The demanding world of accounting often comes with its own set of unique challenges, which can have a profound impact on the mental well-being of professionals in the field. In a recent episode of the Journal of Accountancy Podcast, senior editor Courtney Vien engaged in an insightful conversation with certified executive coach Amber Setter, shedding light on the critical topic of mental health for CPAs. In this blog post, we’ll delve into some key takeaways from their discussion, exploring the nuances of mental well-being in the CPA profession and how individuals can seek the help they might need.
Amber Setter, an experienced accountant who has made the transition to a certified executive coach, delivers “transformational coaching.” The results of her coaching engagements are more than the achievement of external goals.This approach empowers accountants to gain a deeper understanding of who they are, what drives their performance, and what they truly long to do with their life.. .. Setter emphasizes a crucial point – professional success doesn’t always equate to personal fulfillment.
It’s vital to distinguish between coaching and therapy, as they serve distinct purposes. Coaching is centered on the present and future, aiding individuals in setting and attaining their goals. In contrast, therapy often delves into past experiences to address current challenges. Amber r advises that it’s important to engage an accredited coach who can discern when a client may require therapy, thereby ensuring they receive the most appropriate form of support tailored to their specific needs.
Setter offers invaluable insights into recognizing burnout, likening it to a smartphone with a rapidly draining battery. You can see when your phone has 10% charge left; but do you know how it feels for you when your energy is running that low? Signs of burnout can manifest in various ways, including reduced focus, alterations in eating patterns, heightened anxiety, and even physical symptoms such as shortness of breath or panic attacks. Recognizing these signs is crucial, as they serve as a clear indicator that intervention and support are needed.
A prevalent issue in the accounting profession is the reluctance to seek help, often driven by misconceptions. Some CPAs may be oblivious to the necessity of seeking assistance, viewing it as a sign of weakness, or believing they simply don’t have the time for it. Alas, if only therapy sessions were deemed to be a billable activity. Setter takes it upon herself to dismantle these misconceptions, highlighting the profoundly positive impact that seeking help can have on both personal well-being and professional effectiveness. Anxiety takes up the space that could be held by intellect.
In the world of accounting, one’s well-being is an indispensable aspect. By recognizing the telltale signs of burnout, offering support to colleagues, and embracing the idea of seeking help when necessary, CPAs can achieve both personal and professional success. It’s important to remember that seeking help is not a sign of weakness; rather, it’s a courageous step towards a healthier, more fulfilling life.
We wholeheartedly encourage everyone in the accounting profession to prioritize their mental well-health. Your health matters, and seeking support can make all the difference in ensuring a long and prosperous career in this demanding field.