We are now in March of 2022 and as you are probably aware, we are still experiencing an unprecedented time of employment changes and upheaval.  Although 2021 was considered the year of the “Great Resignation”, a year when workers quit their jobs at historic rates, it hasn’t ended in 2022.

According to some researchers, the trend has been driven by an economic and psychological shift as employers struggled, and often failed, to tempt anxious employees to return to industries that have too often treated them as dispensable.  This might be an oversimplification, but it doesn’t change the fact that millions of people left their jobs in 2021 and, although that trend is slowing down, it’s still happening today.

While there are many industries that have felt the effects of the “Great Resignation”, this trend has had a significant impact on the accounting profession.  Since turnover is nothing new to accountants and there are many factors that have gone into the reason why accountants are either switching jobs, going out on their own, or leaving the profession altogether, the most common reason during the time of the pandemic is having remote work options.

In this technologically advanced time, there has never been a greater demand for remote options for accountants, whether you’re a mother, father, or have no children at all.  The interesting thing is that the pandemic has shown the accounting industry how little we need to actually be in a typical office space in order to get our work done, to meet with our clients, and to provide the best services possible.

The truth is that, although people are leaving their jobs in record numbers, there’s also an even greater sense of job insecurity than ever before.  If you think about it, the days of having a “job for life” are over – that might have been the case for our grandparents or parent’s generation, but that’s not the world we live in today.

It doesn’t matter whether you are just starting out in your accounting career or whether you are a seasoned employee, job security is unfortunately a thing of the past.  As private companies and public accounting firms merge, evolve, and grow, the fact that’s never going to go away is that change is inevitable – the type of change that will most likely affect your belief in job security and what that holds for your future.

I don’t want you to think that I’m being intentionally “doom and gloom”, but I also don’t want you to bury your head in the sand and not face the reality of the world we live in, and how you can take steps now in order to ensure success for you and your family.  Leaving the security of your accounting job does NOT have to be such a scary undertaking and can actually afford you more control than you might imagine that you have with your current job.

If you’ve considered leaving the security of your accounting job, I believe it’s important to deal with two things – the idea of leaving and the idea of security.  Once you have a better handle on both of these, you will be able to make much better decisions and have a greater sense of control, no matter what you choose to do.  

This week I’m going to discuss why leaving can be so challenging and why the concept of security is so enticing.


Why leaving can be so challenging


If you haven’t listened to podcast episode #158 – Why You Should Love Your Job Before You Leave It – I suggest you check it out after you listen to this episode.  In that episode I discussed how the idea of loving your job before you leave it might be confusing, but that’s because we’re so used to blaming our job for our unhappiness.

We’re so used to thinking that we’re miserable because of our boss, our coworkers, the workload, or the expectations, to name just a few of the reasons that I hear from most accountants.  But until you understand that nothing and no one can actually create feelings of frustration or the desire to leave, you’re going to bring that same lack of understanding to the next place you go or the next iteration of your career.

The reason that leaving a job can be so challenging is because of a few factors:

  • Our entire educational system has taught us to be good employees so the idea of leaving a job to get another one, or possibly going out on your own and becoming your own boss, isn’t the messaging we get as we’re growing up
  • We’re afraid of what other people will think about our decision to leave
  • We don’t want to disappoint people who have supported us
  • We fear the unknown
  • We’ve tied our job to our identity

Even with the “Great Resignation”, another reason that I think that accountant moms can have a challenging time leaving the security of their job is because they’re also concerned with how their decision will affect their family.  While you may not be someone that has tied your job to your identity, you might be challenged by the idea of what other people will think as well as the fear of the unknown.

Accountants by our very nature are risk averse, but when you add the layer of motherhood to our resume, we tend to believe risk factors increase exponentially.  Even if we’re miserable, underpaid, or overworked at our jobs, we still convince ourselves that at least it’s what’s familiar – even if it’s not what we truly want, we stay until something makes us realize that leaving is actually better than staying.

This has happened numerous times in my life, but the one time that really stands out for me was early in my career when I worked for Deloitte.  I previously shared on the podcast that I had a tax partner tell me that the reason he wasn’t treating me fairly was because “I was taking a job away from a man”.

Even after the partner told me that, I still struggled with the idea of leaving, but thankfully I was contacted by a tax partner at Ernst & Young about a position he thought I would be a good match for.  I took the job and almost doubled my salary, had my own office, my own secretary, and my own parking spot – I had achieved the brass ring that most people would die for.

But about a year later, my grandmother suddenly died and a lot of things became clearer to me.  I didn’t want to miss out on my 6 year-old daughter’s kindergarten school trip or my 3 year-old son’s karate classes – I didn’t want to have to rely on a neighbor to get my daughter off the bus and have my babysitter take my son to the zoo.

Although I knew I wanted to leave my accounting job, I was also terrified for many reasons.  I was afraid of what people would think of my decision, I didn’t want to disappoint my parents who had supported me, and I was afraid of how my husband and I would handle things financially – I wasn’t leaving to go work somewhere else, I was leaving to be with my children.  

