I saw a post with this title over at Jessica Bakkers‘ lovely blog of the same name. You can read it here: https://jessicabakkers.com/2020/08/07/getting-to-know-you-whats-your-day-job/. I thought it was wonderful to learn more about her outside of her blogging and writing persona. I decided I would follow her good example and tell you a bit about my day job.
I am a chartered accountant and it took me six years to qualify which is one year less than the normal time frame for this qualification in South Africa. I did my degree part time through a correspondence university and managed to do my full course credits each year as well as work as an assistant in a video shop. I used to work the afternoon/evening shift from 3 p.m. until 9.30 p.m. and study from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. every morning/early afternoon.
I was fortunate as I won a scholarship for the university after my first year and didn’t have to pay a cent for my second to fourth years at university. This was a great boon as I didn’t need to take a student loan. I was also selected for a part-time bursary at a local college and was able to attend lectures for selected courses I was taking. I really enjoyed being able to attend classes for the more complex subjects like statistics and economics. I also enjoyed being able socialise with other students.
After I finished my degree, I started my articles at a “Big Four” auditing and accounting firm in Johannesburg. I worked full time doing my first year of articles while I did my honours degree through the correspondence university. I successfully completed my honours at the end of that year and went on to take my board examinations during my second year of articles.
I met my husband during my first year of my articles, but I was very diligent and our relationship never impacted on my results or academic performance. I finished all my academics after five years and had all my core work hours by the end of my second year of articles. I was very lucky as the firm let me move to corporate finance at the beginning of my third year instead of completing another year in audit. I was not a big audit fan although my husband is an auditor.
I loved corporate finance and I have been involved in that world ever since. I love deals and transactions. It’s like doing a giant puzzle, you get the picture of what the client wants to do and once you know the end point, you work backwards to get all the pieces in place to build the financial history and the deal “story”. I am fortunate as I have an innate ability to work out what the end result needs to be and to work out how to achieve that result using the existing accounting and legal rules and regulations. Everything I do is strictly above board but I am good at working backwards and juggling the pieces into position.
During my time in corporate finance, I wrote a series of publications about investing in Africa, the African debt market and investing in Africa. These were well received and I learned a lot about writing and publishing. They were fat publications of over 400 pages and covered all the main financial markets and stock exchanges in Africa. I also did comparisons of the African stock exchanges to others around the world and gained a good working knowledge of the exchanges in London, Beijing, Toronto, Australia and New York. I have also worked with a lot of the Euronext exchanges (EU) and the rules and regulations of the SEC (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission).
I still do a lot of work for various stock exchanges and work predominantly with London and the USA. I am currently also working with Australia which makes for some interesting working hours for me.
So that is a little bit of information about my work life and what I do for all the hours in between my blogging and writing and home schooling.
What about you? What do you do when you’re not blogging or writing? Let me know in the comments.