Choices and second chances

Gina S. Detera Assurance Partner, Ethics and Business Conduct Leader, PwC Philippines 11 May 2018

(Accounting-is-like-life thoughts on Mother’s Day)

Here’s another non-technical piece from me, after nine months. Lately, I’ve been busy with a number of things at home. I cannot imagine that this was possible for a working mom like me, with the kind of work that I am doing. I’m sure many of you are familiar with how busy the work schedule of an auditor or an accountant can be.

But the choices I’ve been making have been bringing positive results for me as a wife, as a mom, and even as a partner in the firm. So instead of boring you with another technical piece, I thought of continuing my last non-technical article about making choices regarding career and personal life, hopefully to inspire other working moms out there. I thought that this would be timely, given that Mother’s Day is just two days away.

I previously wrote that work-life balance is no longer possible, but work-life choice is. You choose how to make your personal life work while making choices to be successful in your career. Again, allow me to go back to the topic that accounting is like life – force-balance your life and soon, you will get tired and end up not seeing things work. Worst of all, you will become the source of your own unhappiness, both at work and at home.
Based on my experience, making a choice will not always be easy, as it will sometimes entail making sacrifices.

We may even come to a point and ask ourselves whether or not we really do have a choice. It will take a lot of effort but if you are committed to making your choices work, achieving that “balance” will not be as difficult, much less impossible. In my case, as a partner of the firm, I can make my schedule work and be able to prioritize personal activities (my kids’ school events, time with my husband, bonding with my dad and siblings, church activities, and other projects outside of work).

I heard from one Sunday message that God gave us free will. We have the freedom to choose, but note that the choices we make bring consequences. We choose to follow the right path and follow the rules, we choose to prioritize our family, and we choose to spend more time in building our career. But we deal with the consequences of our choices – it could be happiness or sadness, contentment or insecurity, peace or conflict, or love or hate.

As parents, we are responsible for helping our children prepare to make their own life choices. We can encourage them to learn to be patient with themselves when things do not work out as planned, and to speak up and make choices as they grow up. We can guide them while they are young in deciding on sports and hobbies to take up, restaurants to go to for family dinners, books to read, and shows or movies to watch. As they grow up, we involve them in making decisions that will affect them in the long term, such as the college course to pursue and schools to consider next year, or simpler ones, such as where to go for the next family vacation.

Definitely, it will not be a perfect situation all the time – but know, too, that there is always the next chance to make things better. Then you go through another round of making choices. I personally made many wrong choices in the past and I am grateful to the firm and the people who had been supportive and patient in helping me become a better me.

I am happy and proud to have chosen to stay and pursue my career with PwC, and I am proud to be part of this firm with a purpose – to build trust in society and solve important problems. We are guided by our values – act with integrity, make a difference, care, work together, and reimagine the possible. We make decisions and we always strive to be consistent. We encourage our people to speak up on their challenges and consult the right people in the office.

At home, we try to practice the same. I am blessed to have a husband who fears God and prays every time there is a decision to make. Let me reiterate that it will not always be perfect. Even our marriage is not perfect. As parents, we are not always in a perfect situation in dealing with our kids. But the good news is that we can always choose to make things better.

This content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.

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Gina S. Detera

Assurance Partner, Ethics and Business Conduct Leader

Tel: +63 (2) 8459 3063

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