Life at CG
Can a first year associate succeed at work and still have a life?
At Clifton Gunderson, the answer is, "YES!"
We've all heard about the accounting student who graduates from college and begins working at a public accounting firm.
The new graduate quickly finds out that business travel is anything but glamorous, especially when she finds herself out of the office more often than in the office. Tax season hits, and the new employee suddenly longs for the days of staying up all night to cram for a final exam.
By the time this new recruit reaches her one-year anniversary, her sole goal is updating her resume and getting her life back. She searches for a new job outside of public accounting. In her new-found free time, she tries to reconnect with the family and friends that she's lost touch with over the last year.
That's what it takes to make it in public accounting, right?
Clifton Gunderson says, "No way!"
We understand that when you close the books and no longer work on school projects, you turn your attention to a much bigger and more important project, life itself. Yes, the professional world is different from school, and it comes with new pressures and challenges. And yes, each person interprets "success" differently; whether it is career success, family, balance, relationships, personal interests or whatever your life is all about. That's why Clifton Gunderson has redefined the first year experience of a public accounting associate.
As a firm recognized nationwide as a "Best Place to Work," we aim to help you maximize life. And we provide you with the flexibility and career development resources to do just that.
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First Year—Fact or Fiction
Let's take a look at some of the key factors that influence the life of a first year associate and see how CG helps employees succeed.
MYTH: During my first year I will report to a senior associate or in-charge associate.
CG FACT: You will gain valuable insight and experience from working directly with senior managers and partners on a daily basis.
Greater exposure = greater opportunity.
MYTH: Key client interaction will be filtered through the engagement manager and I will get behind the scenes compliance and desk work.
CG FACT: As a new CG associate you will work directly with clients from day one and play an important role in the client relationship.
More interaction = more responsibility.
Type of Work–
MYTH: Audit engagements are so large that I will only get to work on a small part?
CGFACT: You get a "big picture" experience and will gain greater diversity, responsibility, and experience from being involved in the full life cycle of a project.
Greater diversity = less boredom, faster learning and accelerated personal growth.
MYTH: I will get lost and treated as a number or part of a group (example, the "2008 graduates").
CG FACT: At CG, you find a place where everybody knows your name. A smaller office creates an environment for more individual attention and greater job satisfaction. You are mentored by people with more experience, and have one-on-one meetings for each major assignment.
Personal attention = greater satisfaction.
MYTH: My manager won't give much feedback on my performance, and I won't know where to turn with questions.
CG FACT: Clifton Gunderson was the first major firm to practice HOT Management, a proven management technique that opens communication, accelerates career growth, and links rewards to performance. CG provides you with a trained and effective leader and mentor.
Stronger managers = greater job satisfaction.
Training and Development–
MYTH: My training will consist of a few weeks of on-the-job training, but will stop short of providing me developmental opportunities beyond initial, basic skills training.
CG FACT: CG has created CG University, which includes a four year curriculum of advanced training for our new hires. Through CG's GROW Program, you receive over 150 hours of formal training in your first four years! And, your training doesn't end there. We've expanded our CGU learning curriculum to meet your professional development needs beyond staff level training. Our THRIVE and LEAD programs build on your technical and leadership abilities to help you achieve success as you progress in your career.
More training = better development.
MYTH: I will have a "mentor" who will help me assimilate in new job, but I will be left to develop my own career path.
CG FACT: The CG Mentor Program is much more than a buddy system. It's a career development strategy that is embedded in our culture. You are connected with a senior-level mentor who advises you on a variety of technical and leadership development topics.
Great mentors = personalized attention and better development.
MYTH: I will have a formal performance appraisal that evaluates and potentially rewards me once each year.
CG FACT: CG's environment is one of continual feedback and learning. You will receive a formal annual performance evaluation as well as feedback after each major engagement. You will also be recognized for daily, above-and-beyond achievements by awarding on-the-spot gifts, time off, and cash bonuses throughout the year.
Better recognition = greater happiness.
MYTH: As a new grad I must select an area of specialization on my first day. But what if you just can't decide?
CG FACT: As part of CG's firm-wide business plan, you have the ability to gain experience in both audit and tax prior to making a specialization commitment. Your mentor can help with this decision process, and can also help you customize your career path.
Time and support = flexibility and career choices that fit the individual.
MYTH: There will be a very structured hierarchy and formal milestones that need to be met to qualify for a promotion.
CG FACT: CG mixes the best of both worlds and promotes you when you are ready to take on more responsibility. Through our advanced training and mentoring, you will work with your mentor to create a customized career path that you may pursue, at a pace that allows you to focus on your most important career and personal goals.
Customized career paths = timely promotions based on your performance.
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