Tell Us about Yourself - Current Occupation

Just a simple thread for the OzB community; thought it'd be good to get an idea of everyone's occupational backgrounds and provide a platform for some interesting questions and discussions regarding certain jobs and occupations.

I'll start off:

Age: Mid 20s
Current Title: External Auditor (intermediate)
Industry: Professional Services
Location: Melbourne

PS: If you have any questions about my job, ask away :-)


  • +6

    Homeduties, mid 40s, saving as much as possible on groceries using OzBargain and supermarket loyalty programs. I have no idea what margins WW and Coles make on groceries but I'm sure they make a loss on all of my purchases above $30.

    I could be ignorant here, but Auditor sounds like a senior position with great responsibility and experience needs. How did you get there by your mid 20s? Well done anyway.

    • +5

      Auditing is a surprisingly youth based position. Audit firms are set up in a almost pyramid set up, lots of entry level auditing jobs which you start in right out of uni and then as you move up people will transfer out to commerce/private/government jobs etc and the ones that stay move up.
      Also like a pyramid scheme the people at the entry level get paid shit all (hence ozbargain) but can make a lot of money if you move your way up.

      Source: I am an auditor

      • +3

        That's basically the gist of it. The graduate/entry level auditor jobs can be a very soul crushing journey for many, and from what I gather most of it is due to lack of guidance and support from the senior team. Many seniors have enough to deal with as it is, and it just takes an annoying or 'useless' grad to push them over the edge. This is why a lot of grads tend to stick it out themselves and learn things the hard way (by making mistakes and getting grilled for it). The fact that grads typically get the crappy/mindless tasks are also what makes them question their decision to start off in audit.

        With all that being said, once you're past that stage and are given more responsibilities you definitely feel a greater sense of purpose in what you do, and you start to appreciate all the valuable skills you're gaining which you will then carry with you throughout your career.

  • +7

    Great thread, you got me interested.

    Any thought of moving away from Auditing? If so, I recommend you start looking now as once you're 30+ you will be in auditing rest of your career.

    • So what do you do? Finance/accounting graduate?

    • +1

      I'm pretty content so far. A lot of people like to talk down auditors but the way I see it, it's a great platform to kickstart a career as a graduate.

      My thoughts:
      - Plenty of transferable skills: managing peers, clients, communication, writing/speaking skills, time management, dealing with fairly intensive pressure.
      - I'm usually against good ol ticking and bashing. I try to come up with ways to challenge myself whenever I can just to do things a bit differently and incorporate more of an analytical-level type thinking.
      - I learn to interact and communicate directly with senior management of various companies - CEOs, CFOs, senior managers etc.

      Would I stay in audit in the long run? Honestly I'd want to challenge myself by pursuing other fields in the future, possibly consulting or transactional roles. But for now I reckon I've still got a lot to learn. My plan is to stay in this profession for as long as I can until I've moved up to a senior position, and then consider the options.

  • +6

    "PS: If you have any questions about my job, ask away :-)"


    You are asking OzBers to provide quite specific information about their jobs/professions, but the information you yourself have provided about your own is very vague (relatively meaningless in fact). 'Auditor' is an extremely broad term. Who do you actually work for? Do the 'audits' you conduct include anything related to tax? Or compliance with industrial regulations/laws? Or perhaps government quotas/ratios of some sort (gender/race/etc.)? Or property?

    Or is your job concerned with something else entirely?

    In this thread you are asking others to tell you what they do for a living, so please tell us what YOU ACTUALLY DO ('auditor' does not cut it), first. It is only fair.

    • +8

      You are asking OzBers to provide quite specific information about their jobs/professions,

      Is he? I didn't think so and he even gave an example of what he is looking for.

      • "thought it'd be good to get an idea of everyone's occupational backgrounds"

        Hmmm… maybe you're right, but I guess I thought that asking about 'everyone's occupational background' was a bit of a mis-match with 'AUDITOR'.

        Anyways, I look forward to elaboration by the OP re THEIR OWN 'occupational background'.

