So 1st of April marks for me the four year work anniversary with BIG4 companies. To be honest if I told my younger self and my student self that you seriously end up working for these companies and enjoy it, I would have not believed it.
I don’t really know where this criticism came from towards BIG4 companies. I think the source of it all might be opinions from others, that might have scared me and doubted that I would ever be able to pursue a career with them. During my student time I have never seen myself making a career with them. Maybe I was also biased from my former job while a student and in my head it all seemed too easy to “make this career I wanted”. I always dreamed of making an international career and I thought it was not possible when I stayed with these companies (even though their network is worldwide). Little did I know and did I understand how the business world really works and what really makes me happy eventually. I think the happiness perspective shifted a lot during the past few years. My current view on the world might be different, if my personal path took another course in these crucial moments and along with my surroundings and the things I did, combined with all the crazy things which have happened the past few years (pandemic, war, inflation you name it). To put it together, I am glad where my path has led me so far and I would not change a thing about it.
I come from a place and studied in a surrounding where the world always seems fine, it might not be very stressful and at times not very exciting, however, it is a safe place where you do not learn how the real world works. I never felt truly fitting in and my views on the world were not aligned with the people I was surrounded by. I was not happy (maybe happy is not the right phrase, satisfied might fit better here) where I was and I wanted something more. That is why I decided to move places and settle down in Vienna. Before I did my internship in Amsterdam, which was also a very crucial time and it showed me for the first time in my life how challenging life can be.When I moved to Vienna the stress was not over and my problems where far away from being solved. The stress and difficulties, anxiety, uncertainty had only begun and kept on haunting me big time. I had a very bumpy start with moving places, changing companies, finding friends, and then when I had my life together the pandemic started and life did not become any easier. With only little work experience it was hard to continue my career and I questioned it a lot if I was in the right place. It also did not work out with this other company. At one point back then I was relieved because I could not see myself in the long run there anyways and some things just did not feel right for me (I could have not pin it down to one certain event, it was more the accumulation of circumstances and the overall picture). During this time, one thing was always for sure for me and that was I wanted to go with taxes. That had always been in my mind since I discovered this field during one of these university courses in my first semester when I was 19. It never let me go since then, even though at times it scared the shit out of me (as you can also figure from my second paragraph). My belief in this field really vanished away all this self-doubt and anxiety, because I really want this. Meanwhile I can say that with certainty and this belief keeps me going. As simple as it sounds and as difficult it also makes it at the same time.
What I am trying to say is, never ever let people tell you something and where you should head in your life and which dreams you should pursue. There will always be critics, there will always be people who see things differently, there will always be people who don’t understand you and your way. On the other hand, always trust your gut feeling, go your own way, take some risks, be confident in what you are doing, try to suck up as much as you can, make them mistakes, learn from them, get back to it again and try again. Eventually you will figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. I encourage you to do what your gut feeling tells you and stick to it for the long run. Surround yourself with good people and which make you feel good and most certainly believe in you. If you find this in life/career I think you should stick around.
Hard work pays off, baby.