So, I'm going to vent a little bit. The TL;DR is basically that I'm unhappy with my current role and I'm looking for some career advice.
A little bit of background on myself. Since I graduated high school in 2004, I've bounced around quite a bit. 2004-2008 I was an enlisted Marine. I worked a desk creating budget reports on aviation expenditures. I loved being in the Corps., but the job was boring, in that, there wasn't much work to do most days. From 2008-2009 I worked in the finance department of an insurance group. I did some reconciliation work just for the paycheck. From 2008-2011 I was going to night school (went to full time in 2009) and earned a BS in Accounting. In 2012, I began working in grant management accounting at Johns Hopkins University. Again, this was quite boring, in that, once I got the hang of the SAP module we used most days I did very little. In 2013, I transitioned back into finance as a budget analyst. This job showed promise early, but once again, I am finding more and more that I'm twiddling my thumbs more often than working. It's why I spend so much time on here as a distraction.
My current job has a lot of perks. The pay is not great, but it is good. My pay increase and a promotion have been more than adequate. The department is small, which affords me certain privileges that most departments do not get. It's also a great commute and my immediate supervisor (VP/director) is great to work for. He is engaging, he tries to keep me in the loop on issues facing the team even if they are not related to my specific area and is generally pleasant to work with.
That said, there are also some negative factors. My supervisor is very laid back and is more a friend than a manager or mentor. His boss, who I dual report to, is a very poor manager. There is a serious communications gap between us. She is, to be blunt, a pain in the fucking ass to work with most of the time, and she seems to be in bad moods more often than a good one. She seems to think I will know about information that she has not shared, she flip flops quite often on how things should be done, and she is stingy about sharing work all while complaining she is overburdened. It is very frustrating.
On top of that, what our team does is very limited in scope. Mainly, we help create analyze corporate operating expense budgets. We are not involved in any other portion of the P&L, such as COGS analysis, and our interaction with our other divisions is limited to discussions of opex allocations. It is a very limited view of the company's financials. We are also located in MD while our corporate finance department is in NY.
Because of the above, we are a small team of only 4 and there is very limited room for growth. The head of the department (pain) is approaching retirement age and so there should be some room for growth in the coming years, but the glass ceiling is really her job. My boss is about 12 years my senior so, theoretically, I could replace him in 20 years and run the department...
At this point, I am leaning towards leaving. I've grown too comfortable here, which I think is a problem. I'm also somewhat ambitious. I don't expect or even want to be the CFO of a fortune 500 company, but that is the reach for the moon goal. If I can reach a point where I am at least managing other professionals while offering insight and thus value to a CFO in a more strategic manner, I'll be happy with my career progression.
All of the above said I'm not sure what the best course of action is. I'm considering a number of options:
1) Transition to a financial analyst role somewhere else where I can work within a profit center and/or corporate finance team that works with all aspects of the P&L and other statements.
2) Transition to public accounting, which would likely require me to take a pay cut and start my career over yet again as a staff accountant. Audit has always interested me as has fraud examination, but I have no real world experience in either. This would finally afford me the opportunity to become a CPA (I've yet to work for a CPA which is required in MD).
3) Remain put, push for more responsibilities within the department or look to transition onto the operations team in our location. This former would afford me the time to earn an MBA (my third degree) and the company would pay for a significant portion of it. The latter would require me to school up on Supply Chain and/or IT.
4) Do something completely different. I've recently picked up "Mastery" by Robert Greene and I've been thinking a lot about my life's task. I'm not usually into this sort of pseudo bullshit, but a lot of what Greene wrote has struck home.
I donno, I'm just frustrated and I don't really have a mentor in my life to bounce this off of.
Rant over... If you actually read through the whole thing, I appreciate it.