        • +5

          This is meant to be a very general and open-ended discussion, I'm literally not even asking for anything specific like what your actual duties are or how much you get paid. So I don't quite get the hostility. But it's all good, no offence taken.

          To give you an answer, max2million has the right idea. I won't babble on but here's a brief summary:
          - Yes I do work at a mid tier firm and I've just included the 'level of experience' just to be a bit more specific (I have yet to reach the audit senior level yet).
          - As an external auditor I'm responsible for the audit of annual financial reports of companies of various sizes in different industries, including not-for-profits. I have also worked on engagements that are not considered audits - such as review engagements (less assurance than an audit), compliance engagements, and agreed upon procedures (no assurance).
          - Being an external auditor does not necessarily mean we just tick and bash. In today's day and age (because to a lot of competition), we also focus heavily on providing value-added services to the client, which could mean providing non-audit related services as well - such as consulting.

          Hope that paints a better picture :)

    • +13

      I disagree. "External auditor" is a narrow definition of a type of auditor. It's for someone who audits reports for external presentation. Primarily, OP would audit annual financial reports. Further, I would make the assumption that OP works for a mid-tier accounting/audit firm, such as BDO or Grant Thornton, as the designation of intermediate implies that there are numerous levels.

      How do I know this? I'm an external auditor and managing director of an audit firm.

      Other types of auditors would be called "internal auditors" or just "auditors".

  • -1

    May I ask you OzH, are you clear on what iykee's "occupational background" is, based on the single word that he/she has supplied to describe it: 'auditor'?

    • +4

      All auditors I know are good at asking questions, offering nothing to nothing in return, and then making you feel like a criminal for it.

      I've done stints at auditing for IT policy compliance and aerospace regulation compliance. I knew an aerospace auditor who was so pedantic that they would write up an engineer for putting his stamp slightly outside the designated box. He was so stuck in the weeds that he never saw the bigger picture….

      • Auditing is a career where after some time it just breaks you, as that's the nature of the job. There is no creativity involved and if you do try you won't last long in the industry.

        • +2

          That was one of the more unique things about the IT auditing I did - the expectation from my boss was to be part of the solution.. Solutions varied from virtualising a failing erp environment onto the first desktop PC I could get my hands on because their production servers were about to shit itself any day and there was literally no running backup; to showing sysadmins how to use system tools to change the admin password on > 2000 pc's because the old one had leaked and they didn't have the manpower to visit them all individually, and people were installing torrent software, etc..

  • +66

    Age: Mid late 20s
    Current Title: Professional Ozbargainer
    Industry: Bargainville
    Location: Ozbargain

    • +6

      Is Bargainville near Boganville?

      • +1

        Are they next to Bougainville? Does bougainvillea grown there?

    • +1

      Education: Master/Dr. of Ozbargaining

      • Education: Master/Dr. of Ozbargaining @ Udemy

    • +1

      I think you mixed up your location and industry

  • +3

    Age: early to mid 30s
    Current title: senior principal scientist (R&D)
    Future job: beach bum/house husband
    Current location : Melbourne

    • +4

      Senior principal scientist moving to a paradise island. Are you moving to a Bond villain island ?

      • +1

        Funny you should ask… link

        • +2

          I assume that's pre-explosions.

    • +1

      Which branch of science are you in? I've never seen this position before.

      • Most of my peers have Phds in molecular biology ,genetic epidemiology,biotechnology, immunology,pharmacology ..etc and are employed by big pharmas. I don't. I'm a bit of an oddity: my background is in engineering and physics ("the boring kind", as I'm often told at dinner parties).

        I work for an international group of research scientists.My work has no real-life, practical applications…at least not in the near future. But someday, maybe… :)

        • Like Leonard from Big Bang theory. Good chances that you will get a hottie like Kaley Cuoco . Wait & watch.

        • @ozzz: I'm already married…to an out-of-my-league hottie:) Too bad she wants me to quit my job and be a house-husband :(

        • +1

          Ha, I have a background in Physics as well! Though I'm doing a PhD in chemical engineering. Mind sharing how to get such job? Where to look for jobs? I've been searching online with not much of luck and I'm doubting my employment prospect after graduation. Still, I like it.

