Progression and Patience

One of my long-term career goals is to be a decision-maker who can affect the direction and success of an entire organization. To achieve this goal, I plan to eventually become the CFO of a medium-sized organization where I can work alongside the CEO, adding financial expertise to the table in making strategy decisions.

When I graduated from college and got an entry-level job at a large corporation, I worked as hard as I could to get promoted quickly. I knew I had a long way to move up the ranks before I could get to the executive level. When I got my first promotion, I set my sights on the next promotion and did everything I could to get it as quickly as possible, even at the expense of coming across as too ambitious.

After my third promotion, which was championed by my manager months earlier than company guidelines recommended, I began to feel some regret for having pushed so hard to be promoted so rapidly. I realized I was being short-sighted, and that I had missed worthwhile opportunities to contribute in my previous roles. Worse, I had missed opportunities to develop closer working relationships with previous managers and teammates all in order to make more money, have more responsibility, and supposedly get closer to achieving my long-term goal.

Some people cringe at the thought of being a company executive because of the long hours, the pressure to perform, and the difficult decisions that have to be made regularly. But I’m excited to fix struggling companies, make them more efficient, and help them grow. I look forward to working on a team of bright, interesting people who share a common vision and get things done.

Idealistic ambitions are great motivators, and I feel certain I’ll eventually be on a team of executives like the one I described, even if it takes some trial and error. But I’ve learned that patience is a key element in carving my career path and developing my accounting and financial expertise. With patience, I’ll be able to make the most out of each role I take, and I’ll learn much more than I would if I continually pushed upward without ever taking time to flesh out the details.

Patience makes room for mistakes, which are a natural part of life and learning. It allows for differences and diversity of opinions, which pave the way to better-informed decisions, more meaningful relationships, and richer understanding. And it allows for a greater appreciation of the present, which is all we ever really have.

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3 Comments on “Progression and Patience”

  1. shtinkykat Says:

    This is a wonderfully thoughtful and reflective post. You have great goals and ambitions and I applaud and commend you. But I have to admit, your post made me wonder if the fallen CEOs like Dick Fuld, Franklin Raines, Angelo Mozilo, et al. at one point were idealists who were corrupted by money and greed, or, whether they became CEOs for all the wrong reasons?

  2. frugalcpa Says:

    @schtinkykat: Good question. I’d say wrong reasons, all of them.

    Seriously, though, that has always been a major worry for me – the idea that I’d ever let money/greed/power change me into what I don’t want to become. There are all kinds of warnings in the scriptures, in stories, in movies, etc. that money and power corrupt. But then you find people who haven’t let money corrupt them and are able to do worlds of good with it. If I can keep the perspective I have that I’m a short-term steward over the earth’s resources, and that I’ll be held responsible for properly allocating those resources for good purposes, then I should be able to be a positive influence. That’s my goal.

    Thanks for the excellent, encourage-me-to-explain-myself comment!

  3. Manshu Says:

    I think the key is to make room for mistakes. If you don’t make enough mistakes you will never learn enough to carry out any role successfully.


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