The Thanksgiving holiday is one of my favorite weeks of the year. My kid’s school is closed for the week and we have made a family tradition to visit their Grandmother in Arizona. There is no getting up for school, rushing to the office, driving to soccer etc. It is truly the one week of the year that we can slow down and enjoy each other with limited distractions from the world. It also gives me opportunity to reflect on the things I am thankful for.

As I enter the next phase of my career as managing partner, I cannot help but be thankful for the opportunities that a career in public accounting has provided for me. I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I chose public accounting. I chose accounting as a major in college because my father was an accountant. I chose public accounting as my first job because, well, I got a job offer from a public accounting firm. It was that simple. Little did I know the opportunities the career would provide.

Public accounting has presented me with a multitude of enriching experiences. I have gone to the Olympics in Salt Lake City and Sydney, Australia. I have gone salmon fishing in Alaska and trout fishing in Montana. I have been to some of the nicest resorts in the world and have spent time working with the less fortunate on skid row. I have met entrepreneurs, celebrities, politicians, industry titans and thought leaders. I have been blessed with mentors and the opportunity to mentor others. Most importantly, I have made many lifelong friends.

Public accounting has also offered me the gift of lifelong learning. I have the opportunity to engage with clients in new industries and organizations. I am constantly learning from the brilliant people at our firm. I have had the opportunity to earn my MBA while working and spend time learning leadership skills from some of the best minds in the profession. There is not a day that goes by that I do not learn something new.

Most importantly, a career in public accounting has provided me flexibility. Flexibility to be a better father, husband, brother and son. Flexibility to care for myself. To stay healthy. Flexibility to be the best person I can be to myself, my family and the firm. Flexibility to #BeMore.

While I still have a long way to go, I am thankful for what I have achieved to this point in my life and the opportunities my career has provided. I look forward to the opportunity the future provides as GHJ continues its path as a next generation firm.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Tom Barry

Tom Barry, CPA, believes in building a successful life one day at a time. He does that by leveraging technology to create a flexible schedule that allows him to be a father and husband in addition to fully committing to his career at GHJ, where he has worked since 1997. Tom’s role as GHJ’s Managing…Learn More