          I think I understand the "boring" part, every time I tell people about my physics degree they look at me as if I'm something else. When I studied honours there were 2 student in the course. 2 students! And then there's the chemistry department with heaps of people, heck even mathematics was better.

        • @lonelyhero: Hey :)

          When I studied honours there were 2 student in the course. 2 students! And then there's the chemistry department with heaps of people, heck even mathematics was better.

          Maths dept was where you went to pick up chicks in my time. It's where I meant my mrs :)

          As for the job,I got head-hunted straight out of uni and loved it so much that I never left. But that was 10 years ago and things were different back then. It's tough out there now. I know at least 2 chemical engineers who had to go back to academia after they got retrenched and couldn't find anything else.

          I wish I had some wise advice to pass on but I don't - except that if you're enjoying it then it was worth doing. Take any job offer you get, just so you can get a foot in the door. Once you have a job, then you can start looking for your 'dream job'.

          All the best:)

        • +1

          @Jar Jar Binks:

          I know two chemical engineering graduates working at Uniqlo because they can't find any jobs :(

        • @Banana: how long since they have graduated?

        • @GameChanger:
          1 or 2 years ago I think!

    • No offence but I thought you were older.

      • +1

        Really? Turning 34 in a couple of months.

        • +1

          I thought you were in your 40s. Not in a bad way just life experience and the commenting insight you have provided etc.

          Thank you for everything :)

          Edit - and a premature happy birthday! I won't be in Australia so this website will really become superfluous.

  • +4

    Age: almost 30
    Current job: stay at home investor, my family calls me a fund manager haha
    Location: Melbourne, but I might shift my operations to Bali or somewhere :)

    • Would love to know more about that cloudy. You day trading? What sort of instruments? What courses you did etc

      • +1

        I don't day trade, unless for some reason the purchase price and my estimated price converge in one day, highly unlikely since I buy at some 25-50% less than what I think something is worth.

        So unless something jumps 25%+ in one day, I'm unlikely to sell soon. Though I've had some experience where I've only held stuff for less than a week, but never a day.

        I use no instruments, all u need is some common sense and deep understanding of what drives what something is worth.

        I did a business degree, and started a masters in finance, but I soon figured no uni book (in australia at least) can help. There are plenty of things taught in finance schools that just distract one of what is most important. So I ditched it.

        • What were you doing prior to this?

          You must have a large sum saved, where the dividends and capital gains is suffice to support your lifestyle?

        • +6

          Sorry to break this cloud but as an option trader, it's highly unlikely that a "value investor" (isn't that what everyone is??) would consistently achieve 30 % returns - (25 -30 increase/decrease opportunities are mid - low cap. Trend are also usually downwards, that's why I learnt options and how to make money when market it both up and down.

          I would be careful with this kind of comments, mislead people. Unless you are buffet as a value investor today gains are tommorow losses, PLUS IF YOU ARE NOT SELLING DAILY ITS ALL PAPER GAINS

        • -1

          @martriv: Yep you're spot on, you be need large amount of capital just to play this game. Suppose the same can be said about day trading, but most trade under a propriety firm where they use investors capital.

        • @GameChanger:
          This not advice of any kind but I would suggest people to learn how to trade options, I retired with that and didn't had a crazy amount of capital when started trading for myself, what I had was a system that would make me money regardless the direction the share was heading.
          Value investing in my opinion is a big fat lie and so are 8 percent per annum returns from the stock market.(words from someone who started as a broker)

        • @martriv:

          So how long have you been trading options for? And what would you say is your average annual return been?

