John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker LLC
If you enjoy the financial/analytical challenges of BV it can be comforting to work with a boss who generates a steady flow of engagements. Sooner or later, though, those coattails you like to ride can leave you feeling cornered.
Business valuation can be a fascinating career. There’s always something new around the corner: an industry you’ve never analyzed, a business model you’ve never seen, a problem you’ve never encountered. No matter how long they’ve been in the business, BV professionals live for those challenges.
So, it’s reassuring to come to work every day confident that you’ll be able to stretch, intellectually. How in the world could this situation possibly turn sour?
Your cost outweighs your value. In the first years of your career, your compensation rises annually. At some point, however, your cost to your employer starts to impact the profitability he once enjoyed. His clients aren’t going to let him get away with raising his rates very much. Something has to give. The rate of increase in compensation slows so that you are, in effect, “topped out.” Or, worse yet, you are let go in favor of a lower-cost employee.
You can’t outrun the boss’s shadow. If your boss happens to be a (or maybe even the) go-to person for a particular type of engagement in your market, you will find it hard to step past that shadow and become known as a provider in your own right.
Your circumstances change; the boss’s don’t. You may have begun to work for the boss at a time when you were single, and 10 to 12 hour days were no big deal. Marriage and family changed all that. But, the boss still remembers when you regularly burned the midnight oil, and can’t understand why you don’t want to now.
There are exceptions to all the above, of course. You may work for a practice leader who is sensitive to your career development and makes sure the two of you are in constant communication about ways to maintain your advancement.
If you’re not, maybe it’s time to talk to us about corrective action. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to leave. Left to their own, things won’t get better on their own, however.