Busy season, like every year, brings tight deadlines and demanding workloads. For accountants, this means workdays that often extend into the nights and weekends. With COVID-19 budget cuts, the tax deadline unexpectedly being pushed back, and additional pandemic relief measures put in place this year, accounting teams are stretched thin as they await pending documents needed to finalize returns. As a result, accountants are experiencing burnout at higher levels, and may be ready for a change. If you’re feeling stressed out, here are three things to consider when deciding if a post busy season career move is right for you:
Do you agree with the way your company responded to the COVID-19 crisis?
While this past year was certainly unlike any other, the way your employer handled the COVID crisis may forever leave you with an impression—good or bad.
If you do not agree with the way your organization has responded to the pandemic, experiencing busy season burnout may only exacerbate your negative feelings. When considering a change, think about how your employer has handled themselves throughout this unprecedented time—are you feeling kept in the dark, or can you see the light at the end of the tunnel?
If your employer wasn’t or isn’t being transparent with you about changes such as salary cuts or downsizing, you may be feeling confused about what’s next or when things may turn around. If this is true, it may be time to consider a post busy season career move.
Do you enjoy your job outside of busy season?
When you’re wrapped up in the stress of busy season, it may be easy to forget what your job is like outside of it. As an accountant, remember, busy season will come and go just like it does every year. While this time is particularly stressful, seeing your hard work come together at the end of the season can be incredibly gratifying and lead to career advancement within your company. If you otherwise enjoy your job outside of busy season, you may want to consider looking for ways to mitigate the stress, but not necessarily move on. If you put the busy season burnout aside and are still unhappy in your role—you should consider looking for a change.
Are you ready to explore other areas within accounting?
Even if you enjoy your job outside of busy season, you may just be looking for a change of pace. Perhaps you are a seasoned public accountant and are ready to move to private industry, where you’ll have the chance to focus on one company in your industry of preference. In this case, exploring opportunities makes sense. However, if you enjoy the diverse range of experience public accounting has to offer, and thrive in a fast-paced environment, you may not necessarily be ready to switch things up just yet.