Welcome to another MOANday edition of Accounting Career Emergencies. In today’s edition, a tax vet is looking to move into consulting with their current firm but in a new office. The current office wants this “star performer” to stick around for busy season but ultimately the decision lies with our hero, who is concerned about burning bridges if they jump before busy season starts. What’s a tax rockstar to do?
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Back to the David Lee Roth of taxes:
Hi. I am currently with the tax department and thinking about doing a switch to consulting with my same firm, but a different office. The new position will offer better opportunities and as a bonus, better pay. I have already told my department leaders about this switch.
I think this will be a good switch for me, but am afraid there might be some burned bridges on the way since busy season is about to start and I am one of their star performers. They insist that I stay until busy season is over to make the switch because of the extra work load they will have. The final decision will be up to me, but I don’t want to burn any bridges.
First off, let us just congratulate you on the new consulting gig. It’s easier said then done to leave a successful run in one area to try something relatively different (without more DETAILS it’s difficult to know how different your new gig is).
Fortunately for you, your humble editor has some experience with a similar situation. Back in the mid-Aughts, I was granted a transfer from Denver to New York. My transfer was approved in the fall, however the leadership in Denver put forth the condition that I spend one more busy season in the MHC. Looking back on it, I’m glad it worked out that way because I was able to spend one more year working on a client I enjoyed and it better prepared me for my engagements in New York.
In your case, you are switching practices so perhaps you could care less about grinding out another busy season with your tax comrades. Similarly, if you’re the rockstar you claim to be, it probably isn’t too motivating to know that you’re going to bust your ass for 3-ish months but then not have your performance considered for your year-end review.
But you’re obviously torn between your giddiness of a new career opportunity and the possibility of rubbing some people the wrong way if you decide to leave them behind. Honestly, I’m a big believer in doing what you want to do, especially when given the option. So, you shouldn’t be surprised when I say move on to the consulting gig now. I understand that you don’t want to cause any friction but if they are “insisting” that you stay for busy season why did they allow you to make the decision? If they need you so bad, they would “require” you to stay. That’s what Denver did to me but again, their need was probably far greater than New York’s.
But here’s a NEWSFLASH: The team will make it through busy season with or without you. If your colleagues have integrity and support your ambitions, this is a non-issue. Chances are, some of them are completely comfortable no matter what decision you make. Others won’t be. Don’t worry about pleasing everyone because you’ll ultimately fail in that endeavor. If you want to join the consulting team now, then do it. Your tax colleagues will survive and if some of them hold it against you, then you’re better off getting the hell away from them. Good luck.