Jamming with Jason E100: A Tale of Two Careers

It was the best of times, it was the worst of time, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. These words from Charles Dickens “The Tale of Two Cities” is the inspiration for this week’s episode.

Two auditors start out graduating from similar universities, get similar starting positions, but in 10 years those two auditors are in very different places.

One is still a junior or senior auditor and the other is a director or chief audit executive earning 3-5 times the salary of the first auditor.

Do you know the difference between these two auditors?

Find out in this week’s #jammingwithjason #internalauditpodcast. Listen in at: http://www.jasonmefford.com/jammingwithjason/

When you are ready to take your career as a #chiefauditexecutive to the next level, join the CAE Briefing executive leadership program mentioned in this episode at: https://jasonmefford.mykajabi.com/caebriefing

Join thousands of lifelong learners in internal audit, risk and compliance at: With hundreds of learning options, you are sure to find exactly what you need: https://ondemand.criskacademy.com/?affcode=105582_jpp6czlf

Transcript

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Jason Mefford: Welcome to another episode of jamming with Jason. Hey, my friends, is good to be back in a solo episode again with you. I know.

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Jason Mefford: The last month or so it’s been pretty much interview session. And that’s because I’ve been busy doing some other things.

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Jason Mefford: And haven’t had the time to record some solo episode. So I’ll give you a little bit more information about that in just a little bit as far as what I’ve been up to.

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Jason Mefford: But to start off with. I wanted to do some shout outs to people who listen to the podcast regularly. This is something that I love to do. I love hearing

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Jason Mefford: When people are actually listening to the podcast. So if you’re a regular listener, do me a favor.

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Jason Mefford: Send me an email or connect with me on LinkedIn and send me a direct message on there and do me a favor if you collect connecting on LinkedIn, let me know that you’re a podcast listener by doing, you know, a

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Jason Mefford: Little introduction, you know, don’t just don’t just click on connect, but actually send me a little message.

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Jason Mefford: Because I get. I get so many messages are so many connection requests from people random people that most of them. I just ignore and I

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Jason Mefford: Don’t want to ignore yours if you’re a regular listener. So let me know that you’re a listener. Let me know what you like about the podcast, so I can keep doing that.

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Jason Mefford: And I, because one. One of the benefits. I just randomly kind of select people that send into me and give a shout out to people on the podcast, so

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Jason Mefford: Let’s do the first one. This is from Risa bear Amiga, I hope I said that right

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Jason Mefford: It says Hi sir, I listened to your podcast. Just recently, and it helped me a lot understand risk based audit.

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Jason Mefford: It was easy to understand, especially for me as a new auditor that has been tasked in championing to transform our internal audit to risk based

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Jason Mefford: Will be looking forward to your every episode so Risa glad you’re listening and thank you for sending that in

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Jason Mefford: Let’s maybe do one more and then we’ll just jump in. This one’s from Mike Shand and Mike says your delivery was very refreshing a no BS approach.

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Jason Mefford: Where often many internal audit presenters are very stiff. Well, thank you, Mike, I try to do a no bullshit approach.

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Jason Mefford: There’s no sugarcoating on a lot of this stuff that I say so I appreciate that, that you appreciate that, as well. And I try not to be stiff, there’s only a few times when I want to be stiff.

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Jason Mefford: What’s your mind go where you want to on that. But when I’m talking to you when I’m when I’m teaching

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Jason Mefford: I don’t want to be stiff and I want to be no no bullshit, either because you know again.

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Jason Mefford: We’re all busy and we don’t have time for that. So let’s just cut to the chase. Let’s talk about what we really need to talk about

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Jason Mefford: And and not try to sugarcoat and tiptoe around things that we shouldn’t be tiptoeing around

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Jason Mefford: So thanks again for those for those that feedback, everybody. And again, if you are a regular listener please connect with me, send me a little testimonial like that and you can also be featured on a future episode of jamming with Jason

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Jason Mefford: Now I told you at the beginning, you know, I’ve been kind of really, really busy behind the scenes, creating a lot of new content.

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Jason Mefford: There’s several different topics that I’ve been working on. And so I’ve really kind of immersed myself in

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Jason Mefford: Creating a lot of new content that will be released shortly. And one of those things is the chief audit executive briefing executive leadership program.

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Jason Mefford: Now for about a year and a half or two years I’ve kind of been sending out weekly emails to people that I know are chief audit executives just trying to give them a little encouragement.

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Jason Mefford: And a little, you know, little information that would help them in their job as a chief audit executive

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Jason Mefford: And, you know, the more I got to thinking about it, the more I’ve been coaching, you know, other executives, as well as chief out of executives.

