Career advice

HawkMachine

HR All-American
Jul 6, 2020
3,345
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IOWA
I live and work in a small town Iowa accounting firm. I make pretty good money, probably overpaid. We are short staffed, finding additional EE's has been very difficult. Work 100+ hours during the tax season which is extremely taxing. Pun intended?

I was contacted by a lady I know that is leaving her current position at a local business. She believes I would be a good candidate and wants me to apply.

Since I do her taxes, I know how much she makes. I would take a small decrease, maybe $5k, depending on where they started me of course. But no more tax seasons is well worth $5k. This position would also set me up for CEO or CFO down the road.

Here's the deal. If I were to leave, my current firm would be completely screwed. We are small, and I'm a huge part of it. The thought of leaving them high and dry makes my heart beat faster/harder, couldn't sleep last night.

Go with the it's not personal, it's business and don't worry about my current firm? Only look at what's best for me/family?

Use this opportunity as leverage and be overpaid even more? LOL They would probably give me an extra $20k.

This might be the biggest, most difficult decision of my working career.

Need help ladies and gents.


For your troubles:


tumblr_p4ggqu5EaU1x27i1ko1_400.gifv
 

Hawki97

HR Heisman
Gold Member
Dec 16, 2001
9,243
13,428
113
Iowa City, IA
Anytime I’ve ever done a transition where I would leave my current employer in a lurch, I’d try to work an amicable transition between my new employer and the one I’m leaving. I’ve been pleasantly surprised how new employers have been OK with it and allowed a lot of flexibility. That said, I was always very firm with my old employer that I was leaving and it was going to be on x date. Part of why this works is because of the type of work I do - male stripper. Not sure it would work in your situation.
 

Bonerfarts

HR Heisman
Gold Member
Nov 15, 2015
9,340
30,765
113
I live and work in a small town Iowa accounting firm. I make pretty good money, probably overpaid. We are short staffed, finding additional EE's has been very difficult. Work 100+ hours during the tax season which is extremely taxing. Pun intended?

I was contacted by a lady I know that is leaving her current position at a local business. She believes I would be a good candidate and wants me to apply.

Since I do her taxes, I know how much she makes. I would take a small decrease, maybe $5k, depending on where they started me of course. But no more tax seasons is well worth $5k. This position would also set me up for CEO or CFO down the road.

Here's the deal. If I were to leave, my current firm would be completely screwed. We are small, and I'm a huge part of it. The thought of leaving them high and dry makes my heart beat faster/harder, couldn't sleep last night.

Go with the it's not personal, it's business and don't worry about my current firm? Only look at what's best for me/family?

Use this opportunity as leverage and be overpaid even more? LOL They would probably give me an extra $20k.

This might be the biggest, most difficult decision of my working career.

Need help ladies and gents.


For your troubles:


tumblr_p4ggqu5EaU1x27i1ko1_400.gifv
Make the jump. On your deathbed you will not be wondering how the old firm is doing. You would wonder "what if" if you decide to stay.
 

BanjoSaysWoof

HR MVP
Dec 2, 2017
1,590
3,165
113
I live and work in a small town Iowa accounting firm. I make pretty good money, probably overpaid. We are short staffed, finding additional EE's has been very difficult. Work 100+ hours during the tax season which is extremely taxing. Pun intended?

I was contacted by a lady I know that is leaving her current position at a local business. She believes I would be a good candidate and wants me to apply.

Since I do her taxes, I know how much she makes. I would take a small decrease, maybe $5k, depending on where they started me of course. But no more tax seasons is well worth $5k. This position would also set me up for CEO or CFO down the road.

Here's the deal. If I were to leave, my current firm would be completely screwed. We are small, and I'm a huge part of it. The thought of leaving them high and dry makes my heart beat faster/harder, couldn't sleep last night.

Go with the it's not personal, it's business and don't worry about my current firm? Only look at what's best for me/family?

Use this opportunity as leverage and be overpaid even more? LOL They would probably give me an extra $20k.

This might be the biggest, most difficult decision of my working career.

Need help ladies and gents.


