21 Jan, 2012 | by

After tying up some paperwork to officially bring the engagement to a close, I walked the client’s hallways to say good bye to the friends and colleagues I had made over the previous five months:  “Rich, it was an absolute pleasure working with you.  Do make sure you keep in touch.  So, what’s next for you now”?  To which I almost always reply:  “That’s a good question.  I have no idea, but I’ll be sure to let you know when I land.”  After a few hearty hand-shakes and a couple of heart-felt good-byes, I turned in my security clearance and exited the building.  Before entering the taxi standing by to whisk me away, I closed my eyes and took a brief moment to contemplate the experience.  Shortly thereafter, I opened my eyes, let out a deep sigh and thought to myself:  “It’s time to move on to the next challenge.”  “Where to sir?” replied the patient taxi driver.  “Airport, please.  I’m eager to get home”. continue reading »

17 Jun, 2009 | by

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I’m frequently asked by friends, family, clients, job candidates and random people I encounter on my travels what it’s like to work on the advisory side of a Big 4 firm.  Typically, if there’s time to discuss and there’s mutual interest in the exchange, I’m immediately bombarded with a slew of follow-up questions like:  What do you do exactly?  How does one get into that line of work?  How much do you travel?  Is it a good career path?  Is there such a thing as work-life balance?  Is it challenging?  Do you think I’d be good at it?  And so on…

The reason I’m so consistently willing to discuss my perspective with so many people, especially young professionals, is that I was once in their position and had many of the same questions.  When I received answers to my inquiries from people in the profession, many of whom continue to this day to be my friends, I was intrigued.  After some time contemplating the potential challenges that such a job would offer, I decided to pursue a chance opportunity to join the ranks of Ernst & Young LLP.  I’ve been with the firm almost three years now.  Looking back, I feel as though the six years of professional experience I had accumulated prior to joining E&Y, although invaluable on many levels, simply did not hold a candle to the client exposure, professional networks and shear rapid-fire experiences afforded to me in my present capacity.  I must confess, however, that this outlook reflects how I feel today, which wasn’t always the case.  Reaching this point has taken an immense amount of patience, hard work, resilience, ambition, and even a little luck.  Yes…I said luck. 

To be clear, this article has not been written under the guise of any Big Four recruiters.  Its goal is not to solicit top talent or self-promote services offered or whatever other angles you might have running through your head right now.  I respect all of the Big Four firms, especially mine, a great deal but feel that the only way to offer up a truly unbiased perspective on the lifestyle is to provide genuinely candid insight.  The primary purpose of this article is to offer a balanced perspective to those who may be interested in such a career path regardless of industry focus or subject matter area.  continue reading »

12 Apr, 2009 | by

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I have officially ended my transition; it lasted just over 230 days.  As I sit and look back at more than seven months of uncertainty, I thought this would be a good time to share some ideas that might help others facing their own journey.  Please keep in mind that I am not an expert.  I have no advanced degree in psychology or training as a career advisor, I am just a guy that made it through to the other side and has a point of view.

Network
The key, and you already know it, to surviving transition is networking.  Groan all you like, but there are plenty of statistics that show how few people land jobs through the online job boards.  Use them to be sure, just don’t count on them.  Recruiters aren’t the sure source they were in times past; companies are cutting corners everywhere, including the usage of staffing firms.  It all comes down to who you know.  And don’t wait until you see an open job to start your calls, it’s just as critical to get in the door for the job open today as well as being there before tomorrow’s job is even posted. continue reading »

7 Mar, 2009 | by


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I just celebrated the six month anniversary of being in transition.  That’s the vogue way of saying unemployed these days.  Like many, I was recently down-sized, or as I was told to say, my position was recently eliminated due to a re-organization.  However you word it, I am out looking for work.

Reflection is inevitable during this type of life change, and I find myself looking back at the “rules” of Corporate America and how they seem to have changed. You know the ones I mean, those unwritten truisms we all know and try to live by, yet never saw in any handbook.  I thought I would offer an updated perspective during these uncertain times, from the other side of the paycheck.

Before I begin, let me say, I am not an expert.  I am not a career coach with formal training or special insights into the job market.  I’m just a guy, like many of you, making some observations based on my journey. continue reading »

12 Dec, 2007 | by

About a month ago, a colleague and I were discussing the challenges associated with our respective engagements at the time. My colleague, whose name I will elect to leave out (I’ll refer to him as Master Yoda or Yoda for short), is one of those seasoned professionals who touts over 20 years in the IT industry along with an impressive string of credentials and unique experiences. He’s as sharp as they come and I find myself reaching out to him for professional advice periodically; he also boasts a humorous and engaging personality which makes for a great dialogue every time we speak. Not only do I consider him one of my most valuable mentors, I also consider him a friend who has doled out some important personal advice in the past which I still appreciate to this day. OK…Enough! I’ve inflated his ego enough and I will now proceed to move forward with the point of my trivial little blog entry.

The outcome of our therapeutic work debrief (that’s code for venting session) concluded with Yoda making a book recommendation. He said he was very much interested in my thoughts on the book so 5 minutes later, I logged onto Amazon and made my purchase. He then said: “the book will be very different then any book you’ve read before… continue reading »