Welcome to another round of Accounting Career Emergencies (aka: “Decide My Life For Me: GC Edition”). Today we have a KPMG Senior Associate who badly wants to make manager except for the small matter of not being able to stand her client, manager, partner and basically everything else. Jumping over to another Big 4 firm is an option but how does one convince them that you’re worthy of the new stomping grounds.
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Back to our Benedict Arnold du jour:
Hello dear friends at GC,
I am beginning my fourth year with audit at KPMG and would like to make it to Manager, if for no other reason than the title’s weight on the résumé. If I were to stay with KPMG and made manager in the average time frame, I would be here for another two years. To be frank, I can’t stand my client, manager, or partner and want nothing more than to quit tomorrow; I’ve already spoken to my PML (direct supervisor, basically), but there really isn’t an option for me to get out of working on this client and or this team any time soon.
My job is ok when I’m working on other clients, but this engagement is so terrible that I’m not sure I’m willing to stick it out long enough to get to my other clients. Like so many others, my primary goal is to make it to Manager at a Big 4 (have no idea if I will stay after I do, but that’s the goal at this point). There are needs for audit seniors at the other Big 4 firms in the city, and I’m thinking about jumping ship to another one. If I do this, I figure I’ll at least get a fresh start and shake things up a bit, while still working towards my Big 4 Manager goal.
So here’s the question: how do I convince another Big 4 firm to hire me? Also, if I were to get hired by the like of DT, E&Y, or PWC, could I feasibly expect to make Manager within two years? I have my CPA out of the way, so that shouldn’t be a big factor…
Help me, Going Concern. You’re my only hope.
Dear Big 4 Flip Flops,
Your problem is easy, ring up PwC. They picking off KPMG people like a WWII sniper. But seriously, I’m a little perplexed by your question. When you go into an interview with any potential employer, how do you convince them to hire you? You research the company. You smile big and are ready to talk about things other than work. You discuss your accomplishments at KPMG, you play up your strengths, admit that you’re working on your weaknesses but ultimately, that you’re bringing A-1 talent to this organization and they’d DAMN FOOLS to pass up the opportunity to hire you. There will probably be a curveball question or two in the interview and those may help/hurt your chances but it’ll be a pretty standard interview.
As for your promotion timeline, I think you can safely ask your potential new firm about that without fearing any repercussions. If you adjust to the new firm quickly (e.g. new methodologies, navigating political waters) and are a performer there’s no reason you shouldn’t be considered for a promotion in another two years. Good luck and may the Force be with you.