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Did This Deloitte U.K. Partner Unjustly Rip Young Staffers, Or Did He Speak the Truth?

Alexander Curry

“Now, if you want to do what you want [with your time] I suggest that you become millionaires, authors or bums. Failing that, I would like to emphasize the rules of the road for scheduling.”

Alexander Curry, partner and U.K. lead of Deloitte’s strategy and business design practice, Monitor Deloitte, in an internal email sent to junior staff in early July that was seen by the website eFinancialCareers.

This part of the email was prefaced by Curry writing that he recently met with some young’uns in the practice who Curry said told him “what they did with their time was up to them, based on their interests and preferences,” according to eFinancialCareers.

We often like to poke fun at the Big 4 and the top midtier firms for hyping how great their work/life balance is during recruiting trips to college campuses, then reeling in a boatful of future capital market servants, and overworking them as first-years to the point where they barely have enough time to eat a meal or use the bathroom, let alone have a life outside of work.

But in this instance I don’t think Curry is telling junior staffers they have to be chained to their desks 24/7. It seems to be an issue of Gen Y or Gen Z Deloitters who may be a little too picky about what projects they want to work on. Why else would Curry have said, “I would like to emphasize the rules of the road for scheduling” in his email? And what are his “rules of the road” for being assigned to a project? The article from eFinancialCareers didn’t publish that part of the email.

I could be wrong but I didn’t think first- or even second-years have the clout to reject project assignments. More often than not, these projects are not going to be fun and cool and interesting. Willingly putting yourself on the bench because a project doesn’t meet your “preferences” will result in a one-way ticket to Unemployment Land.

Regardless, though, after seeing some of the salaries that first- and second-years make at Deloitte U.K., they’re much closer to being bums than ever becoming a millionaire.

Deloitte consulting partner tells juniors their life is not their own [eFinancialCareers]