In October, I began a blog series about the characteristics of a professional; you can read the introduction to the series here. This post is the 9th in a series of 10 that will conclude next week.
Be Somebody Else
This characteristic may seem a bit counter to what I have been talking about so far, but I am not talking about pretending that you are someone else when you are doing business. What I mean by being somebody else is that you should have a joy or a passion in life that is not your work or your profession. There should be something that makes you excited to talk about. A true professional should not be one-dimensional – you should have different facets to your life and who you are.
When I was in school, I had an internship with Arthur Andersen. Out of the whole university they gave only two internship offers – one to me and one to Mark. I strongly believe that one of the main factors in our getting those offers were that we were more than just accounting students. In addition to pursuing an accountancy degree, I was also a pursuing a Russian history degree. Mark played the violin in a symphony. Both of us could bring more to the table than just debits and credits.
Any professional – in any profession – is well-served by being more well rounded as a person than just focusing on their profession. I wrote earlier about collaborative learning in respect to collaborating with different people. However, on an individual level it is also applicable from the standpoint of being able to bring knowledge or perspective from another area.
I know that all of you have something that you are passionate about and that makes you excited when you talk about it. If it is your job, you are very lucky – and also in a vast minority. For the rest of us who have that passion and love for something else – pursue it. Find time to follow that passion – even if it is only a little bit of time. You will feel better and you will bring a more complete person to your profession.
Brian Hock, CMA, CIA