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The Value of Quitting

by Jen Mueller | Jun 19, 2018
kate casbon headshot

Member Insights from Kate Casbon

If your natural instinct is to never quit and never give up, you might be missing out on a key component to being productive.

Ask WSCPA member Kate Casbon how she gets the most out of her day and she’ll tell you that when she learned how to quit she saw her productivity increase.

“It’s realizing that I’m just banging my head against the wall,” Casbon explains. “I’m now willing to take a break so I can come back at least semi-refreshed. It could be taking a walk, calling it a night and coming in early the next morning, or something else entirely. Everyone says it, but that’s because it’s true. It just comes back to valuing the quality of the time higher than the quantity of the time, which is all that productivity really is.”

As a tax accountant at Clearwater Paper Corporation, Casbon wants to get the most out of her day, but more importantly she’s driven to build relationships and maximize daily interactions. She values conversations as a way to build rapport, not just exchange information. It’s something she suggests as a networking best practice.

“Be genuinely interested in making connections for their own sake and it will be much easier to make them,” Casbon says. “Also, how well a conversation goes depends on both parties, so if you’re striking out with someone and you’re really trying, it’s probably them. Realizing that helped me stop saying that I was ‘just bad at networking’ and encouraged me to keep trying even if I hit a couple of awkward or difficult conversations.”

Some of the most challenging conversations for Casbon take place with people outside the profession because of a common misconception about accountants.

“[People assume] that it involves a lot of math. ‘You must be really good at math,’ is the number one thing that people say when I tell them I’m an accountant.” It’s not the comment that frustrates Casbon as much as knowing people could be overlooking a great opportunity because they assume their skillset doesn’t fit the profession.

“Often I hear this from college students,” Casbon says. “That’s frustrating because they then write accounting off before even taking a class to see if it’s a good fit. I’ve talked to multiple people who had no clue what accounting really involved and ended up with most of a different degree before realizing that they actually liked accounting.”

Numbers didn’t draw Casbon to the profession, the way she approaches problem-solving did.

“For me, accounting is more about organizing and presenting information in as many different, and helpful, ways possible. There are a lot of words, a lot of processes, and a little math.”

Combine that approach with her appreciation for quitting and there’s no stopping her from getting things done.

Thank you, Kate, for sharing your insights and your secret to productivity!

Jen Mueller headshotJen Mueller is a veteran sports broadcaster and the founder of Talk Sporty to Me. She is an expert in business communication and can be contacted at Jen@TalkSportytoMe.com.

Find more practical career tips through the WSCPA’s News and Resources section or attend an upcoming CPE program on personal development.

 

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