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Jason Mefford: You know, really realize that most challenges that executives have really come down to three things. Okay. And these three things tend to be the root cause.

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Jason Mefford: Of almost every challenge that an executive deals with and those three things are your ability and proficiency in managing relationships with yourself.

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Jason Mefford: With your stakeholders and with your staff. And so what I’ve what I’ve been doing is actually pulling together a complete executive leadership program.

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Jason Mefford: Specifically designed for chief audit executives that uses the LP model for leadership and it’s really the the same information that I’ve been sharing

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Jason Mefford: With top executives that I’ve been coaching one on one with for years and want to bring this to cheap out of executives as well so

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Jason Mefford: That’s getting them very, very close to launching so if you’re a chief audit executive, I’ll put a link to that down below.

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Jason Mefford: Because I’m sure as you go through the information you can look at this and go holy crap. This is exactly what I need to help take my career to the next level.

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Jason Mefford: It helps you from, you know, putting out some of those fires that it seems like you’re fighting all the time, and it really does give you more confidence.

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Jason Mefford: And help you move into that executive presence that you have to have as an executive or you end up getting beat up.

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Jason Mefford: In your organization, usually. So that’s one of the things I’ve been working on also been doing a lot with, you know, coming up with Angie and trying to find some new instructors for see risk Academy. And so I know you know in this time. Most all

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Jason Mefford: I would say all of the live training has been canceled pretty much for the rest of the year. And, you know, I’ve been working for four years to create the largest online.

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Jason Mefford: Learning Platform for internal auditors and I’m proud to say we’ve done that we’ve got close to 300 courses up there with between 10 and 15 I can’t keep track of the count recently but 10 to 15 of the best world class instructors in internal audit risk and compliance, so

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Jason Mefford: Again, I know many of you are probably starting to scramble now that you’re realizing it’s September and in so see risk Academy is there, we’re here.

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Jason Mefford: To help you with your learning development needs. And so again, check it out. Because if it’s been a little while since you’ve been there.

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Jason Mefford: There’s a whole bunch of new courses that you haven’t seen yet. So that’s a couple of things that I’ve, I’ve been working on a little bit

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Jason Mefford: So now let’s kind of transition into our discussion today and the title is a tale of two careers.

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Jason Mefford: And so, you know, again, some of you may be looking at that and thinking, well, Jason That’s, that’s kind of a weird topic or weird title. Well, I like to come up with weird titles and in I usually find

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Jason Mefford: Inspiration for some of the things that I want to talk about from so other areas outside of internal audit and this happens to be one of those

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Jason Mefford: And it comes from, or the inspiration behind this actually comes from the Charles Dickens book A Tale of Two Cities.

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Jason Mefford: There. And so I’m going to actually go through and read a little bit from that but but the the reason for that. Let me get what let me kind of back up a little bit right is

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Jason Mefford: You know, I used to travel the world a lot. I’d be gone. Probably 30 to 40 weeks a year teaching people around the world. And so I’ve gotten to go to London a few times.

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Jason Mefford: And and one of the last times that I was there, I took a few days and actually played tourist which is which is great because London is a fabulous, fabulous city. It’s one of my favorite cities in the world.

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Jason Mefford: So of course you know when you’re in London. You got to, if you’re going to play the tourist route, you know, you’ve got to go to the Tower of London, you know, see the bridge, you know, go go to all these different

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Jason Mefford: Buckingham Palace, go see Westminster Abbey and big band, but because I’m a little different, too. I’m a writer as well.

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Jason Mefford: One of the stops on my little tourist excursion was the apartment of Charles Dickens. So it was an apartment that he lived there in London.

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Jason Mefford: For a while. And so I went to that got to tour through kind of see see his they tried to kind of recreate pretty much what what the the flat.

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Jason Mefford: Or apartment looked like when he lived there back in the 1800s.

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Jason Mefford: And you know, I remember standing in his office and they had some period, furniture, which means that it’s it’s furniture that is is appropriate for the time period, but did not belong to him and they also had some furniture that was actually his and

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Jason Mefford: In his study was a desk and I remember standing there in the study looking at this desk and wondering which books. Did he write in that apartment.

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Jason Mefford: On that particular desk that I’ve actually read and so afterwards. I went back, did some research. It was actually, I think the time period, if I remember right

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Jason Mefford: You know one of those that he wrote was A Christmas Carol was on that and I believe also this book A Tale of Two Cities.

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Jason Mefford: Was one that he also wrote on that desk and I’m even getting shivers just kind of thinking about this, because as I said it was it was a really surreal moment.

