Here is my dilema now:

I have been working at a larger public accounting firm for 1 year and 9 months (since January 2011) and ever since last January/February I have been thinking about leaving. My original plan was to leave by the start of next "busy season" at the latest which for us starts mid-January. With my work, they have me scheduled on jobs until May/June of 2013 and I don't want to burn any bridges here in case I decide to come back, but no employment will hire me 8 months in advance. Also, I took a few months off this summer to go to Basic Combat Training for the Army and my firm seemed very supportive of this. It seems that people in the past (at my firm) find new employment quite abruptly to the point where I don't know they are leaving, even people in my start class, until the day they write their good-bye email. The reason I'm leaving is to get more of a work-life balance (people here work nonstop) and to do something that I enjoy. Should I discuss my thoughts with my career advisor or if I find better employment just submit my 2 weeks?

One more thing, I want to ask my managers and even senior managers if they would feel comfortable writing me a recommendation on LinkedIn, but why else would I be asking for this unless I was looking for new employment? Can you help me with reasons as to why I would be doing this except that I'd like to keep it up to date and to help me answer any prying questions in response to my request?

mmann's picture
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Many of your coworkers leave abruptly because they've been counciled out.  It's the nature of good professional services firms to release people who aren't moving up the promotion chain commensurate with their compensation.  It's a necessary part of their business model.  Your manager will know how to re-assign your engagements if you separate.

My observation about LinkedIn recommendations is, those you give are more valuable to you than those you receive.  When I review a potential new-hire's LinkedIn page I look at the recommendations they've given first.  This shows me how well they articulate their point and their ability to persuade through written communication.  After this I look through those they've received.  This indicates the ratio of quid pro quo recommendations, which I devalue slightly.

Before you quit, I recommend you listen to the Career Tools podcasts.  You might glean some wisdom from them about managing your career.


duplicate_account_MarkAus's picture

My accountant told me at the beginning of my career, when I was worried about leaving a job I loved, "If you've got a better opportunity, don't think twice about leaving.  If the tables were turned they wouldn't think twice about getting rid of you."

Fact is, you're always going to have work scheduled for you in the future.  If you're good at what you do you will have interesting and important work scheduled for you in the future.   You're not burning bridges by giving appropriate notice.  They're used to it.     And most employers will let you negotiate a start date - you may be able to start in say, a month, so you could actually give 4 weeks instead of the standard two weeks if that makes you feel better.   It sounds like that alone would make you unique at your current company.

However, manage your exit transition appropriately - there's a few manager tools and career tools casts about this.   Start with "How To Resign".


buhlerar's picture

I also started in a large public accounting firm, and I've got to say quitting right before busy season is fairly unimpressive.  You probably still have a small window of time to leave without looking too conspicuous, but leaving in December would leave the firm in more of a lurch (your replacement will miss out on planning phase) and might appear as if you just don't have what it takes.  My advice is to either leave now (early fall) or just hold on until Spring.  In accounting, making it through another busy season basically counts as a whole year of experience anyway.  Not to mention in your third year you'd be doing more substantial work that would have a bearing on the roles you'll have later on (my 3rd busy season was probably the first one I actually started to enjoy).

No matter where you go in your career after this, you're likely going to face situations where work gets really crazy for 3-4 months.  It's not fun, but it happens.  If you do stay, focus on the positives.  You'll wear yourself out and make busy season seem twice as long otherwise.  There's a lot to learn and your experience will still open doors 10 or 15 years later (maybe longer -- it hasn't ended for me yet).

Drusty87's picture

Thanks for the reply about LinkedIn, it was really helpful!

Drusty87's picture

Great, I'll listen to that one, thanks!