CEO of HBC
Hours not to reason why if work is fun
What are the career prospects for an accountant versus a civil engineer in Hong Kong over the coming 10 to 20 years? I have read many terrible comments about the long working hours and low salaries for accountants on various discussion forums, is this really true?
Regardless of the profession, there is no short cut to success. I used to work for a Big Four accounting firm and some people worked long hours and some didn't. It is an irrelevant point if you relate working to learning, fun and making a contribution.
For example, imagine that you have a pet project that you like very much - I am sure that you will work long hours to ensure it is successful. The work environment is becoming more project-orientated. Very often, projects don't go smoothly. Project members therefore need to be flexible and treating a job as a "9 to 5" gig is rare and unrealistic nowadays.
I assume that you have qualifications both as an accountant and a civil engineer. If so, you need to answer this question: what would give you satisfaction and fulfilment? Maybe in the end you'll find that neither career is the one you really want. I have many friends who have careers that are not related to their university degrees. I have a degree in electronic engineering, yet I have not done engineering for 30 years.
When I came across your question I thought of a quote. The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered: "Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future, but as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived."
I wish you all the best in finding a career that you enjoy, even if you have to work late every day.