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Ask Robina - March 1, 2023

Robina Bennion
Posted by Robina Bennion on Mar 1, 2023 1:45:00 AM

Hi Robina!

I'm an accountant who wants to have a more meaningful career and make a positive impact on society. How can I align my financial expertise with my personal values and pursue a career that combines both?

Hello Friend,

With the last few years and the emergence of the Great Resignation, more and more people are asking similar questions. I believe this is a step in the right direction and the fact you are asking the question means you are already creating the change you seek.   With that being said, let’s explore how you might redirect your gifts, skills, and personal values to make an impact.

Meaningful Career

You are not alone in desiring a meaningful career. Given the amount of time a person spends at work, it is a reasonable expectation.   A recent study reported 2/3 of US-based employees said the events of the last few years have caused them to reflect on their purpose in life.  Beyond that, studies have shown employees receive (or don’t) a level of purpose from not just the work they do but the company they work for.  

Before you set off on building a meaningful career (or pulling the plug on your current one), it is important to pause and capture what it means for you.  A meaningful career is a feelings-based goal and you will be helped by not going off in pursuit of an undefined objective. New clients often come to me because they feel anxious about their financial future and believe they are unprepared.  When we delve into what is causing the anxious feeling, it rarely has to do with how much money they have and more to do with not knowing the end goal.

What does a meaningful career look like to you?

Push through the “I don’t know.” if it shows up. Start by jotting a few things down and revisit them for the next few days. Perhaps commit 5 minutes each day to writing down what you are looking for. When considering a job, people generally start with the big picture (think of it as the company packaging) vs what is on the inside.  Your dreams deserve a little more and this is your life, so let’s give it some love.  Get as granular as you want. The more, the better. A job is a long-term relationship, so don’t be afraid to think of it that way and identify how you want to feel. 

Identify how you want to feel in your job to help in finding an aligned employer.

Meaningful Relationship Questions (complete these sentences in present tense)

  • When I leave work each day, I feel……
  • Preparing for work each day, I feel…..
  • My manager/partner/boss is …….
  • When there is a client with an emergency issue, my company supports me and the team by……
  • My co-workers and I support each other by….
  • One of the really cool things my company does is…

Come up with questions of your own.  Think of the things you like or dislike about jobs you have had or one you currently have.  Add the likes to a must-have list.  

TIP:  You are a magnet for your future.  Focus on what you want vs what you don’t.  For example, My job leaves me energized vs. I don’t want a job that leaves me depleted.

This may seem like a silly exercise or backward from how people evaluate work but diving into how you want to feel is just as important, if not more, than the benefits or pay a company offers. Establishing a baseline for how you want your work to feel and what is meaningful work allows you to filter through companies regardless of their packaging.

Big Picture Packaging

Did you ever think being an Accountant would be such an in thing? Seriously, you are a hot commodity these days.  Doesn’t knowing that feel good?  If not, it should.  But.. WARNING… this doesn’t mean showing up late, slacking off, or being arrogant. 😉  My recommendation – lean more toward gratitude to a younger version of you that opted to be an accountant. 

Celebrate the opportunity to be discerning with your career.

Any company or firm packages its employment offers in a way to attract talent.  Just like the boxes holding your favorite new cell phone, they are going to have some buzzwords to draw you in.  Don’t be distracted by the flashy perks but focus on the soulful connections.  Seem woo-woo?  That is where meaningful lies, a marriage of the head and the heart.

What are the big-picture things to consider in your current or future employer and how do you balance them with your values?

Big Picture

  • Size of Company
  • Location
  • Remote, In-person, or Hybrid
  • Service or Product based company
  • Salary
  • Internal dynamics (education, upward mobility, flexibility, PTO, holiday and sick policies, retirement, health care)

Finding alignment is where the magic happens.  