For your troubles:


tumblr_p4ggqu5EaU1x27i1ko1_400.gifv

If you don’t have equity in the firm you’re at, and you got hit by a bus, they’d attend the funeral and have your replacement interviewing in a week.

you owe you. Not them.
 

cheeselog8

HR All-State
Gold Member
Feb 7, 2013
766
1,014
93
Apply and interview with the other company. You don't have to accept the position if it doesn't feel right after you talk to them. And if your current company wants to overpay you more then let them.

I am a CPA so I understand the tax season stress. My firm makes up for that by working around 20 hours a week from May-November.
 
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WrigleyHawkeye20

HR All-State
Gold Member
Mar 26, 2020
880
2,369
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I understand not wanting to hurt the people you currently work with… But companies will show you zero loyalty when it suits them… Do the same. Do what is best for you and your family.
Tend to agree with this. I just made made a move in April because of burnout/ridiculous hours and couldn’t be happier. Did help that I actually got a pay bump. But gotta do what’s best for you.

Granted I moved from one large corporation to another so didn’t have the same feeling of hanging the old employer out to dry.
 

HawkMachine

HR All-American
Jul 6, 2020
3,345
5,593
113
IOWA
I am a CPA so I understand the tax season stress. My firm makes up for that by working around 20 hours a week from May-November.
The goal was to have Friday's off during the offseason.

However, there's too much work.

Too many clients and not enough staff.
 

Hawki97

HR Heisman
Gold Member
Dec 16, 2001
9,243
13,428
113
Iowa City, IA
I understand not wanting to hurt the people you currently work with… But companies will show you zero loyalty when it suits them… Do the same. Do what is best for you and your family.

Usually agree 100%. Only nuance on this one is the small town aspect. You don't want to become the town pariah because you crossed the big fish in a small pond and your ears are always burning from the talk down at Jimmy's Tavern. Next thing you know, the Johnson's will be taking your regular pew on Sundays and not make any eye contact and your kid keeps getting passed over as a starter on the team by lesser players. Watch out @HawkMachine!
 

cheeselog8

HR All-State
Gold Member
Feb 7, 2013
766
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93
The goal was to have Friday's off during the offseason.

However, there's too much work.

Too many clients and not enough staff.
Gotcha, I would not feel bad about looking elsewhere. There are people willing to work IF firms are willing to pay for it. Sounds like they are choosing not to.
 
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SSG T

HR Legend
Gold Member
Jul 10, 2002
43,244
61,179
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I found two things the most important, they may not be yours, but...

Does/will this make me happy? Will I enjoy it, does it work with my life?

And

Will it cover my bills and enough to do things I want to do? I don't need to be rich, but I need to cover bills, help set up my future (retirement) and will it allow me to do things I like to do outside of work.


If I hit those two things, I'm taking it. If I already have those two things, it's going to be really hard to find something else I want.
 

SoDakHawk

HR Legend
Sep 14, 2006
13,514
13,423
113
IMO, small town politics comes into play here too. Small communities are interconnected and leaving one company in a lurch to go to another one is going to cause some controversy in the community. Is that your fault? No, but it could become your problem. If the accounting firm holds a grudge what kind of relationship will your new employer have with them? I think you said you handle their accounting currently.

It also sounds to me like your current employer is way too dependent on you and probably not paying you enough. I've seen that over and over in small towns where employees get taken advantage of because of a lack of equivalent job opportunities. They give off the feel that they are almost doing you a favor by giving you a job. This is something I hope the WFH trend helps to fix and some of these small town employers are going to be in for a rude awakening when they have competition.

I can guarantee that even bringing this up to your employer and entertaining this offer is going to cause a change in the dynamics of your relationships in town.
 
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MepoDawg#

HR Legend
Gold Member
Oct 29, 2012
15,988
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I’ve got to question whether you’re really overpaid. What you describe sounds like you’re underpaid. In the end, will you be happy and not skip a beat? Is there a chance you won’t be happy at the new job or you’ll feel guilty if old organization struggles without you? I’d probably leverage it and see what they say.

I don’t pursue new opportunities myself, but I always listen when someone else contacts me.
 

SoDakHawk

HR Legend
Sep 14, 2006
13,514
13,423
113
Usually agree 100%. Only nuance on this one is the small town aspect. You don't want to become the town pariah because you crossed the big fish in a small pond and your ears are always burning from the talk down at Jimmy's Tavern. Next thing you know, the Johnson's will be taking your regular pew on Sundays and not make any eye contact and your kid keeps getting passed over as a starter on the team by lesser players. Watch out @HawkMachine!
Post in jest but a lot of truth to this.

