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What would you think of a long-term manager in one line of service ((25 years in PA) who wanted to switch gears completely and be willing to start over in another?

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I think SM1 has good advice. I think you would bring a lot to the table but would need to relearn technical skills in your new area. This past year has been just that for many of us as a result of tax reform. The thing that throws me the most is 25 years and you are a manager. I have been B4 most of my career and that’s highly unusual, but other than that - Just be able to explain - I say go for it. What do you have to lose?

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All good advice above. Was part of a regional firm that merged in and I watched a lot of managers and SM reposition to their benefit but not from a specialty to a different service line. Based on your response above, it sounds like you must be fairly specialized based on how your engagements are staffed (reminds me of some our specialty tax groups)

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Honestly, there are probably so many non technical skills you bring to the table that my only concern would be how you would handle changing from a role where you are in charge to being told what to do. So prepare a response for that, and then just make sure people understand that your desire for a change is motivating you and not because you are running from something. Ps, recently went through a similar change and once people could see my excitement for the new role and the consideration I had given to my new reality, they were on board

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I thought I had replied earlier, but it seems to have been lost.
It IS unusual to only be an manager, I totally get that. And it’s something I’ve fought against for a number of years. The issues are - I started in tax, promoted up to S2, and then moved into a different line of service and have only reported to one partner for 20 years. He doesn’t bring in enough business to keep two people busy and when we do get busy enough to warrant another, a) it’s never permanent (very dependent on specific engagements), and b) no one but me has ever been able to work with him longer than a year (he’s extremely difficult, unorganized, and refuses to learn new procedures as they have been implemented). At some point, I was told that without staff, I would never be promoted beyond manager - and there are many who think I shouldn’t be considered a manager, as I have no staff. I get that - I’m also compensated very well and am comfortable with that - a title is just a title (until people judge you for it. But again, I get it). Like Partner 1 said - I don’t have anything to lose by switching - and I realize I’ll have to switch firms to do it - but I also realize what it may look like on the surface

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Yes - he had enough from one service line to have made partner years ago, and now has two areas of concentration that together justify partner level. Independently, neither line of service would anymore

Would you consider it, or does it look hinky, like something is wrong? I would love to move into a completely different area, and am willing to take the pay cut (about half) for an opportunity, but the realistic side of me thinks that it will come across as something is wrong with me/my work.

OP may not be client serving

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What area of tax are you in? What are you looking to switch into? I am looking for ITS professionals in NY, but would consider from Boston down to Richmond

Probably. 😂 but don’t need to make it TOO obvious

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