Government Do-gooder Contemplates a Dream Job in Public Accounting

Need some advice? Email the GC team with your burning questions. Just be warned – our advice might rain on your parade.

Dear GC, I am on my 6th month with a Government Audit team and got an offer to join one of the Big4. The job is of the same nature and the pay and benefits are almost the same. I am so inclined in jumping on the Big4 cruise and leaving the Government dock, because it is a once in a lifetime opportunity that many wants but only a few gets. On the other hand, it means giving up on the stable Govt. employment which I have worked so hard to get into. Question: If I leave the Govt. will I be burning bridges and considered a hopper (they have invested on my extensive training)? Is this a wise career move? Anybody have done something like this and how does it turned out? Thanks.

Let’s run the numbers for our doubting GC’er:

Current job is a steady role working for Uncle Sam: 0
+ Public job pay is comparable to current job : +10
+ Public health benefits are almost the same: +25
+ Public is a “once in a lifetime” gig: +426
– Going public means giving up cushy government job: -100
– Not recognizing public can be a steady job too: -354
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SUBTOTAL: 7

– Adjustment for potential of burning bridges with Uncle Sam: -37
+Adjustment for “bridge burning” being a possibility w/ any job: +37
+Adjustment for being able to return to U. Sam w/ public experience: +99
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TOTAL: 106

Barring any point deductions from the Russians, I’d say our scientific calculation is leaning towards public being a wise move. Thoughts from the peanut gallery? Has anyone made the move from government to public and regretted it? Tell us below.

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