The end of my secondment has long since passed but I’m still down here in the Private Client end of the office working away with my view of much of Birmingham, Villa Park and St Andrews (the football stadiums that facilitated much of the Monday morning pessimism this season) in sight. In my final secondment diary I’ll talk through the process of making my secondment a permanent move.
The first thing to note, and to reiterate what I said when I was looking for a secondment opportunity, is that is has to be driven by you. Grant Thornton is brilliant in terms of allowing you a range of different experiences throughout your training contract but if you want something you’ll have to push for it, work hard for it and go and get it.
My desire for a three month secondment in the private client team originally was probably some sort of indicator that I could see myself working in that department at some point in the future and so I guess when I asked if there was any scope to stay longer term, it might not have come as that much of a shock.
Having been here for 6 weeks or so, I had decided that this was what I wanted to do and that I would push to stay here permanently. That’s not a long time to decide on that type of decision but I knew what I wanted and with the team hiring I didn’t want to make my intentions clear after they had hired someone who’s spot I could have filled.
The lack of time in the team, combined with not knowing if there was a spot for me here on a permanent basis and not wanting to burn my bridges back in Corporate Tax, both because I may have had to go back and work there but primarily because I have some good friends in that team, meant that I was a little apprehensive about broadcasting my desire to move.
As I’ve always found at Grant Thornton though, there was no need to worry – a quick conversation with the director and partner in the EPC team was followed by one with the Corporate Tax partner who had agreed to making my loan deal permanent. That was a great conversation in which he explained to me that as long as I was happy, he was happy. From a commercial viewpoint he explained, better that I’m working for a different team within Grant Thornton and contributing to the firm’s success than stick out my ACA contract in Corporate Tax and then leave to pursue private client work at a competitor. Whilst that sentence may point towards the move being passed on strict business decision, I came out of the meeting with the resounding message that ‘Grant Thornton look after their people’ (sceptics are free to disagree, I’m a bit of an optimist – England’s world cup chances included).
A few months on from the switch and I’m still really enjoying the work and team here in Private Client. I also get to work with old colleagues from Corporate Tax on occasion which is nice as it’s usually proceeded by a catch-up (not that we need an excuse for one as the office is open plan and very sociable so you are always bumping into people).
I’m now off for another batch of college before taking two more exams. That will most likely mean one week of golf and world cup watching after college thanks to the slightly earlier finishes, followed by a much larger and rather less enjoyable head in books phase before we head into the exam hall!