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Jason Mefford: To be there and think about the work that he did because Charles Dickens is is really regarded as one of the greatest

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Jason Mefford: English writers, authors of all time. In fact, the book A Tale of Two Cities is one of the top selling and most printed books in the English language as well so

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Jason Mefford: I got to thinking about that, again, you know, a little bit ago and pulled out the book and kind of re flipped through it and

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Jason Mefford: If you’re familiar with the book. It has very classic way of starting out this book that that you’ll that you’ll remember, so I want to go through. First off, and just kind of read

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Jason Mefford: Read a little bit out of the book because like I said, this is the inspiration for what I wanted to talk about today in a tale of two careers comes from a tale of two cities.

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Jason Mefford: So it starts off. It was the best of times it was the worst of times. It was an age of wisdom. It was the age of foolishness.

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Jason Mefford: It was the Epic of belief. It was the epoch of incredulity. It was the season of light. It was the season of darkness. It was the spring of hope.

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Jason Mefford: It was the winter of despair. We had everything before us. We had nothing before us. We were all going direct to heaven.

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Jason Mefford: We were all going direct the other way. In short, the period was so far, like the present and you know those words from that it really, really paints a picture of

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Jason Mefford: These two polar opposites. Okay. It was the best of times it was the worst of times. And we see polarity and everything in life.

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Jason Mefford: You know, when you think about the yin and yang symbol, the yin and yang symbol actually represents that polarity, the light and the dark the masculine and the feminine. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: And as I’ve thought about, you know, people’s careers. In fact, I wrote an email about this a little while ago. And I’ll, I’ll tell you one of the responses that I got back

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Jason Mefford: But, you know, the, the idea is, is, as I’ve thought about people’s careers. There’s a lot of people that are not happy with where they are currently in their career.

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Jason Mefford: To them, it’s the worst of times. They’re not in a job that they like

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Jason Mefford: Maybe not working for a company that they like maybe they’re, they want to get promoted, but they don’t know how. And so for them. It may be the worst of times.

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Jason Mefford: And for others, their career is just going great. Right. They’re just moving up you know getting promoted every few years they’re making more and more money each year.

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Jason Mefford: And as I sit back in and kind of think about that, right, is what’s the difference between those two different auditors.

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Jason Mefford: And so imagine, again, you know, two auditors start out they graduate from the same university.

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Jason Mefford: They get similar starting positions but 10 years later, those two auditors are usually in completely different places. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: One is still a junior or senior auditor, but the other has moved up to manager director or might even be a chief audit executive at some organization.

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Jason Mefford: Earning three to five times the salary of the first auditor. So again, you stand back and you think, Okay, well, what’s the difference between

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Jason Mefford: Those two auditors because it really has nothing to do with luck. Okay. And the more that I have, you know, helped and watched and trained people over the years. I mean, in fact, there’s probably been thousands of auditors that I have seen generations of auditors kind of go through

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Jason Mefford: And I’m really clear on what the differences between the two auditors and I thought you would like to know.

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Jason Mefford: It because, you know, again, some of you may have aspirations, you want to move up in your career and you’re sitting there thinking, what is it that it actually takes

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Jason Mefford: Well, the difference between the two auditors. One of them is comfortable doing the same job every day, every week and every month.

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Jason Mefford: Okay, that person, you know, might take a few courses, they’re checking the boxes on their CP requirements.

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Jason Mefford: But their position never changes because they don’t change themselves. Okay, they’re comfortable where they are. They stay exactly where they are, because they’re not willing to invest

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Jason Mefford: The time and money in themselves to change themselves, right, because until they change themselves, their situation will not change. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: The other auditor is active in their career development regularly invest both time and money in their individual learning and career.

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Jason Mefford: They’re growing they’re developing every day, every week, every month. And at the end of 10 years they are a completely different person.

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Jason Mefford: Than they were from when they graduated college 10 years before. So it’s really no wonder that if you’ve got one person who is actively investing time and money in their career.

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Jason Mefford: And then they’re learning and really have that lifelong learning approach.

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Jason Mefford: It’s, it’s no wonder at all that they get further ahead in their career than the person who just kind of does enough just to get by. And it’s just kind of checking the boxes.

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Jason Mefford: Because what i’ll tell you is training is not the same as learning. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: Now again, I’ve done a lot of training, but really what I’ve what I’ve tried to do and what I’m doing with see risk Academy is creating a learning platform, not a training company.

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Jason Mefford: Okay training companies just come in, they give you the training they go away. That’s it.

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Jason Mefford: They’re telling you a little bit of knowledge and skills, but there’s, there’s no way really for you to apply and then actually exercise or put that into practice.

