I have recruiters from mid-level firms reaching out to me pretty regularly for tax manager roles, but I honestly don’t feel like I am ready to be a manager. I don’t want to be in a situation where I am unable to deliver. So my question is what does it take to be a tax manager at a mid-level firm? What experience and temperament do you need? Is it normal to not feel ready? I’ve worked 2.5 yr at a regional firm, made it to senior, now been in industry for almost 2.5 yr as a tax analyst.

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It will be challenging for you since the past 2.5 years you are not in public and probably didn't do individual tax. The mid size firm is full of small to mid size client with their sh*tty financials done by themselves or part time bookkeeper who has no idea what they were doing. Also the work involves tax planning for their estate, business reorg., gift tax. It will be very often for you to 'argue' with client about whether they can take a deduction, also requires you to be calm and nice and patient to explain to them why their tax due or your office bill is high. The ability to build trusting relationship with client and upper management so they can cover you is the key. Tax knowledge is important but not that important as long as you can get things done.

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Thanks for taking the time to respond, I appreciate your input! I feel my “soft skills” are much better than my technical skills. I’m pretty confident in my ability to form relationships and communicate with various stakeholders. With my technical skills I feel like I have a breadth of knowledge / exposure, but haven’t been able to hone my skills in any particular area yet to gain expertise.

Why not? I work for a sh** firm and 2 of my colleagues are now tax managers and doing pretty well.
I am interviewing for a tax supervisor position and have only been in tax 2 years.
If you are going to make the leap, the time is now

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Fake it 'til you make it

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damn. manager is easier than senior

What of tax do you do now? I am guessing corporate/ business tax?

Exactly. I do work on US compliance and provision but mainly advisory/consulting type work with more of a focus on international and TP.

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