Dear Readers: July marks the third anniversary of the Ask Vicki blog! Where has the time gone? To honor the occasion, this month we’re going to spotlight several “oldie but goodie” posts from the start of the blog. Enjoy this trip down Memory Lane, and thank you for your ongoing support! Happy July! Vicki
Dear Vicki: I’m a Water element and am trained as an accountant. The learning was easy and I make a good living, but my relationship with my career has not been good. In truth, being an accountant drains me dry and I want a change. Over the years, I have experienced the loss of several family members and have faced my own concerns regarding death, so am wondering if a career in the field of hospice work might be more suitable for my Water. If my heart was in my work, I think I would be so much happier. Am I crazy? Signed, Exhausted Accountant
Dear Exhausted: Accounting requires a profound amount of detail work and following of rules, so is rarely a natural fit for a Water. Minutia and structure do exhaust Waters and disrupt their joy of going with the flow. The only place that your primary Water would stand you in good stead as an accountant is that it’s usually a rather solitary profession and Waters enjoy alone time. Bravo to you for making a go of it all these years!
In truth, Metals are usually the best accountants and the fact that you made it through the training and perform your job well (even though your heart isn’t in it) suggests that you have learned to draw on your Metal. You don’t mention why you chose to become an accountant in the first place, but you surely stepped into Metal to make it through the training and then have been required to hang out in Metal frequently while dealing with the loss of family and processing your feelings toward death. It seems you have probably been an honorary Metal for a long time.
As you consider whether a career change might be a wise course of action, it would help to know what your secondary element is because that’s a strength you’ll bring to anything you do. Our primary and secondary elements usually work together to create the personality we show to the world. Looking at your life, spending so much time in a place of Metal wouldn’t have been particularly difficult for someone with a strong secondary Metal. And your Water would certainly enjoy having the Metal energy around because Metal feeds Water on the Nurturing Cycle. However, since you find your career as an accountant sucking the life out of you, I suspect that even though you hang out there a lot, Metal isn’t your secondary element.
That leaves Fire, Earth, and Wood as possibilities for your secondary element. There is nothing in your letter that describes a desire for fun or a need to connect with people instead of numbers, so I think that rules out Fire. Also, a strong presence of Fire would have made maintaining your Metal activities more difficult because Fire melts Metal via the Controlling Cycle. Wood isn’t a likely secondary for you either because Wood would have found time spent in Metal difficult because Wood and Metal also relate on the Controlling Cycle. And while it is Metal that chops Wood, meaning your Metal would still be in place to perform your job, that Wood energy would have become frustrated and angered by the control. But since you don’t mention anger or a need to get ahead, I suspect Wood isn’t your secondary element, either.
Earth remains as a possible secondary, which given your interest in hospice work, seems like a good fit. Earths need to have their heart in what they do, they love helping people, and many find hospice work rewarding. Your primary Water would also be helpful in hospice work; it’s usually a one-on-one approach that’s well suited for them. And while making peace with death certainly draws on the Metal energy of letting go, it also draws on the philosophic underpinnings of Water. But if you are a secondary Earth, where has your Earth been all this time? I’m guessing that the years of elevated Metal energy sucked the life out of your Earth because Earth feeds Metal on the Nurturing Cycle. If you can step away from a profession that requires so much Metal, your Earth secondary will probably come back in full force.
Bottom line, I think hospice work might well be a great next step in your life path given all you’ve been through. The wisdom and experience you have gained regarding loss and death from your Metal time will bring a deeper understanding and connection to hospice work. Earth rules the compassion so necessary in hospice work, and the philosophic focus of your Water will help keep things balanced. So if you feel called to some form of hospice work, it could well be a perfect fit. And it will certainly remove you from the accounting job that threatens to overwhelm you. Good luck!