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Boomerangs

As a big four employee, lately, I've been hearing a lot about "boomerang" employees. Those who, for some reason or another, decide that leaving work when the sun is still out is not for them and alas, return back to the firm. Yes, the grass is not always greener on the other side, however, is this trending upward or about the same as it always has been? I think, also, that the firms really do a good job in highlighting those that do choose to return to make it appear more common than reality. Can you please speak about how you've seen the trend of "boomerangs" amongst the big 4? 

Good question. A boomerang, as the commenter pointed, is one who quits a big 4 Firm and then decides to return (or boomerang) back to the Firm after getting a taste of work life in the non-public accounting world.
I have seen a few return this past summer, but didn't really notice a trend until you mentioned it. It's definitely been higher than past years, but not enough to stand out. 

Boomerangs come back due to a combination of factors. The one great thing that you have at an accounting firm that you lack on the other side is flexibility. If it's wednesday at noon in the summer and you feel like taking a nap, or just don't feel like working that day, go home, and make up for it the next day. Nobody will notice as long as you get your work done. On the other side, even if you have nothing to do, odds are you'd still have to stick it out through the end of the day. For managers and above who've spent years getting used to the big 4 lifestyle, this is the  biggest adjustment. As a senior associate, it's not that big of a deal since your flexibility is not that high. The other reason people come back is, surprisingly enough, the people. We work with many young motivated people who are willing to  do what it takes to get things done. It's just the public accounting culture. But if you leave and work at another company, many of the employees are looking to get out at 5 pm, it's a madhouse to the front door. Takes getting used to, especially since you've been trained in a different world.
People also come back because you constantly keep moving up here and keep getting challenged, but on the private side, you usually have one boss and if he/she isn't going anywhere, you're not going anywhere. And that's a challenge. Heck,making partner before you hit 40, that's an attainable goal.
For those who want that 9-5 life, and believe me, that's something to be envied, you're not coming back if you ever leave. 

It's factors like these that make many of us debate whether it's worth it to leave. The Firms used to spew fuzzy stats talking about boomerangs and how it's not a good time to leave until you make manager, etc..but that was only until 2008. I haven't seen any lately, or may have unconsciously deleted those emails if I did get them.



Comments

Anonymous said…
Interesting Story.

My part- I started in small firm less than a year, then jump to private ones, and I wish to work with audit line.
Mostly Deloitte. But they rejected me after i graduate, maybe my pointer is only 2.78.
now, i was unemployed.

Anonymous said…
^^^^
Maybe it could actually be due to the fact that you have poor English which makes it difficult to understand what the hell you are talking about.
Anonymous said…
I am a boomerang myself. I spent 5 years in public accounting , 5 years in private ( 2 different companies ) then decided to come back to public accounting. The reason for coming back is because my learning curve was flattened and I was not challenged enough.
Indriani said…
Good point. I have some managers leaving the firm and after a couple of weeks in the private side, they complained so much about their companies and how the firm culture was the best, the people are, just like you said, very motivated to get things done. It is definitely different world out there.
seka yasa said…
Boomerang !! it's cool weapon

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