October 5, 2022

Big 4 Boomerang: Former Advisory Professional Has People Whispering Sweet Nothings in His Ear

Considering a change in cubicle scenery? Cooking up hypothetical situations for your last day at work? Recently thrown out of the house and need someone to pick out your work clothes? Email us with your questions and we'll manage a few sentences that resemble an answer.

Going Concern:
There is a lot of information about leaving Big 4 firms and weighing offers from industry, but I have not seen too much on boomerang employees. I was recently contacted by some past co-workers who suggested I return to my Big 4 firm where I started my career in CA.
I have been out of the Big 4 advisory / consulting game for about 2 years in industry roles after ~5 years at a Big 4. I am wondering if returning to the Big 4 world is a good idea, or if there is not much value to be gained.
My question is, for those who have already left, what is the best reason to return to the firms?  If making partner is not necessarily the desired end-game, is going back to the firm worthwhile? 
Hope you have some advice here,
Dear Tempted,
Simply stated – the best reason to return to a Big 4 firm after spending time away is because you can. That is, you've always got a safety option if you're in a serious jam at your current job and you are desperate to get out.
But to take that a step further – it's likely that your former colleagues are asking you to consider some boomerang action because they need people. They need people who know the routine within Big 4, won't require a lot of hand holding, and are capable of doing the work. You obviously fit this description otherwise they wouldn't be asking you (unless, of course, you're the coolest guy they know and they miss you terribly). This allows you options. If you are not sold on your old firm but you are interested in leaving your current job, then who's to say that other Big 4 firms in your market don't need people like you?   
Yeah, you'll get good experience, have access to resources, blah blah blah, but it's really about what your ambitions are at this point. Don't consider going back to your old Big 4 firm just because some people are saying you should, especially if you have no interest in shooting for partner. Feel things out and then make a decision from there. It's called leverage, my friend.
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