Lately it has been kind of rough for me. I have started getting interviews and not doing too badly, but I have found something unfortunate. Every time I have an interview with a well paying job that pays in the approximate range of my last job there is a screaming in my head.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not crazy (too badly) but part of me is so resistant to working in the higher paid accounting field. Especially in the field where I am routinely asked to do something that is not what I believe to be the proper way to handle it. Being a tax accountant means as a general rule you push real hard to get deductions. You push hard enough in places where I feel it is inappropriate. I guess I am not cut out to hide rich people’s money (or corporate money). It seriously bothers me.

This bothering also is there for things like my last job as a Fund/Accounting Analyst. Supposedly my job was to accurately account for all activity in the funds I controlled (over 100 million in revenues per year for my two big funds and two smaller agencies). That isn’t what I did, I was told to do some quasi-acceptable things.

Originally I was hired because I had been the Auditor in Charge for the prior three years, with the agency’s auditor. I had been responsible to review their financial records. The entity is HUGE, so I generally found no “material” issues, but I hadn’t been sent to do the “accountability audit” (I only did financial statement and federal grant audits) so I couldn’t dig into their actual procedures. After doing this for a few years I felt good about the employer. A job opened up and it paid good money (about 10k more than I make as an auditor) so I tried it out.

I was told by the employer that they hired me for what they said was my ability to know what the rules/interpretations were and to improve the funds. What I was actually hired for was to make sure that my employer did not run into trouble with the auditors, but not by doing it right, but by knowing how to “caress” the numbers (nothing illegal, but definitely not what I would consider right as an auditor).

My first day on my new employers told me that I was now a “hider not a finder” (direct quote). I thought they were joking, but they weren’t.

Fast forward ten months and I eventually lost my job mainly due to the fact I wouldn’t do that kind of accounting and when we were audited I provided all my information to the auditors (there were no problems, I knew there would be no problems with my stuff, but I wasn’t going to make it harder for them, I just wanted them to wrap up and end my portion). There were other details, including no training that made me angry. I suspect they knew I had applied at a couple other jobs and they wanted me gone before my probationary period was over.

The fortunate thing was that Unemployment Insurance determined they had no “cause” to release me, so I am eligible for unemployment and we aren’t sinking very quickly now.

Fast forward to now. I honestly am very much happier not working for them. However the conundrum I have is my future employers. I can get another job that isn’t too much less of a pay cut, but it would require part of my soul. Or I could go to some sort of audit job or a non-profit job but it would be a serious reduction in my ability to take care of my wife (at least a 30% or more drop in pay, at least $20,000 a year drop, sadly there are currently no positions at my old auditor employer).

Honestly, I don’t mind overall the drop in pay, but it would be barely more than what I make on unemployment and I am terrified I won’t be able to support my wife until she graduates (and to a lesser extent I won’t be able to support my parents when they need help). It isn’t about wanting to be rich, but the drop in more than 1,800 a month is freaking me out.

Some people have told me to just work it through temporarily, but I don’t think I can fake it with jobs I abhor at the interview level, let alone job level. I do have a few fed jobs that are in the works, they are a smaller drop and can pay better over time (and I don’t feel like I lost my soul) so I hope those eventually pan out. Until then I wake up at 4am worried how I am going to take care of my wife.

Although honestly I would rather take a lower paying job and then work at the mall on the weekends to offset as much as possible then sell my soul to a firm that I can’t believe in.

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