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Fed up at work
iStock_fizkes_Thoughtful businesswoman

Should you go or should you stay?


Are you fully appreciated at work? If not, then perhaps it’s time to move on. In the second part of his overview of career development, Philip Fisher sets out the case for change.

15th Jul 2022
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A week is a long time in politics and in twice that time, since the first part of this thought piece on careers was published, a dozen Tory politicians have eagerly announced their desire to seek a new job. Even better for our industry, with the exception of Rishi Sunak, every one of them is promising to shake up the tax system, without apparently having the faintest clue of what the impact might be.

Sadly, in our profession, moving around tends to be rather less glamorous. However, it is often vital for career prospects, financial wellbeing and sometimes even sanity.

Having set out many of the justifications that we tend to use for remaining in employment last time, this article looks at the advantages of taking the leap.

Kickstarting your career

For many reasons accountants can find themselves at a dead end. Possibly, you are working for a firm that is just too small to satisfy your ambitions. On a similar tack, maybe one or more people are blocking any prospect of promotion in the foreseeable future or don’t see you as partnership material.

There can also be a risk that a long-term employer recognises your weaknesses but doesn’t fully appreciate your strengths.

New challenge

It is easy to get stale in a professional role. Day in, day out, you keep doing the same things and, while that is comfortable, it isn’t always challenging.

If nothing else, even if you take an equivalent job elsewhere, this will inevitably present new challenges in getting to grips with fresh sets of colleagues and clients and inevitably reviewing the manner in which you have been accustomed to working.

Changing industry

Many accountants enter the profession to get good training and hope that the world will become their oyster.

While a good number might love their jobs, for some they will prove limiting.

This means that on qualifying or perhaps a little later, a significant proportion decide that they wish to try something different. This might mean moving away from audit into tax or insolvency, branching out into industry or possibly even doing something completely different.

For the most part, the easiest, and sometimes only, way of achieving this kind of transformation is to move on.

Mr or Mrs Nasty

Nobody is ever willing to admit it, particularly when they attend an exit interview, but there is a fair chance that at least 25% of decisions to seek a new job result directly from bad behaviour by a manager somewhere up the line, frequently at partner level.

This is not necessarily anything as strong as sexual assault or screaming fits and may just be a constant grinding down or negative attitude, with appreciation never expressed.


Whether it is utility suppliers, insurance providers or almost anything else in this day and age, staying put often comes at a heavy financial cost.

Employers seem happy to take advantage of long-standing employees, giving them relatively small pay rises. This means that over time the loyal find themselves treated unfairly when compared with those elsewhere in the industry or even colleagues joining from outside.

It is a sad fact of life that if you want to get paid the market rate, regular changes of employment are a necessity. There is a halfway house where you get a job offer at a significantly higher salary, inform the employer who has been underpaying you for years and they suddenly decide to give you a whopping pay rise.

Typically, accepting this is just a route to mistreatment further down the road.

Reducing stress

Inevitably working in a profession that pays well, staff are expected to work hard. However, sometimes you might suffer serious mental health problems as a result. If that is the case, surely it makes sense to get out and start again.

Work-life balance

Readers might wonder why this category has been included both as a reason to stay with an existing employer and a motivation to move on.

It all depends on current arrangements. If you can’t get the dream scenario with your current employer, there will be someone out there desperate to sign a new recruit and bend over backwards when it comes to negotiating terms.

Job security

This is another factor that can be a plus or minus. Almost every firm that this writer has worked for took over others, was taken over, or both. If you want to remain a big fish in a small pool that might be a good reason to move.

In addition, if you work for the junior partner in what is euphemistically referred to as “a merger”, your new employer will probably very quickly try to ease you out as surplus to requirements.


It is surprising how often people work in jobs they do not particularly enjoy and, in order to suffer the experience, commute three or four hours every day.

While it might be worth going to considerable trouble to maintain your dream job, there will almost certainly be something closer to home that may not pay quite as much but will lead to greater job satisfaction, not to mention cutting down on commuting costs. Who knows, you might even get to see the kids both before and after work?

If you do decide to jump, good luck.

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By onezero
19th Jul 2022 10:11

Can't see the relevance of political comment. how have you worked out they have no clue - have you discussed it with them, done some modelling yourself?
Tax reduction is vital to stimulate growth - tax business high to redistribute to the less well off = no incentive for businesses to work harder and no incentive for the less well off to work = lower production = crap economy.
About time a politician was bold on taxes to fuel the economy and create real jobs and real money - not view tax as a redistribution between the population.

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