Jodie is an accountant living in Toronto.
What is your morning routine?
I am definitely a night owl, mostly out of necessity from balancing a full-time career as an accountant while pursing my CPA. My morning routine is to be up, ready and out the door in 45 minutes or less. Healthy eating is important to me so I always make time for breakfast. I’m usually out the door by 7:30 a.m. to avoid downtown Toronto traffic, as getting out on time can make a big difference between a peaceful or stressful commute. On my drive to work I use the time to catch up with family and friends, many of whom are operating on different timezones. I also take the opportunity to relax. I’ve recently been listening to a podcast called Beautiful Anonymous.
Tell us about your career path.
A question that always comes up for me is, “How did you do such a 180 from social services to accounting?” I graduated from Western University with a BA in Sociology and moved to Scotland shortly after graduation, where I took a social services job with a Scottish Council. It was a rewarding career but upon moving back to Canada a few years later I realized it ultimately wasn’t for me, which was a very scary decision because in today’s world there’s so much pressure to have it all figured out in your early twenties.
I returned to school and began working as an accountant toward my CPA designation. I initially worked in small town southwestern Ontario, then took on a new Intermediate Accountant role in Toronto over a year ago. As I move forward in my career, what’s most important is to continue to be challenged and always progress. I hope one day it results in me reaching a high-level role in a company where I can really make a difference.
What challenges do you or women face in your industry?
Every industry has its challenges, and I can most certainly make the argument that the financial industry is very male-dominated. With that in mind, I think it’s important to always hold onto your ambition, learn as much as you can and know that you are an important force in driving your own success.
What advice would you give to girls who want to be the next you?
Never be afraid to make big changes in life. I’m a big believer in the age old saying, “Nothing worth having comes easily.” You should never be afraid to make big career changes, and simply because you start out on a certain path doesn’t mean you can’t make diversions or explore a whole new path all together. I truly believe it’s never too late to chase your dreams, whether you’re just starting out or 10-plus years into your career. Life is about experiences, and through those experiences you figure out what you love and what brings you happiness. Just don’t forget to also chase “your happy” and to always pause and smell every rose you can along the way.
How do you separate work life from your personal life?
It’s definitely a work in progress, especially to be pursing my designation while working full time. I’d say I’ll never have a true separation between work and my personal life because they both influence me and are therefore intertwined. I work hard to maintain this balancing act between my loved ones and my career. There’s a common belief that, out of the two, it’s loved ones who suffer, but luckily I have the best family and friends anyone could ask for. They’re understanding and supportive and remind me how important it can be to leave work behind and make time to enjoy life. They’re never afraid to give me a reality check at every opportunity, and I value that greatly.
What inspires you?
I find inspiration through people. My father is at the top of my list. He loves what he does and he always instilled a belief in me that the key to success is loving what you. He pushes me to never be afraid of failure, to use it to excel and embrace whatever changes come along. His job in academia meant there was lot of moving for me and my family growing up, from the United States to the U.K. to Canada. This really shaped who I am because I was able to embrace change from a young age and build love for new people and cultures. I’ll always be the first one to go say hello to stranger and strike up a conversation.