        • @cloudy:
          Ok so let's assume it's January 1st, I have 100,000 in my bank account. I buy a naked put to buy 100,000 worth of wbc at a strike price of 29.00. That equals to 3,333 stocks. I collect a one dollar premium per stock and get a total of 3,333 dollars. Let's assume the put has a one month duration.
          So let's say that it dosen't execute I just keep that money but let's assume it does. And the stock is trading at 27.71 and the buyer of my option executes, that's not bad given I purchased the stock at 27. I then wait for the market to rally and sell a covered call for my wbc stock, I get a dollar premium and I sell it for a duration of two months. Let's assume the following scenario, the call option never exercises throughout the 12 months (I put 6 for the year (every 2 months) that means I collect dividend ( 2 Dollars per share and then a dollar for every call I made (I did 6 pee share) that means 8 Dollars plus my original dollar to acquire I made a total of 9 from a stock of 30. That I paid 27 for.
          If the opposite happens and my covered calls all sell then that's money from the capital gain and from the premium and then I repeat. This is one way, although I think it's much more efficient and attractive if you do it with synthetics, but if you wanna start there you go.

        • @martriv:

          Sorry, I'm not sure if I was unclear. But I'm asking if u have done well over a long term.

          I actually know most of what is required of options. I've traded options as well. But thee options market is undeveloped here, so much so my broker stopped their operations here 5 years ago lol and just concentrated in the USA.

        • @GameChanger:

          Business analyst

          My life style is supported by free Domino's thanks to ozbargain

    • +1

      How much money did you save or have invested before you quit your job.. ?

    • +2

      but I might shift my operations to Bali or somewhere :)

      How about panama

    • Mossack Fonseca?

  • Age(mental): early 20s
    Current Title: Gov't officer + full time parent
    Industry: Legal
    Location: Bris

    • Is there such a thing as part-time parent?๐Ÿ˜•

      • +1

        When you split up with your partner and he/she wants the children.

        You'd be part time parent, AND also half broke. But I suppose the latter wont happen if he's using his occupation well to cover himself.


        • "Part-time parent" is such an oxymoron.

        • +1

          Half broke is still better than full broke right?

  • Age: 20s with a few years of experience ;)
    Job: Network Engineer - do everything IT though
    Industry: IT/Telecom
    Location: VIC based, but working across 2 states

  • +3

    Age: Mid 20s
    Job: currently a management consultant at a Big 4 accounting firm. Previously spent a year out in industry as an accountant (travel industry) and the three years before that as an external FINANCIAL auditor at another Big 4 firm.
    Industry: Professional Services
    Location: Melbourne

    • THIS! I believe you are living my career goals :)

      • +6

        Oh good! If you have any questions then feel free to ask.

        Disclaimer: most of my career progression has been thanks to blind luck.

        • What sort of stuff do you consult on? Is there much movement from accounting/auditing to consulting in your firm?

        • Nah man congrats sounds like you definitely worked hard to get to where you are!
          Currently still studying part-time (working full time), but I will be finishing up end of next year.

        • By blind luck, it was who you knew? Instead of the traditional hiring process?

        • +1

          @ilikeradiohead: Admittedly I have not been in this position for long so my knowledge of the range of work my role may encounter is quite limited unfortunately. What I can say is that I am currently working on a project to implement new systems and processes for a company to monitor the activity for certain customers.

          Hope you can understand that I'd prefer not to give away too much more. Independence, confidentiality and other boring stuff.

          EDIT: I completely neglected to answer your second question, sorry! Normally I would not think so, but in the firm I am with now there is a dedicated consulting division that draws many of the staff from audit which it makes it much easier for people like me to go from accounting to consulting. With that being said, I think audit opens up a lot of doors in a broad range of roles so I would not be too surprised if people went from accounting to consulting via a different career path than the one I took myself.

        • +10

          @GameChanger: Not really to be honest. I don't have any connections in the Big 4 at all. Broadly I consider myself lucky because of good timing and good people around me. In more detail:

          • The majority of the interview for my first job (as an auditor) really fell into place. I was placed with a good bunch in the group interview component where I did not need to fight over many people to speak. Also, I had answers to the partner interview questions because of an article I read in the newspapers only the day before. I was lucky to be born with a knack for the type of questions psychometric testing asks though unfortunately it doesn't seem like the firms really place much weight on these results anyway.
          • I only JUST got my CA. Luckily scraped passes for each unit.
          • I was lucky enough to be placed in good engagements during my time as an auditor so I could learn and show off to supportive and influential managers/partners. I strongly believe that was pivotal to my promotion. Many of my group, most of them categorically smarter than myself, by sheer luck (or lack of) were placed on less ideal engagements and found career progression more challenging.
          • I was lucky enough to find a job very quickly when I decided to leave audit. The company I went to had some major changes while I was there so I was lucky to have learned a broad range of skills and was exposed to experiences I would not normally have gotten in that role.
          • The firm I'm with now came and approached me at a perfect time - just as I was thinking of leaving industry. The division I am with now is in a growth phase at the moment so I feel that meant they were more keen to bring people (i.e. myself) into the company.

