The various perks and psuedoperks offered by accounting firms have been discussed at length here in the hallowed virtual halls of Going Concern over the years. From ping-pong tables and on-demand popcorn to so-called unlimited vacation time, we’ve destroyed them all. But one I believe hasn’t been touched on is the Deloitte career break program. That ends today, and it’s totally Deloitte’s fault for bragging about it.
B&T Magazine in Australia recently went all in on patting Deloitte on the back for its “innovative” approach to employee happiness (as if doing anything other than working them like dogs is some great accomplishment to be highly lauded), specifically its “Career Break” program:
Acknowledging that there might be times in a person’s career at Deloitte when they might want to take a sabbatical to explore something completely different – or just take a break – employees are able to take “Career Breaks” where leave can be taken for up to 12 months.
Tina McCreery, Deloitte people & performance partner, explains that there are a number of different activities employees have undertaken. “Career Breaks have given staff the opportunity to travel, volunteer, engage in professional development, study and pursue other personal interests.”
Now, I don’t know about you but I want to talk to someone who actually took advantage of this. I want to talk to the senior who somehow convinced management that dodging malaria in Congo and taking selfies with orphans in Super Bowl XXXVI Champions Oakland Raiders T-shirts is somehow more important than chasing confirmations and coming up with creative ways to bill clients. I want to talk to the associate who was like, you know what, instead of jumping ship, I’m going to focus on my Twitch channel and call it “career development.”
It’s also worth noting that it’s unpaid, meaning all you’re guaranteed is a position exactly where you were when you left to pursue your dreams of teaching semi-pro stickball to street kids in Dublin. And then you’ve got to be that guy at the office who has to explain why you thought charity came before client service to everyone else who stuck around and has been slaving away over a hot spreadsheet while you were off seeing the world. Awkward.
PwC and KPMG offer similar programs AFIAK, which again I’m sure tons of people are totally taking advantage of because it’s not at all like public accounting is jam-packed with unreasonable expectations of servitude and dedication to the firm. Nah, Brittany, go ahead and work on that Twitch channel, clients can wait!