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Jason Mefford: And you really have to have all four of those areas in order to really learn

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Jason Mefford: And I know I’ve, I can’t remember which of the episodes, it was, but I’ve talked about that before in earlier episodes. So if you’ve got questions about it, go back, find that other episode.

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Jason Mefford: In take a listen to that. Okay. But that’s really, you know, so again, as we go back to our this to our discussion, you know, it was the best of times it was the worst of times.

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Jason Mefford: Well, for the person that’s actively learning actively growing in their career. It’s probably the best of times, the person who’s not, it may just be the worst part.

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Jason Mefford: The worst times right again that polarity between the two. Now, before I get going too much further, I want to, I want to just kind of put a pause here.

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Jason Mefford: Because I know that when I when I’ve talked about this before. Some people have gotten offended. Okay. In fact, I had somebody

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Jason Mefford: Who actually sent me a message and said, comments, you know the comments that you’re making are insulting.

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Jason Mefford: To an auditor, who does not aspire to be a chief audit executive in his content as a junior or senior auditor.

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Jason Mefford: Now let me just kind of pause there and actually give you some very valuable coaching. I did not offend that person, that person chose to be offended by what I said.

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Jason Mefford: Okay. Did you get that I did not offend that person they chose to be offended by what I said. And the reason they chose to be offended is because they weren’t actually listening.

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Jason Mefford: To what I was saying, if you’re happy being a junior, senior auditor. Good luck to you, that’s fine. I don’t have a problem with that.

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Jason Mefford: What I have a problem with is when I find people that that are complaining, they want more in their career and they’re not willing to do more. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: Now why am I bringing this up to you again, as I said, to begin with, you know, I, I care for you for you and for your career. And I know that there are some of you.

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Jason Mefford: That are out there that want to move forward in your career. And so I want to give you the guidance and be able to help you move forward.

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Jason Mefford: If that’s what you want to do. Okay. If you’re not understanding that fine I have absolutely no problem with that. I still respect and love you as a person.

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Jason Mefford: But if you’re serious. I want to help give you what you need to move forward. But I don’t want you to just take my

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Jason Mefford: My words for it. Okay, if you go back and for any of you that have listened for a long time to the podcast.

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Jason Mefford: I’ve done a lot of episodes on lessons from a chief audit executive. Okay. And so if you go back and if you listen to almost any of those episodes.

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Jason Mefford: One of the things that we talked about is how did that person get to that point in their career.

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Jason Mefford: And there is a common theme that you see with people who move up and get promoted in their career and that common theme is their ability and their

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Jason Mefford: Their drive to invest both time and money into their individual learning and into their career.

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Jason Mefford: They take it seriously. In fact, one of the CEOs. Remember, he called it, you’ve got to be the CEO of your career, and that is a great way of thinking about it.

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Jason Mefford: Now the other reason why I bring this up sometimes, you know, some of you may be sitting there thinking, well, I really am kind of happy with where I’m at. So I’m just going to kind of do what I need to to get by.

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Jason Mefford: Here’s the problem with that is you know i’m sure you realize that we we live in the information age right and the information age. Yes, while it includes

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Jason Mefford: Information Technology and so a lot of people think of the Information Age equaling, you know, technology hardware, software, things like that.

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Jason Mefford: The information age is much more than that. In fact, it is the information that you have and that you have learned is what makes you valuable and relevant in today’s business marketplace. Okay, which means I want you to think about

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Jason Mefford: I don’t know if you ever played this game.

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Jason Mefford: As I did when I was a teenager, you know, we used to go to the mall into some other places like that that had escalators

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Jason Mefford: And, you know, escalators are kind of a moving staircase. Right. You walk on to it and and the motor just kind of takes you up to the next level.

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Jason Mefford: And it’s great. Right. You don’t have to climb stairs. It’s much easier to do.

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Jason Mefford: Well, we used to play a game where we would try to run up the down escalator. So we check and make sure that nobody

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Jason Mefford: Was on trying to come up and then we would try to run really quick to get up to the top of the down escalator.

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Jason Mefford: Now, the only way to get to the top of the down escalator is you have to run faster than the escalator is moving so that you can move upwards. Right. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: Now I want you to think about that and realize that in today’s economy, we are trying to go up a down escalator.

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Jason Mefford: The amount of information and knowledge and data that is being created every single day is amazing. Okay, and you we almost have to, you know,

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Jason Mefford: Run up the escalator in our personal development and in our career development in order to just stay, even with where we would have been before.

