Life After University – Harman Bal

Everyone knows university is tough but finding a job that fits your values and ideals is even tougher. After graduating, I was excited to take my next big step in life and challenge the world! That soon turned from excitement, to nervousness. What if I don’t find a job? What if I am terrible at it? All that money, GONE! Luckily for me though, I found a great job that fits who I am and supports me through my growth. Now, I’m not here to brag about F12 but I will share some things I learnt on this post-university journey.

Cultural Fit

This is the most important aspect of an employer for me. If you don’t fit the culture, you’ll never be able to be comfortable and grow. The beautiful thing about culture is that everyone who values the same things, works together to create an awesome workplace. As someone who is more extroverted (I know, unusual for an accountant), I look for a job that is innovative and values employee networking. Brainstorming, getting drinks, playing some recreational sports or volunteering are all things that I love to do and F12 supports this. Other than the social aspect of fit, the fact that an employer has transparency and established values is also important to me. For example, a company that has an open door policy and emphasizes core values is far more valuable to me than one that doesn’t. Ask yourself, do you fit in the culture of your company? If you don’t, you may be in the wrong place!

Goal Setting

Honestly, before graduation, I though goal setting was a joke. If you were like me, you thought it was just something people say and sure, it may seem cool, but it never works. I went to a workshop last year and everything changed. I found that thinking about AND writing down goals (big or small) helps tremendously. Take it from an accountant, if you don’t write things down, they don’t exist (and that can get real sticky). Goal setting works for all aspects of life and let me tell you, when you reach a goal, it’s a moment of satisfaction. By setting goals, you are making a commitment to yourself and those the goals affect. It can range from something like wanting to travel to Europe in 2016 to going to the gym at least twice a week, just write it down and commit to it! You’ll be surprised at what that can do for you.


Once I started applying to jobs, I wasn’t getting any calls at first… by which I mean within 30 seconds of applying. The anxiety was slowly killing me inside. When I got a call back and went for an interview, I found that I didn’t fit the company culture or the job wasn’t for me. The hardest part for me was choosing which kind of job I wanted. At first, I thought about saying yes to the first offer that fell in front of me. Fortunately, I didn’t take that one. Patience is also important when it comes to working. I knew I wouldn’t become an all-star in a week, or a month, maybe not even a year. Giving up too early doesn’t give me the opportunity to show my true potential!

The most important thing that I learnt is continuous improvement. As I continue in my career, I plan to make the most out of goal setting and striving to be better in other parts of life. When you have an awesome team and fit the culture, everything gets a little bit easier.

Harman Bal


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