IAm Jesus Valdez
Blogs Jesus Valdez, CIA Feb 01, 2023
When an opportunity arises, pursue it even if you’re unsure or it scares you. If something is not meant to be, it wouldn’t have shown up. I have been married for 11 years to my beautiful wife, Kim, and I am a proud father of two boys — Jacob, who’s 10, and Jonas, who’s two. Outside of daily audit work, I have a busy schedule. I spend evenings at soccer practices and weekends at soccer games with Jacob. I also spend quality time with Jonas playing dinosaurs and cars.
For the past couple of years, we have become a soccer family. Jacob has developed a passion for playing soccer. In 2022, we enrolled him in a competitive league, and his passion and skills earned him an invitation to play soccer in Valencia, Spain. When I asked Jacob if he wanted to accept the invitation, he didn’t hesitate to say yes and jumped at the new challenge. He told me, “Dad, how hard could it be? This is what I enjoy doing; it’s just in a different place.” He took the risk of getting out of his comfort zone and traveling to a foreign country to meet players with different cultural backgrounds, ages, and levels of expertise.
I was amused and realized that, unlike me, he was a risk taker. Jacob returned from this experience with even more hunger to learn new skills and to practice tirelessly. This now translates into more driving around town for additional skills trainings, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Watching my son take the risk of playing soccer in an unknown territory motivated me to take more risks and continue pursuing my dreams and goals.
Chase the Dream
This past fall, I met with my mentor, Steve Whitman. I have been lucky to have built a relationship with Steve through The IIA Emerging Leaders Mentoring Program. Steve and I had a great conversation over coffee. Even though, at the time, I was unsure of any potential opportunities outside of my current job, Steve emphasized that having continuous conversations with your superiors to do a career progression check is a great idea. So, I followed Steve’s advice.
Having those conversations is not always easy, but it was eye-opening for me and put my future into perspective. I realized that I had invested a great part of my professional years in one industry. Although I was comfortable with the work and knew many intricacies of my job responsibilities, I recognized that continuing in the same industry would not propel me to achieve the career goals I had for myself. I spoke with a few other mentors in my circle of influence, and a key takeaway from those conversations was to embrace change and take the risk when a new opportunity presents itself.
After spending over eight years at a local public utility company in Las Vegas, an opportunity to work for a different company arose. At first, I was unsure about the move, especially because it was a different industry and a completely new niche for me. The role was 100% remote, with my team members not being in the same city or country. I weighed the pros and cons, the what ifs, and what could go wrong, and I got different answers every time.
While reflecting on my situation, I quickly realized that my son doesn’t hesitate to take the risk; he kicks the ball into the net every opportunity he gets. He takes the shots, regardless of the outcome, and has the resiliency to keep playing, even when he does not score or when the final score is not in his favor. Jacob ultimately inspired me to take the risk, and I happily accepted a new job opportunity. As auditors, we are not always risk takers, but sometimes we should take the risk, because risks can take us on incredible new journeys.