, it’s worth the risk to start at another place. I took a risk, leaving the only full-time job I had ever been at, and it has worked out perfectly for me. I feel appreciated, and I believe that to be a great motivator for hard work.
I’d also just like to add that within the past year, I’ve been able to focus on myself and my creative side—rather than just the structured, school-mindset side, and I’ve discovered that I love writing — so much so, that I started a novel (I’m now more than halfway done at nearly 45,000 words), and I’ve become a bona-fide aspiring author.
Life will not always turn out the way that you planned, but I’ve learned to make the best of every day, chase your dreams with unyielding force, and spend time with the people that make your life worth it. In doing that, everything will fall into place perfectly.