So, you just received a promotion and/or salary increase & bonus … Woohoo!

Now it’s time to consider – should you stay or should you go?

Public Accounting is like earning a Master degree. You’ve proved you can work on little sleep for an extended period of time for a demanding client. You have also hopefully been networking and have made great connections that are going to be beneficial to you in your future career. However, you may think you want to at least have a cup of coffee with a potential new employer. What should you consider before making the move?

Is the grass greener in private?

You might have some friends and colleagues that have left public accounting for a career in private. They gush about how they don’t have to deal with client’s unreachable deadlines & they don’t have to account for every minute of their day. However, the variety of work is no longer there and the professional development seminars aren’t available.

And when is the right time to move to private? The best time is at the Senior Associate or Manager level. Once you’ve reached the Senior Manager level, you may be priced out of many finance executive roles out there.

Public Accounting – still a secure career path?

Associate to Senior to Manager to Senior Manager to Director to MD to Partner – sounds like a plan – unless of course more levels are added to make chasing the Partner carrot more unattainable.

Many people really enjoy everything that comes with public accounting – variety of projects, professional development, etc… However sometimes a change of scenery is needed. A move from a smaller firm to a larger firm, especially Big 4, has many advantages. A global brand on your resume broadens your network and ideally you would work on more sophisticated clients. Also, many companies require Big 4 experience. Other people may want to leave Big 4 and move to a regional firm. It all depends on your career goals and life choices.

Once you’ve decided to leave – how to handle your exit?

Handing in your resignation can be emotional for some people – not just for you, but your supervisor as well. However, be strong. The reasons for looking are always going to be there. Even if they are covered up temporarily. Be professional and give proper notice. They’ll miss you, but they’ll live.

So, strike while the iron is hot. Explore new roles. If you leave graciously, you can always go back!

Your strategic career planning is important. If you would like to schedule a time for consultation, please reach out to me at 732-290-2260 or