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September 22, 2023

The “I’m Leaving” Conversation

Quick background on me:
At this point I’ve decided that audit is not for me. I’m going to fully pursue a transfer to transaction services, but even if that doesn’t work out I’ve decided that I’m getting out of audit next year. I have two main questions relating to leaving.
Question 1:
Until just recently, I had no idea that there was somewhat of an expectation of the order in which you inform people that you’re leaving. When a member of my engagement team left last year, the partner made a couple disparaging comments about said individual and seemed pretty upset (partner skipped the individual’s goodbye happy hour and explicitly mentioned he did not have other plans). I learned later that it was because this person had informed the audit room and talent resource manager that he was leaving prior to telling the partner.
To those of you who have already left the B4, how did you approach these conversations? My understanding is that the standard operating procedure is to tell your practice leading partner, then engagement partners, followed by your counselor and then your friends/coworkers on your engagements. I’m not super comfortable talking to the practice partner first; I’ve talked to him maybe twice, and to be honest I don’t feel like I owe him anything.
Question 2:
I really like the people I work with. I have worked hard to build good relationships with my team members, and I’d hate to burn any bridges leaving. I know that the above conversations will likely involve someone trying to talk me into staying. I feel like I’m going to get some pushback when I say audit isn’t for me as I’ll be leaving right at the end of my second year. Any tips on how to present this? I’d really appreciate any tips/stories about how your conversations went.
Thank you in advance!

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