You may recall this scene from the Count of Monte Cristo, where after many years in prison, Edmond Dantes, receives a visit from a fellow prisoner, an old priest, who had spent the previous five years digging an escape tunnel in the wrong direction and ended up in Dantes' cell. The old man tells Dantes that if they both work together, they can start a new tunnel and perhaps reach the outer wall to freedom in maybe eight years.
How does that sound for an exit strategy? Sounds a lot like the path to partnership -- toiling away in a dark prison day in and day out for eight years with just the hope that there could be freedom at the end of the tunnel if you survive long enough to reach it.
I was talking with a friend the other day who decided to make his exit from a Big Four firm at the senior level, perhaps a couple years away from making manager. He went in house to work for a small start-up, where he has been for the last few years. He opined that, unlike back in the day, a junior-level accountant no longer must reach the manager level or higher before leaving the Big Four in order to reach the top echelons of the business world on the outside (i.e., CFO of a public company, etc.). He thinks that just having the firm's name on your resume and a couple of years experience learning the ropes is sufficient for the ambitious accountant looking to take his leave of the Big Four and climb an outside career ladder all the way to the top.
So what's your exit strategy? Or do you just plan on tunnelling your way to partnership over the next eight years or more?
Posted by Angry Accountants at 8:06:00 AM