Recently, a few people currently working in the Big 4 have asked me if leaving is viable and what other options there are outside of the Big 4 bubble. If you’re considering your next career step or are just curious about what else is out there, here are the 4 reasons to consider life outside the Big 4.
We all know that Accountants work extremely hard, long hours, especially when it comes to the end of the tax season. However, the number of hours being quoted to me from some employees within the Big 4 are just astounding. I’ve heard stories of people working 16 - 20 hour days throughout the whole of January!
Cut Down your Commute
Not many people are lucky enough to live next door to one of the Big 4 offices, which can then mean a lengthy commute, especially when Central London is the nearest office. I’ve recently spoken to people who commute over 2 hours each way to get to their job in Central London. Just think of what you could do with the extra 20 hours a week you’d recoup if you cut out the commute!
Accountancy firms aren’t just based in London. Even if you wanted to look within the top 20 accounting firms in the country, there are offices spread from Cornwall to Newcastle, meaning that there could well be a top accountancy firm near you!
Greater Progression Opportunities
Many people believe that being within a Big 4 firm is the way forward, in terms of career progression, however, have you ever stopped to think how many other people are in the same position as you, all vying for the next promotion? Sometimes, moving outside of the Big 4, to a smaller firm where you’re a more integral part of the team, can help those above you see your true potential and help speed up your progression pathway.
You Won’t Back Yourself into a Corner
While the experience and expertise you’ll find within a Big 4 firm is great, we’ve come across many cases where someone has become too specialist while working within the Big 4, meaning they can’t find a job outside of these top firms. If you begin to specialise in an extremely small area of tax, for example, you may find it hard to get a job that encompasses a wider range of skills and therefore be stuck in the role that you’re currently in, with few opportunities for a new move!
If you’re feeling stuck in your current role, or are considering the Big 4 as your next career move, then we’d love to hear from you. Contact Antony Barnett at Harvey John for a non-committal conversation about what your options are.
Antony Barnett is a Recruitment Consultant in the Accountancy Division at Harvey John.
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