          So yeah. Lots of luck. I traveled a straighter, smoother path than many of my peers not from my own strengths but because I was just at the right place at the right time with the right people.

        • @matthewli88: Thank you Matthew for the detailed reply!

          Congrats on getting your CA, you're lucky they afforded you so much time and it didn't impact your future job prospects.

          How did you land the travel accountant gig? Its very unusual for a auditor to be picked up as a corporate accountant; though I am assuming you had no experience in processing accounting functions?

        • +1

          @GameChanger: Doing my CA with a Big 4 firm rather than a smaller firm is definitely another reason why I am lucky! There are so many benefits with doing a CA in a Big 4 firm - they pay for it, they give you heaps of additional leave for studying, they provide additional tutoring, and you are doing it with forty other people who are all in the same boat as yourself. The support I got while doing my CA was phenomenal. Really, the optimal conditions for doing a professional accreditation.

          I got the accountant gig via recruiters. I had four recruiters working for me so the opportunities came in thick and fast. It's not that unusual for an auditor to move to a corporate accountant though. Most of the people I worked with originally have moved on to financial/management accounting roles. And correct - I had zero experience in the processing side of accounting. Only what I picked up as an auditor which was much, much, much more high level than anything a corporate accountant does.

        • +1

          @Cluelessness11: I feel quite guilty in saying this… but not really - I didn't really work that hard to get where I am now. See my response to GameChanger below (above?).

          Good luck with your work and studies! And the offer is always open if you have any questions about careers and stuff. I'll try my best to answer but again, see my response to GameChanger.

        • +3

          @matthewli88: Good things happen to good people :)

        • because of an article I read in the newspapers only the day before

          I'm sure luck played some part in your career, but I also feel there's a case of the harder you work, the luckier you get. After all, you did read the relevant articles in the paper.

        • +2

          @matthewli88: i like your humbleness

        • @matthewli88:

          First of all, congrats on your new gig! Sounds exciting to take on a completely new challenge/facet.

          1. I'll have to agree with you on the CA thing. I'm also fortunate that my firm pays for my studies but because my firm is by no means as resourceful as Big 4, we don't really get additional support (like tutoring). I'm still surviving thus far so I guess I consider myself lucky :P

          2. A lot of my ex-colleagues have also moved on to different jobs such as a management accountant in a listed confectionery company, and one ended up as a senior finance accountant at Kogan.

          3. Definitely agree with you on the high level stuff. We've always just looked at the accounts and processes at a very high level without drilling down too much. But this really taught me what I consider a valuable transferable skill, which is learning how to assess trends, detailing high level analyses and have a very broad "big picture" way of thinking.

  • +1

    Age: early-mid 20s
    Current title: student
    Industry: Healthcare
    Location: Rural Northern Victoria

    • Hang one, aren't you the former Prime Minister of Australia?

  • Age: Mid 20's
    Current title: Equities Consultant
    Industry: Banking & Finance
    Location: Adelaide

  • +16

    KPop Star, trying to recreate success with internet music video from 4 years ago.

    • +6

      has it really been that long.

      sigh … i'm getting old.

  • +4

    Age: Late 20s
    Current Title: Radiographer
    Industry: Health
    Location: Perth

    • You enjoy it?

      • +1

        Yeah its a good job. Work can be a bit boring at times, but there is a fair amount of variety and the crew I work with are great. Always good to see interesting cases and we can mix it up by going to Theatre, CT, Portables and outpatients. Pays not too bad either considering the work we do.

