Six questions with… Jason McIntosh

Jan 13, 2021
Just five years ago, Jason McIntosh was working in practice and didn’t know what the next five years would hold. Now a Finance Manager at Seagate Technology, he answers our six career questions.

Five years ago, where did you think you would be now? Have you lived up to your own expectations?

Five years ago, I had not long qualified as a Chartered Accountant and was still working in practice. (It doesn’t feel that long, so quantifying it is quite scary!) At that stage, I wasn’t sure where I would be in five years. I probably had this idea about what it would be like to be an accountant in industry, but I wasn’t sure it would be for me. 

Having worked in industry for almost three years now, I’m delighted to have been wrong about that – I have a job that I really enjoy, working with great people and getting the opportunity to gain loads of experience in a global role within a global organisation. 
Have I lived up to my own expectations? Probably yes – mostly because I didn’t know what to expect! I’m a big believer in constantly challenging yourself, so in that regard I think I’ve probably done that plenty over the last five years. 

What do you wish you had known earlier in life?

On a professional level: it’s never too early to build your network. I was given this advice on my first day working as an accountant, and probably didn’t take it seriously enough then. But it’s true. As you progress in your career, your network will invariably become something that you rely on from time to time. Looking after it is important, too; stay in touch with the people you meet. 

Personally, probably the importance of spending time with your family. When you’re young, life seems so busy and we probably don’t take the time to spend with our parents and our grandparents while we can. 

Where do you see yourself this time next year?

Hopefully in the office at least a few days a week – without face masks! Like everyone, I’m missing the human interaction of an office. I’ve been working at home full-time for almost a year. 

In my current role, I can still see huge opportunities to learn and so this time next year, I’ll hopefully still be doing just that. 

Who inspires you personally and professionally? 

It may be a little cliché, but my family inspires me. My son is turning three this year, and he approaches life with a curiosity and sense of humour that is infectious. And my wife, who is also a Chartered Accountant, inspires me in so many ways, as well. 

Professionally, I try to take a little bit of inspiration from as many sources as possible. You can learn something from everyone, even if it’s what not to do! 

If you weren’t a Chartered Accountant, what do you think you’d be doing?

That’s a tough question! I studied law at university, and I would probably have pursued that further as I did really enjoy it. That or playing in midfield for Manchester United.  

What advice do you have for those who will soon qualify as Chartered Accountants?

Treat every day as an opportunity to learn and grow. Early in your career is the absolute best time to soak in every bit of experience you can. Make sure that your job allows you the opportunity to constantly challenge and develop yourself.

In a similar vein, actively seek opportunities to learn something new and to learn from others. The best Chartered Accountants I know have breadth of experience as well as depth. 

Don’t be afraid to take an opportunity when one arises. Great things never came from comfort zones.