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The Professional Services Career Path: A Big Four Employee Perspective What is it 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? 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.
Click to learn more 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. 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.
Reaching this point has taken an immense amount of patience, hard work, resilience, ambition, and even a little luck. To be clear, this article has not been written under the guise of any Big Four recruiters.
I must confess, however, that this outlook reflects how I feel today, which wasn’t always the case.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
The article is structured with bold headings and key takeaway bullet points for those only interested in a quick scan.
Feel free to bounce around if you already have a solid understanding of certain sections.