It is so important to plan your life and your career. We recently got a comment on our youtube channel from someone who said their internship is very easy and everyone is very friendly. That’s good news but that is not normal in the big 4. Trust me. If you feel very safe and comfortable in the big 4, you better start packing your things or you better not expect promotions.

The big 4 are all about a fast pace and making more money. They want more revenue and for you to work more hours. If you work in an office where everything is low-key right now, then something is wrong. Either you are on an internship like this kid that commented on our youtube channel was, or you are about to be let go. The big 4 don’t employ to make your life easy and simple. They employ you to make them money.

The reason they make internships easy is because they want people to accept the full-time offers. If internships were as difficult as the real work, way less people would accept offers. The big 4 would not get the best candidates out of college.

If you have an easy life at the big 4, don’t expect promotions, bonuses or raises. It also depends in the city you are in. If you work in a smaller city, then your life might be easier. However, I doubt this is true since the big 4 are letting people go all over the place. Smaller cities with more availability will most likely get outsourced to bigger cities at this point.

With all of that being said. You need to plan your career out. It would probably be best to do this in 2 year time periods. You should be striving to get promoted every couple of years. You should also plan on having some speed bumps in your career. You might work with some bad teams, and you’ll need to switch groups. Alternatively, you need to plan for times where the economy is bad like right now. Either way, you need to plan all this out so that you mentally prepare yourself for what is to come. The hardest thing for most people to realize is that their career will last a long time. You need to plan what your career will be like so that it doesn’t surprise you when something goes wrong. Mess around with ideas. For example, how will you respond if it takes you 4 years to get to senior associate? Will you quit the firm. What if you get senior associate in 2 years but it takes you another 4 years to make manager? How will you respond. What happens when all your friends leave the firm? Will you leave the firm too or will you stick around. When will you make connections that will provide you with a strong network? How many vacations will you take a year? When will you take the vacation? How much money will you save per year?

These are all the things that you need to plan out. Additionally, remember that the big 4 employ you to make them money. They don’t employ you to make your life easier. If you think that’s your purposes at the big 4 because that’s what they pitch to you, then you have another thing coming. Additionally, that’s not a good political strategy. If you are complacent, that means there is another person planning how to take advantage of your weakness. You should always look at your career from the perspective of the value you add to the firm and how you take credit for the value you provide. This isn’t college anymore. You don’t get extra credit for getting an A or doing a good job. You need to make important political moves and make sure you get visibility for that credit. You need to be able put your name in front of people that matter. Whether or not you did the grunt work, you need to be taking as much credit as possible.

Plan your own career out or else be a victim to someone else who is planning theirs out. You will just be a pawn in someone else’s political career.