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I’ve been on a project that has felt like a fire drill for a year. How do I professionally say hell no to any other projects like it?

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You don’t, welcome to public accounting. Get in, get your experience and CPA and get out.

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Every project is a fire drill in PA.

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Try to find other projects that are more stable where you can be fully utilized so you don’t get assigned to lousy projects.

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Every project should not feel like a fire drill. Sometimes things get a bit stressful and hours get out of control. But, if it’s properly managed it should be far more bearable.

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Sounds like it’s the management styles you’re working with. I had clients like this and realized it stemmed from one person. This person was horrible at communicating proactively, and when I asked questions his response went in circles and didn’t answer the question. Some people are just a mess and are reactive, but get by with hard work and late hours (and expect the same of you). Others are proactive and recognize that we’re human and don’t have all the answers but do what they can and teach you what they know. I would try to consider if it’s individual people causing this and try to address it (e.g. ask client if there’s anything on their minds, ask for things proactively, etc) or work with different teams. Also I’ve found that questioning urgency typically buys some time. Good luck!

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