But here’s what I want to share with you, that I hope will help you if you’re considering leaving your job – it’s not about what you’re moving away from, it’s about what you’re moving towards.  I knew it was going to be uncomfortable, but I decided that I would stay home for two years and once my son started kindergarten, I would go back to work – until then, I was moving towards more time with my kids, more time to figure out what I really wanted, and more time to get to know me better.

I’ll be honest – if the opportunity to have the training and support had been available at that time, like CPA MOMS offers with the franchise opportunity, I would have jumped at the chance to be my own boss, make my own hours, hire other accountant moms, and become part of a supportive sisterhood.  I would have loved to have had the incredible done-with-you type of program that CPA MOMS offers but my situation was in the late 1990’s and unfortunately opportunities like these weren’t available.

But whether you’re considering leaving your accounting job to go out on your own or not, just know that it’s completely normal to worry about leaving.  Just don’t let the fact that it’s uncomfortable be the reason you don’t consider it – change is supposed to be uncomfortable, and that’s okay.

So the best way to handle the discomfort that may come with making a decision about whether to leave or not is two-fold:

  • The first step is to decide what you’re going to think BEFORE you decide what you’re going to do.  For example, you have to decide that you’re going to think “This is the best decision for myself and my family” BEFORE you leave.  Before you take any action, you need to use your higher brain’s ability to make a decision ahead of time and choose what you’re going to think about your decision before you take any action.  This before step is incredibly helpful.
  • The second important step is, once the decision is made, you need to manage your mind and have your own back by choosing to think that you made the right decision, as opposed to second guessing yourself.  This is the AFTER step.  But here’s the thing – don’t be surprised when you have thoughts about making the “wrong” decision, or experience doubt.  When that happens just know that what makes something “right” or “wrong” is what you decide to think about it.  I recommend that you choose to decide to think that you made the right decision, allow your brain to look for all the proof that you made the right decision, and question any oppositional thoughts that come up.

So now that you have a better understanding of why leaving can be so challenging, let’s talk about why the concept of security is so enticing.  Again, it’s totally normal to be uncomfortable leaving a job, but just because it’s normal doesn’t mean it needs to stop you.


Why the concept of security is so enticing


One of the biggest struggles we have when considering leaving a job is the idea of leaving the security of the job.  As I said before, we convince ourselves that whether we’re unhappy, overworked, or underpaid, at least we have some sense of security with the job.

If this is something you struggle with, let me just tell you that it’s also completely normal.  Our brains have been hardwired to seek safety and security for our survival, sending warning signals when it senses danger, in order to keep us alive.

But it’s important to understand that the primitive part of our human brain hasn’t changed much from the time when humans were cave dwellers.  Therefore, it equates A LOT of the situations in our lives as threatening to our survival, just as it did when a saber-toothed tiger was waiting outside the cave to attack, except that now it assumes that things like a note from your child’s teacher or your husband’s negative comment about dinner equates to the same danger as that tiger.

That primitive part of our brain wants us to stay safe in the cave and to not leave what’s familiar because it’s just not programmed to see change as anything other than threatening.  If our brains had its way, we’d all stay in one job and in one place until we die, living very sheltered lives.  

But thankfully we also have a higher brain that has evolved as we have evolved.  This higher brain can see the big picture, it can make decisions and plan for the future, it can manage our emotions, and it can take action even when something feels challenging to do, like leaving the security of an accounting job.

The truth is that the feeling of security is really created by our thoughts, not by our circumstances.  If you think about it, you feel secure in your job, or maybe in your marriage, because of what you choose to think about your job or your marriage – but your company could have a merger, you could be let go, and your spouse could decide to leave.

Here’s what I really want you to understand – what makes something feel secure to you is what you choose to think about it, not the thing itself.  When you understand this important fact, then you can decide to feel secure whether you stay or whether you leave because it’s never been the job that has given you a sense of security – it’s always been your thoughts about the job that actually has given you that sense of security. 

So why does this matter?  Because if the idea of security is keeping you from leaving, you need to know that you can feel secure even if you leave.  Again, the only reason you’ve felt secure is because of what you’ve been choosing to think and believe, not because of the job itself.

Honestly, that is the best news because whatever you decide to do, you can choose to feel secure.  If you decide to leave your job and start your own firm like the CPA MOMS franchisees have, you get to create the feeling of security by what you choose to think about your decision – thoughts like “This is the best decision I could make for myself and my family” or “This is going to put me in charge of my financial security”, are just some of the optional thoughts you could choose in order to create the feeling of security.

And when doubt creeps in, which it will, just remember that it was never your job that made you feel secure – that was all you.  You’re not leaving the feeling of security behind – you’re taking it with you because you’re the one who created it in the first place based on what you chose to think.

So whether you choose to leave or not, just know that with a little mind management and a better understanding of how your brain works, you have much more control to create the future you want for you and your family.  




  • It doesn’t matter whether you are just starting out in your accounting career or whether you are a seasoned employee, job security is unfortunately a thing of the past. 
  • Even if we’re miserable, underpaid, or overworked at our jobs, we still convince ourselves that at least it’s what’s familiar – even if it’s not what we truly want, we stay until something makes us realize that leaving is actually better than staying.
  • If you’ve considered leaving the security of your accounting job, I believe it’s important to deal with two things – the idea of leaving and the idea of security.