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Could your passions also be opportunities?

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When you think about accounting, do you think of the things you’re passionate about at the same time?

We don’t mean the passion for numbers and business that’s prompting you to consider a career in finance, but your hobbies and interests, the passions that you love and define you - sports, art, movies, fashion, for example.

You don’t! Why not?

If you think about it, virtually every organisation in the world needs accounting and finance professionals, so why not think about matching your passions with your career?

Do you love F1 racing?

In 2016 Red Bull Racing Formula One Team posted a job advert looking for an ACCA qualified financial accountant - you’d know all about driver salaries and how much the cars cost to build, maybe even helping to save Red Bull a few million dollars.

Perhaps you’re into movies and animation.

If you search accounting jobs at Disney, in September 2017 there were advertising 118 international finance jobs. Beauty and the Accountant?

Do you love music?

Think of your favourite pop star - they’ll be multi-million dollar operations needing more than one finance professional. So too will companies that promote and put on concerts and festivals.

ACCA member Vic Tan FCCA was CFO of luxury fashion label Ralph Lauren Japan before moving into a non-profit role as regional finance director Asia for Save the Children International.

ACCA member Steve Brown is CFO and chief officer of business operations at the Rugby Football Union in the UK.

Maybe you’re a cycling enthusiast.

Just think of all the different companies in the cycling ecosystem - it’s a huge industry, with thousands of brands providing bikes, parts, events, many with HQs and stores across the world, all needing financial professionals.

So you could work in the head office of a brand in your country and even work your way up to their global HQ in their home country. Maybe they have a cycling team - they need accountants too - you could end up helping out at the Tour de France.

Now apply this template to your interests - you really can translate your passions into your finance career.

Passions are skills factories

You’d be normal to think: What does fishing have to do with bookkeeping? How is writing poetry in any way similar to financial analysis? Or what aspects of mountain climbing relate to strategic financial intelligence?

Well on the face of it very little, but if you think about what’s involved with each of these passions and past-times, we bet you could easily find skills, emotions and ways of thinking that are directly transferrable to a job.

Sports are internationally adored. We play sports outside of work, in the evenings, at weekends, at amateur level all the way up to professional, if you’re good enough.

But sport and accountancy have nothing in common, right?

Whatever position you play in football or cricket, for example, you’re part of a team. You play better when you play together, sharing a common goal, when you’re all competitive, all communicating well and capable of following the leadership of captains and coaches. You win and lose together, suffer and celebrate together.

Sound familiar? Maybe like a company?

Now think about another pursuit, one a little less energetic - reading.

Maybe you’re an avid reader of fiction, real-life tales or graphic novels - it’s all story-telling, it can all show you perspectives of other people, cultures, countries and times past and present.

Practicing a form of art in your spare time, whether it’s painting, writing or sculpting, for example, can help develop your emotional intelligence, self-reflection, creative and critical thinking, and self-motivation – all very popular skills among employers these days.

Maybe you’re passionate about preserving the environment or affecting a social change, so you volunteer in your spare time to support these causes. Everything you learn in these situations will be invaluable in a workplace – communicating ideas, negotiating and debating, working with or even leading people. You might even be balancing the books for an NGO or a charity – so ACCA can even help you here.

Try it now - what are you passionate about? What’s your favourite sport or hobby? What do you like to do in your spare time?

Think of the things you enjoy about them and the things you’ve learnt from them.

They’re probably all useful in your career, or better still, just make your passion your job.

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