I know of people that have lost friendships over job changes, made the rest of us that hang out in these friendship groups feel like we have to pick sides. There is a whole other aspect of living and working in a small town that you don't have to deal with in a bigger city. Grudges that can last for years, even decades.
 

NDallasRuss

HR Legend
Dec 5, 2002
32,965
19,473
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Option C: Let me know if you may be interested in joining a much larger accounting firm with growth/advancement opportunities, professional development, challenging work, etc.

My firm has offices nationwide and internationally, but it started out of Iowa and has offices in Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Iowa City, and Waterloo.
 

runkpanole

HR Legend
Nov 17, 2002
16,172
26,455
113
If you can afford the temp pay cut, go for it. Like someone else said, life is too short.
 

HawkMachine

HR All-American
Jul 6, 2020
3,345
5,593
113
IOWA
I’ve got to question whether you’re really overpaid. What you describe sounds like you’re underpaid. In the end, will you be happy and not skip a beat? Is there a chance you won’t be happy at the new job or you’ll feel guilty if old organization struggles without you? I’d probably leverage it and see what they say.

I don’t pursue new opportunities myself, but I always listen when someone else contacts me.

I'm honestly overpaid. They are paying me more than normal because they didn't want me to open my own office in the community.
 

HawkMachine

HR All-American
Jul 6, 2020
3,345
5,593
113
IOWA
Option C: Let me know if you may be interested in joining a much larger accounting firm with growth/advancement opportunities, professional development, challenging work, etc.

My firm has offices nationwide and internationally, but it started out of Iowa and has offices in Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Iowa City, and Waterloo.
My guess would be RSM?

I appreciate the offer but I don't want to give up my 3 minute commute. :)
 
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BanjoSaysWoof

HR MVP
Dec 2, 2017
1,590
3,165
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Option C: Let me know if you may be interested in joining a much larger accounting firm with growth/advancement opportunities, professional development, challenging work, etc.

My firm has offices nationwide and internationally, but it started out of Iowa and has offices in Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Iowa City, and Waterloo.
Sounds like you work at a big 4?

my buddy fresh outta college was at a big 4 shop and the computer randomly assigned him to clients/projects.

for almost 2 years, he slipped through the cracks. Worked about 5 hours a week and spent most of the time sitting there.

one day they put him on a client. He resigned and got an MBA.

great work if you can get it and the faulty algo blesses you.
 
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SoDakHawk

HR Legend
Sep 14, 2006
13,514
13,423
113
I'm honestly overpaid. They are paying me more than normal because they didn't want me to open my own office in the community.
I doubt it. If you were overpaid the position would be attractive enough financially where if you left they could bring in a replacement at the same salary level. Truth is you are probably irreplaceable and that commands a higher salary.
 

ATLNole1

HR MVP
Feb 1, 2007
1,552
1,842
113
When I left Big 4 to go in-house years ago, I worked it out with my new employer to work through our busy season at Big 4 and then join the new company after and it worked out well. It was much easier working through the busy season when I knew it was the last one. However, if that's not possible, make the decision based on what you want and do not be concerned about leaving your former employer in a bind. They may be upset but will work through it. I would give plenty of notice if you decide to leave but other than that you don't owe them anything more.
 

NDallasRuss

HR Legend
Dec 5, 2002
32,965
19,473
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Sounds like you work at a big 4?

my buddy fresh outta college was at a big 4 shop and the computer randomly assigned him to clients/projects.

for almost 2 years, he slipped through the cracks. Worked about 5 hours a week and spent most of the time sitting there.

one day they put him on a client. He resigned and got an MBA.

great work if you can get it and the faulty algo blesses you.
Almost, it's actually the 5th largest, although I've worked at/with 2 of the Big 4 in the past.

1st the relevant clichés: a) Everyone's experiences are different, and b) you get out of it what you put into it.

If your buddy was content falling through the cracks for 2 years and just collecting paychecks, that's on him for not being more driven to learn and grow and succeed. I'm surprised he didn't get more attention when his utilization was really low.

