Contractor - Trying to get into a FTE role / looking for advice

Hi All,

I'm a long time lurker here. I'm 10 years experienced - all in the O&G industry, primarily in Accounting/Corp Finance/Business Analytics:

  • 4 Years - Management Accounting/FP&A with minor Treasury duties at a medium-sized, multi-national service company. Promoted twice.
  • 4 Years - Joint Venture Accounting and FP&A with minor Transactional due diligence at a large, multi-national Minerals & Petroleum exploration & production (E&P) company. Promoted once.

Due to the market slump, I was let go and I've been doing contract gigs the last two years to keep food on the table/pass time through the downturn:

  • Brought on to provide O&G SME to a mid-tier consulting firm's project at a large foreign E&P company. Mainly doing due diligence on partnerships and assisting the management consultants on business analytics. Gig was like 4-5 months because I was closing out a previous contractor's project. I tried to apply for a MC position at the firm, but it didn't work out.
  • Market was really rough for 4 months. No one was hiring, so I was focusing on applying and going to night school for accounting, so I would be CPA eligible.
  • Recruited for a contractor's gig at a pipeline service company, but it was a very different role. I took my new BA skills and put them to good use here for process improvements for accounting reconciliations (recent acquisitions). I built an amazing things there: excel models, vba BA toolkits, and handover/training documentation for what I made. My client still talks highly of what I did there, but sadly they weren't hiring and it lasted 4 months before I got called by a rival agency for more money.
  • Came in to another O&G E&P company to manage the FP&A for a business unit. It was going well for about a month and the company decided to transfer all of the jobs for the BU to another city and no one from my location was to be moved. I then was asked to build databases, dashboards, and various other analytic tools for their current FP&A analysts (they were much older and less tech savvy). I was also brought in to merge my databases with ones that their engineers made for predictive analytics. I did it for 10 months (it was really hard work, but I enjoyed it) and when I completed all the warehousing was completed, I trained my boss and was released.
  • I got a call almost a week later to take over for a person going on medical leave who was an assistant controller at a manufacturing company. It was meant to last only 3 months, but they liked my work to the point where I've been here for almost a year, essentially taking over for said person. I was responsible for building the 3 financial statements, FP&A, transaction advisory, internal and external reporting, ERP testing/go-lives, treasury, inventory, and a lot of other things for this type of company. I really love this job and was given a verbal job offer; however, I recently found out that the position was decided to offshored to its shared service location, so I'm out again.

I'm a bit depressed about how things have gone on the last two years despite the knowledge gained while having to be scrappy in the marketplace. I've learned a lot about people these two years and feel like it's molded me well for working with clients, but it also hurts my job prospects out of contracting. I'd like to go back to a FTE job, but I'm hitting ceilings because of my lack of CPA/MBA ultra combo and competing with the 4-5 year public accounting jumpers that have the CPA and will take less money than me.

I'm considering taking a 3-5 month sabbatical to get my CPA testing completed and am financially prepared to be unemployed until the new year. Post-CPA, I've inquired at most top-25 Uni's like Cornell (1 Year, for example), but they have been advising me to apply for EMBAs or recommending me to do part-time/online MBAs (specifically, Kelley or Tepper) which I will self-fund. TBH, I am burned out from all of the occupational instability and having outside issues to care for (family medical issues). Long term, I am interested in TAS, FP&A consulting, or, if going back to a company, controllership/FP&A management roles. Any advice is appreciated.

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