This January marks my 7 year anniversary at a small, Asian-based CPA firm. As a 26-year-old, Caucasian female with a degree in Journalism, it’s easy to realize this is considered “out of my element.” Most days I answer the phone only to say, “Oh, do you need someone to speak Chinese? Sure, hang on just a minute.” But, somehow, over the last years I’ve made lasting business relationships with some of these clients whom I have only spoken a few (understandable) words to — some go so far as to prefer that only I work on their business reports.
As I begin my journey entering into the world of coding and technology I’ve found myself feeling like my Chinese clients trying to run a business in an English-speaking country. It’s a lot of smiling and nodding, acting like I completely understand the coding jargon being thrown at me and then rushing to my “Google Translator” to see what it means. And, eventually, like many of my clients, to begin learning enough that my ‘google translate page’ is visited less and less often.
So why is this important? I’ve learned that it’s not about being able to speak the same language. It’s about the quality of work that you provide and the effort you put in to making sure that needs are met. It’s about building relationships to show that you care and learning to use creative methods to tear down barriers that once seemed impossible to cross. It’s about adapting, embracing and always moving forward.