Values that Align 

  • Mission and values of the organization
  • Social issues the company is actively supporting
  • Volunteer opportunities (supported by the company)
  • DEI programs, training, staffing
  • Birth and death policies for time off
  • Mental Health Initiatives
  • Mentorship and/or Coaching available to staff and at what level
  • Personal Development requirements (if any), separate from “technical” continuing education.  Learning to speak in public is equally, if not more, important as knowing the updated tax code or GAAP requirements.

Asking questions that focus on the soul of a company is a great way to determine if you align.  If it isn’t, is the extra $$ worth passing on your values?  That is up to you to decide.  Regardless of your choice, knowing what you are saying yes to is an important factor for success. 

What if you are already in a job you enjoy and don’t plan on leaving?  You can still get curious and ask HR or management about the important stuff.  If your company doesn’t have robust policies in these areas, don’t be shy to ask if they have plans for the future and what the timeline is.  If there is something you are passionate about, offer to be a part of the solution.

How to Marry Your Financial Expertise and Personal Values

When it comes to utilizing the alignment of your financial expertise and personal values, I have good news.  You can do that anywhere.

It isn’t you. It’s me.

It really is true.  Creating a meaningful life by aligning your skills and your values is about you.  Even if your current company has zero social impact initiatives and a lackluster benefit package, it doesn’t have to change who you are and/or how you show up to work.
Be the shining star you are.  Write your own mission and value statement and apply it each day when you go to work and in the work you do.  Team members will be drawn to you, clients will love working with you, and the people you work for will notice.  A company with growing social awareness may not have options for you to make an impact but don’t let that stop you.  You can make an impact outside of work by using your expertise to support a local not-for-profit organization, volunteer outside of work, or teach financial literacy.  
Having a financial background and being a part of an intimate conversation with clients about money is a privilege and opens doors to life-changing conversations many professions don’t get a chance to provide.  Wouldn’t it be great to shift the future of accounting by asking transformative questions and being open to new solutions?  Curious about how other accounting professionals combine their passion, skills, and calling to make an impact?  Accounting Alchemy Network (AAN) may be a great place to start.  AAN is a consortium of accounting professionals asking, “What can we do to make the accounting profession a vehicle for positive change in the world?”.  
One last word of support based upon my own experience of creating a life aligned with my values.   Check in often with your values.   Whether it be a new job, employee, investment, course, or goal, asking if it aligns with your mission and values at the beginning, in the middle, and end will help you stay on track for a happier outcome.  Whenever I am in the middle of a big project, I go back to my core values and ask if they still apply to what I am doing. If they don’t, it is a good opportunity to do a tune-up and get things back on track again. It is a great investment of time to ensure the feeling of being fulfilled in the end.


Let’s break down the cliff notes for the above. 

  • Define what meaningful is to you and what it feels like.
  • Get curious and ask questions
  • Be willing to only say yes to a company with aligned values
  • Volunteer your knowledge and passion
  • Create a wellness plan for your life to ensure what you are doing is aligned with your values
  • ALWAYS BE YOU, regardless of what is happening around you.

Do keep in touch and let me know the impact you are making in the world.  I truly believe people like you will drive the future of change.  If you don’t find a company that checks all the boxes, it may be that you are a future entrepreneur and will create what other amazing accountants are looking for.  


Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Gandhi


With Gratitude,


Robina is a Soul, Self, Wealth Doula, Certified Money Coach, and retired CPA.  She works with successful leaders to guide them as they transform into Soul-cess-full leaders,  Each of these journeys is unique and the alignment of goals and reality allows for authentic relationships across all spectrums of one’s life, including money.  If you want to know more about Robina, you can visit her at 

Do you have questions about business, navigating a career, how to create work/life alignment, money types, and mindset, goal setting, mid-life career changes, or curious about mindfulness?  Soul, Self, Wealth, Relationships, and Spirituality too?  Yes. Business is more than employees, technology, and deadlines. If it is important to you and you want to find a way to incorporate it into your business/career or are curious about what that looks like.  Submit your question to Ask Robina HERE! 


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