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Jason Mefford: And so again, I want you to think about that is if you’re just kind of sitting back thinking, well, I’m just going to coast.

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Jason Mefford: The reality is, before you know it you’re going to be at the bottom of that escalator. And your job might be outsourced your job might go away because again value in the information age comes from the information that we have IE, which comes through learning and through experience right

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Jason Mefford: And those jobs that don’t require that that information and that knowledge are being outsourced to things like computers. OK. So again,

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Jason Mefford: You know, for a few of you. I might be juggling. Juggling you a little bit. Again, I’m not trying to offend you. I’m just trying to be kind.

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Jason Mefford: And let you know that the world is different now than it was 20 years ago and unless we become lifelong learners unless we invest both time and money into our individual learning and into our career.

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Jason Mefford: The writing may be on the wall. And that’s why, you know, I tell people, you know, look, I know that a lot of certifications and other things tell you, you need to have 40 hours of CP every year.

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Jason Mefford: Well, my friends. I’m here to tell you. You don’t need 40 hours of CP a year you need 400 hours of CP a year.

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Jason Mefford: And some of you may be going, what, how could I ever do that well there’s 365 days in a year, if you, you know, an average of one hour a day, you’re getting pretty close to 400

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Jason Mefford: Now, in that 400 hours. I’m not necessarily talking about just taking formal training courses. I’m talking about spending time doing things like reading books, listening to podcasts, you know, taking

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Jason Mefford: You know, technical training, but also soft skills training as well, you know, going through things like the chief audit executive briefing executive leadership program.

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Jason Mefford: Something to where you’re learning and you’re trying to do something and develop yourself every single day.

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Jason Mefford: And that learning and that development is not necessarily have to be technical. You know, I’m a very diverse person and colorful person in lots of different ways.

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Jason Mefford: And as an example. One thing I like to do is paint. So sometimes I pick up the paintbrush and paint and try to learn how to improve

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Jason Mefford: My ability to paint right or I pick up the guitar and I play. Those are all still learning and development opportunities.

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Jason Mefford: That help make us a much more well rounded person, which also makes us more valuable to our organizations as well because we have diverse experience we’re able to think better and and solve problems better as well as we end up you know just learning more information right

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Jason Mefford: As an aside, one of my favorite things to do is just sit and read through Trivial Pursuit cards. If you’re familiar with that game anyway. So what again. What I’m trying to say is to kind of wrap it up and bring it bring it around the corner here for this week’s episode is

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Jason Mefford: You know, if, if you want to move forward in your career, there’s really a tale of two careers and and you can choose to do what it is that you want to do, right.

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Jason Mefford: And again, if you want to move forward in your career start looking for different learning opportunities where you’re improving yourself every day, every week and every month.

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Jason Mefford: And here’s, here’s another reason for that. Why, why I say every day, every week and every month is imagine you know again if I want to get fit if I want to. If I want to strengthen my body.

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Jason Mefford: One thing that I that I do is push ups. Okay. The exercise push ups where you get down on the ground and you, you go down and you put yourself back up. It strengthens your arms. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: If I chose to only do push ups, a couple of times a year. How strong, am I going to get. Now, even if those couple of times a year, I sit down and I do 200 push ups.

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Jason Mefford: I’m going to get some benefit from it, but you get much more benefit by doing a few push ups every day, every week and every month.

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Jason Mefford: That’s the same thing. I’m telling you, or encouraging you to do with your brain as well because those little things that we do every day, every week and every month.

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Jason Mefford: ends up working and developing our brain just like those pushups do

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Jason Mefford: So again, if you’re serious about about your career. If you want to move forward and and if you want to learn new things start looking for some of those learning opportunities right

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Jason Mefford: Because, you know, again, if we kind of go back to where we were talking about to begin with, you know, from a tale of two cities. Right. I hope that every other line here.

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Jason Mefford: ends up getting deleted from your life. And so instead of saying it was the best of times it was the worst of times, we can just say it was the best of times it was the age of wisdom.

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Jason Mefford: It was the epoch of belief. It was the season of light. It was the spring of hope. We had everything before us and we are going direct to heaven. Okay, take those negative things out, focus on the positive get the things in life that you need.

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Jason Mefford: Because that’s really what I want for you. That’s what I’m trying to do for myself every single day as well. So with that, my friends, I’m going to wrap up for this week.

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Jason Mefford: Go out make life what you want it to be choose what you want and actually go after it and don’t get into some of the blame excuse and denial that I’ve talked about in other podcasts as well with my friend, Marty.

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Jason Mefford: So go out. Have a great rest of your week, and I will catch you on the next episode of jamming with Jason. See ya.