A little background: I’m currently working in Big 4 tax at the staff/associate level, and I’m up for promotion near the end of the year. During my experience in tax, I’ve discovered a lot about myself. Basically, I decided that I don’t want tax to be my career. In fact, I want to be done with working in professional services in general. The seasonality, long hours, uninteresting work, and an unrelenting focus on billable hours over true learning and growth are causing me to rethink my career. I’m done with simply helping clients comply with rules and regulations. I want to be involved in the operations of a company using corporate finance and managerial accounting skills. I have my CPA and CMA certifications, and I believe FP&A would be a good fit for me.
With the background out of the way, I’m starting to think about an exit strategy (which I should have done many months ago if I’m being honest), and I’m finding lots of different opinions on what best to do. Some people I’ve spoken with think it’s a better idea to wait until after my promotion to make the switch to FP&A. There are good reasons for this, like the promotion bonus and being able to say I was a senior associate on my resume. Others say it doesn’t matter whether I make the switch now or after promotion. They seem to think that the skills I’m building in tax are not relevant in FP&A, so the same opportunities would be available to me regardless of when I try to switch. The last group says it’s better to leave sooner rather than later. The longer I stay in tax, the more pigeonholed I get, and I won’t have as many opportunities to change careers.
I was wondering if any of you have successfully switched careers in a similar situation I’m in. What is your opinion of what I should do? I’m casting my net wide here because I don’t know where else to turn. COVID-19 will likely throw a wrench into things, so the timing isn’t very ideal, but I want to do what’s best for my career. Thanks in advance.