Welcome to the why-do-we-bother-on-days-like-today edition of Accounting Career Conundrums. In today’s edition, a young consultant has a pretty sweet gig with Deloitte in DC but has a very interesting offer with E&Y in NYC. What’s a boy to do?

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Returning to the Decider:


I am currently a second year consultant in the federal practice in Deloitte in Washington DC. I recently interviewed with EY and got an offer for staff advisor role in New York City. Though my pay raise is not significant (in fact the same, since cost of living is higher in NYC), the position is something that really interests me as it deals in financial consulting and is not audit oriented.

The flip side is that i have been a strong performer at D and am most likely to get promoted at year end. Do you think it makes sense to leave D at this juncture and jump to EY even though I am not being offered a senior position, I am not getting a significant pay raise but the job description is something I have always wanted to do.

Please help me out as I need to make a decision by week-end.


Dear Confused,

You simply couldn’t let us cruise into a four day food and drink bender, could you? Very well, then. We are here to help after all.

This is a clear-cut situation of figuring out what your priorities are. You make a decent case for each position, so it’s time to line up what’s most important and make a decision based on that.

It really boils down to this: love or money? Your gig at Deloitte sounds pretty good. You’re in an high-profile group at the firm, looking at promotion, probably more money and – as far as we can tell – you don’t hate the work. All good things.

But the opportunity with E&Y has obviously piqued your interest. Different city. Different firm. Different opportunity. Sure the money won’t go as far and you’ll probably live in a broom closet but there may be more than a sliver of a chance that you will love it.

Some people will say, “You’re doing a disservice to yourself and your career,” if you were to take the E&Y gig. “You’re giving up a promotion and the years of experience earned at Deloitte for a longshot,” they might also say.

Personally, we like longshots. All kinds of people in Big 4 and top ten firms continue to choose to stay on the path they’re on because it’s easy and things like higher salaries and more prestigious titles are hard to turn down.

If you’re genuinely interested in the work that comes with the E&Y position, we say go for it. You’ll never look back and wonder what would have happened if you didn’t take that risk and this may be the rare opportunity that you’ve been waiting for.

Chew on that (along with your poultry of choice tomorrow) and then go make it happen.