        • +1

          A friend of mine is currently a radiographer. Pay's good from what I've heard but he does a lot of variable graveyard shifts, meaning his sleeping patterns are pretty much royally screwed and he doesn't get to hang out with friends all that often. So I'm kinda torn as to whether all that is worth it in the end.

        • @excelsior: Horses for courses. Honestly doesn't bother me too much. We do do a lot of weekend work, approximately 1/3 of our shifts are out of hours, i.e. weekends/evenings/midnight shifts. I find it has its benefits, such as being able to go to the bank during the day, or going out for brunch during weekdays (I hate going to breakfast places during the weekend, too busy!). The penalty rates make it worth it, 1.5x for Saturdays, 1.75x for Sundays, Midnights at 1.25x. Its not for everyone though, to each their own I suppose

        • +1

          Yeah I guess it's more on the fact that since he typically works night shifts and is mostly free during the day, and in contrast I do the "standard" corporate hours it's a little hard to really schedule a time where we're all able to meet up at a mutually convenient time.

    • Hi robbbbb, How many years of study did you do to become radiographer? Are there plenty of job opportunities?

      • +1

        It was a 4 year university degree, a bachelors of science degree. In terms of jobs, when I started work 7 years ago, there was a huge demand for it, particularly here in WA. more recently, jobs have been slightly harder to come by, with several Eastern states students applying for jobs over here, as I believe they have a more saturated market over there. That being said, in the last 7 years, I have not heard of a student in WA not getting a job within 6 months of finishing their degree, it would be a very rare case. I think another good thing about this job is that it gives you the opportunity to travel. England, for example, is very easy. I know several of my colleagues and friends have gone and worked their for a couple of years as our degrees are recognised and jobs are fairly easy to come by. Australian radiographers are usually in demand as our training is usually pretty good.

        • Thanks rob for the detailed info :)

  • Age - Early 30's
    Current Title - Presales Engineer
    Industry - IT
    Location: Sydney (have some national clients)

    • If you don't mind me asking what is a presales engineer?

      Do you have an engineering degree?

      • +1

        Another name would be Presales Consultant, or if people don't really know I just say IT Consultant.

        I am involved in the design and solution of IT Infrastructure projects.

        No Degree in Engineering, have one for computer science though.

  • +3

    Anyone a mechanical engineer here? How hard is it exactly to get in the industry? I will be graduating this year with one year placement experience.

    • Took me almost a year. Mid 3 GPa but I took a year off to travel. Got a job at the start of this year. I was picky about job choices, didn't want to do hvac or sales which seems is the majority of jobs in Aus these days for mech eng.

      • +1

        Same here, currently on 3.5. Having a hard time keeping it there though! There are a few graduate positions out but comparing it to the number of graduating mech eng students this year, it's just not enough. Definitely not looking forward to job hunting next year, but I gotta do what I gotta do to pay for the bloody HECS debt.

        • +1

          Keep whatever role you have for your internship until you find something better. And start applying for grad roles as soon as you can.

    • +1

      I was in a similar position to yourself a few years back. I graduated with one year experience at Holden and got into the car components industry within a few months. Now i'm going o/s because I feel there a too few opportunities in Adelaide. I remember somebody said on OzB "A career which is easy to get into is hard to get out of". There is a lot of truth in that. Choose wisely, good luck!

      • I didn't get into the Holden student program because I didn't have enough experience for the role. It was only open to 3rd year students….

    • What is this one year placement experience? Is it paid?

      Engineering is in a dire state at the moment, many very well experienced ones have no work. Depending which state you're in, you might have to move to land a graduate role or if you're lucky you might find work as a drafter which really isn't what an engineering degree is meant for.

      • Yes it is paid, not sure if they are still offering it. Many Holden people ending up at ford.

        • I would defs do that experience, but really you should also be applying for all grad programs which offer a more permanent job and better pay.

      • Yes it's paid, but not alot, which is expected because technically I am still a student. Currently living in Victoria. I'm quite lucky to get the placement this year. My friends, same year as me, are having a difficult time finding a placement.

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