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Three Signs You’re Ready to Leave the Big 4 for an Industry Job

You’ve conquered another busy season, racked up some more expense receipts and you’re finally home before dark! So what’s next? As a Big 4 trained CPA, CA myself, I’ve seen many of my colleagues leave the firm for industry opportunities at various points in their careers; some sooner and some later, but eventually I found myself being one of the few left from my hire year. The experience you gain from public accounting is truly invaluable and will always be the foundation of your future success, and for many CPAs, it’s the stepping stone to a career in Industry.

So you now have the experience, drive and work ethic that many top employers are looking for but are you ready to make a move into Industry? As a Senior Recruiter at Lannick, the GTA’s largest recruitment firm for Finance & Accounting professionals, I specialize and work with candidates looking to make this leap of faith, many of which are doing it for the first time in their careers.  My aim is to shed light on the true tell signs you’re ready to make a move into Industry and how my team here at Lannick can help.

There are three main questions that determine if you are ready for a move into Industry:

1. Are you tired of the “Busy Season” grind?

Before I joined the firm, I was always told by Talent Acquisition teams that “work-life balance is great and hours are reasonable except for during ‘busy season’.” You cannot fully appreciate this term unless you have been through it a couple times, and I’m sure many of you reading this have been through your fair share. If you are someone who is going through busy season for the purpose of surviving another year, you are probably not enjoying the work that you are doing and could be ready for a move into Industry.

How can Lannick help?

Top employers understand the immense pressure and value the work you’ve done throughout your time at the firm because you’ve earned your stripes. They appreciate the potential you can bring to their team, and here at Lannick we conduct tailored job searches for each of our candidates to ensure you fully understand the market and the opportunities available to you.

On average, from the time you commence your job search to the time you land an opportunity, there is about a 4-6 week timeframe. That being said, there is always a benefit to meet with a recruiter as early as possible to have them keep an eye out on the market for you.

2. Are you tired of being underpaid?

The reality of joining a large public accounting firm is that you will be underpaid to start and there is no way around it.  That being said, the true value is not in your bi-weekly paycheck but in the experience that you have gained from the firm. This experience is the reason why many look for a significant increase in compensation when making a transition into Industry.

How can Lannick help?

As the top finance and accounting recruitment firm in the GTA, we are experts in our field and knowledgeable as to what the job market will bear for your level of experience.  As your career coach, we can educate you on what is competitive in terms of compensation and the types of opportunities that leverage your skills to further your career.

On average, recently qualified CPAs looking to make a move into Industry will experience an increase of 15-20% in their current compensation.

3. Are you realizing that Public Accounting is just not right for you?

For many of us, a lifelong career in public accounting is not the dream.  We enjoy the culture, the people and socials, but the work does not excite us enough to see a long-term future – trust me, we are all on the same boat. This is perhaps the number one reason and key driver for most to consider a move into Industry. Be honest with yourself because you are the driver of your career and only you know what is best for you.

How can Lannick help?

We are a dedicated team of professional Recruiters, all of which are CPAs by training and have the experience and background similar to you.  We leverage our experience and expertise to ensure that we provide the most unbiased approach when conducting your search. We take pride in the work we do and appreciate your trust in us to look after your interests and to further your career.

My career path has taken some interesting twists and turns which has, fortunately, landed me in a position where I can help. If you’ve answered “Yes” to any of the above, you are probably ready to explore a new career opportunity. My experience thus far has enabled me to work closely with candidates at all levels to not only coach but to help secure careers that are truly meaningful to them. If you are at all curious about the market or ready to make a move, let’s connect!  My email is kli@lannick.com and I look forward to working with you on your search.

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