The diligent Richard Hattersley unkindly informed us last week that, if the results of a survey by executive mentors Rutbusters can be believed, 40% of senior accountants hate their jobs.
While one might take issue with the exact percentage, it does seem fair to assume that many of us have bad days at the office more frequently than we would like to remember.
However, the fact that January can be a bit of a chore is not necessarily a reason to decide that your job is hateful. If the months of February-to-December are pretty much the same, that provides a more definitive answer.
There may be many reasons why our working lives are not as enjoyable as they should be. Sometimes, it is a sheer fact of corporate life, which seems to get worse from year-to-year, frequently because firms try to increase profitability without considering the human impact.
Beyond that, problems can often come down to little more than the behaviour of one or two influential individuals. The number of times that one hears of friends and relations changing jobs because they dislike a line manager seems to be rising to a worrying extent. Obviously, if the troublemaker is running the business then you can do little else to alleviate the problem other than stabbing them in the back.
Those in positions of power and influence can also suffer from a parallel issue, usually thanks to overly demanding clients. As this writer has so often pointed out, the solution is to ask those clients ever so politely to go and trouble some other accountant.
Health can also impinge on the pleasure of work, particularly for workaholics. Telling a workaholic to stop working is like telling an alcoholic to stop drinking but occasionally it can pay off. Sadly, it is often the doctor who finally rams the message home, as they welcome you back from the coma after completing a quadruple heart bypass.
Readers of this column are typically highly paid, highly intelligent accountants in a market where there is a great demand for their services.
Therefore, there is an obvious message for anybody reading this that spends most of his or her life whingeing to loved ones about the horrors of working at Killer & Co. Perhaps it is time to grow up.
If you don’t like the job that you’re doing, then move on. There are probably a dozen firms who would love to make use of your services. Alternatively, perhaps this is the perfect opportunity to cut your losses and fulfil the dream by setting up your own firm, either as a sole practitioner or with friends.
Life is too short to spend 50 hours a week feeling depressed as you work in a job that you hate. The sun is shining, the world is your oyster so go out and take affirmative action by talking to whoever can help you to get out of the bind. That might be a head-hunter, a wise friend or somebody at a rival firm that might be desperate to recruit you.