I've never been in a job where a computer assigned me to projects. I've always had HR/scheduling people that did that, and always with my input, as well as the input of different leaders. I've always had direct input into the work that I did and the direction of my career.

And when we're staffing new hires/associates, it's based on needs, as well as their backgrounds, skills, goals, and development. We wouldn't ever randomly assign anyone to anything - it wouldn't end up helping anyone.
 

NDallasRuss

HR Legend
Dec 5, 2002
32,965
19,473
113
My guess would be RSM?

I appreciate the offer but I don't want to give up my 3 minute commute. :)
Yeah, a 3 minute commute isn't bad at all.

To be fair, on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays, my "commute" is still just down to my basement. I come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays because a group of us enjoy being in the office and around each other a couple of days/week.
 
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noleclone2

HR Legend
May 4, 2015
15,111
45,494
113
Based on your original post and follow up on how you can't even get Friday's off on non tax season due to too many clients I would say that instead of being overpaid, you are vastly underpaid. "f I were to leave, my current firm would be completely screwed. We are small, and I'm a huge part of it. " plus "we have too many clients" = you are making them a ton of money and not being paid enough. I would take a hard look at the other job and if they freak the heck out tell them it would take a 50-75% raise for you to stay. But why would you want that, you already loathe tax season and have an opportunity with a stable and great company. I would jump ship.
 

West Duval Nole

HR Heisman
Dec 16, 2013
6,427
7,553
113
Jacksonville
Based on your post, I would say that you know the answer based on your own priorities. You would prefer to work less hours than the 100+ even if for less money.

If I were to leave, my current firm would be completely screwed. We are small, and I'm a huge part of it. The thought of leaving them high and dry makes my heart beat faster/harder, couldn't sleep last night.

Since you haven't even been offered the job and it isn't a guarantee, why not go ahead and start getting your current employer to address this by increasing staff or whatever other solutions you may have that could resolve this. Put together a proposed plan on resolving this with the benefits of doing so. As someone mentioned what if you were accidentally killed or hospitalized for an extended period of time and not able to work there. Sounds to me like your current employer needs a better continuity of business plan. Getting started with this now helps them out if you do get offered a job or leave for any other reason. It also helps out if you don't leave or get offered the job and stay on at your current employer.
 

onlyTheObvious

HR Heisman
Jan 3, 2021
6,834
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If your new job isn’t tied to tax time and your old employer is that screwed.

you could offer to work a little on the side at night for big money. If they don’t liken that, they are not as screwed as you think.
 
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Nole Lou

HR Heisman
Apr 5, 2002
5,070
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I went through this exact situation 13 years ago. Not about overwork, about other issues, but at least as life-wrecking as what you describe.

The owner/boss at the company I left, I considered him a father figure. One of the best men I've ever known, and I learned a ton from him, about business and life. I know all the cliches about how a company wouldn't care about you if it was the other way around, but I have no doubt he would have given me a kidney if I'd needed it.

I was unquestionably the most important person at the company. I can not emphasize enough how difficult it was to tell him I was leaving. The most difficult conversation of my life.

But I absolutely had to do it, and it was 1000% the right decision and I'm so much better off. If staying there is really untenable, you just have to do it. Do everything you can within reason to not leave them in the lurch.
 

Car-go

All-Conference
Jul 19, 2006
465
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63
What others have said. Do interview with new company to feel out what life would be like there. I’m sure you already know though since it’s a small town.
like others have said, you owe your employer nothing. After interview and you see an offer, let your current employer know. I’d demand 20% raise and that they hire additional help. If they don’t agree, jump ship and enjoy life outside of work more
 

HawkMachine

HR All-American
Jul 6, 2020
3,345
5,593
113
IOWA
The owner/boss at the company I left, I considered him a father figure. One of the best men I've ever known, and I learned a ton from him, about business and life. I know all the cliches about how a company wouldn't care about you if it was the other way around, but I have no doubt he would have given me a kidney if I'd needed it.
I don't even like the majority owner that much. In fact, she bugs the F out of me. She's way too political/opinionated in the workplace and we are on different sides of the aisle. I pretty much keep my mouth shut when she starts talking.

However, they have been very fair to me. It's also my other co-workers that would be put in a difficult position.

My decision affects them as well.