When it comes to the quandary of corporate work-life balance, Raaj Parikh has seen it all. Currently a Corporate Accounting Manager at Cushman and Wakefield, he boasts of an illustrious career trajectory. 


His love for numbers led him to find his calling in a related field. Starting off his corporate journey as an intern at Grant Thornton LLP as well as a small CPA firm in Chicago, Illinois during his University days. Parikh graduated with both a bachelors as well as a masters degree in the field of accounting from the illustrious University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). 


He worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for five years with the Risk Assurance practice. That role was the most challenging one for Parikh. It was also one where he discovered what he really wanted from his life. Traveling Sunday through Friday for most of his 20s, he liaised with a wide array of clientele. From international clients in Berlin, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris and London; to rural American cities such as Whitesville, Indiana and Briton, South Dakota. 


The stress of such a fast-paced life and time away from friends and family led Parikh to switch roles. 


“It is no secret that finding work-life balance in public accounting is quite challenging. In my quest for building a life for myself, I forgot to live the one I had at hand.”


Realizing that he still enjoyed accounting but did not want to work as an auditor led him to his current role as the Corporate Accounting Manager at Cushman and Wakefield.


What initially seemed like a difficult decision has paid off for Parikh who feels more fulfilled in his new capacity, “It's an interesting time to be at a company that's going through so much transformation and I'm enjoying the learning opportunity that affords me.”


Parikh says making a career change can sometimes be a good choice, but it’s important to try to make that switch as early as possible, because organizations generally prefer to invest in training their younger employees.  


“Generally, I encourage young professionals to pivot sooner than later if they are unsatisfied with their careers whether that’s a new role, moving to a new organization or going back to school.”


He is also a firm advocate of the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement. A lifestyle movement with the goal of gaining financial independence and retiring early. Parikh’s favorite motto is “make your money work” which encourages individuals to invest their assets rather than letting them sit idle in traditional checking and savings accounts.  An avid reader, Parikh highly recommends reading about investing, finding passive income streams and learning about how to achieve financial independence.   Some of his favorites include: ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’, ‘The Millionaire Next Door’, ‘Mr. Money Mustache’ and ‘Your Money or Your Life’.


Working in the heart of corporate America, Parikh remains a minimalist and believes that spending time doing what is meaningful to an individual is more important and fulfilling than accumulating material objects. Parikh’s hobbies include playing basketball, cooking, fitness, and travel.


“It took me some trial and error to realize how valuable my time outside work was. Now, I try to maximize my savings by finding ways to increase income and/or decrease expenses but never at the cost of my peace and joy.” 











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