Will my small-firm M&A job get me anywhere or should I just quit before I get pigeonholed?
I just graduated from UG last spring (non-target) and recently started a full time job at a smaller regional accounting firm on the TAS/M&A team. From what I've seen so far, it's a lot of just pure valuation advisory with some "financial due diligence" (which looks a lot like audit to me) sprinkled in. Lots of the deals are really small, like <$10M, and some of the engagements aren't even for transactions, they're just companies that need third party valuations for things like estate planning or shareholder disputes. I've seen files on a few "bigger" deals ($20M - $150M) that the firm's worked on over the past couple years but for those ones it looks like we just provided valuations or projections or other simpler financial advisory services. Also note that the job is in my hometown, a smaller city of only around 200k people.
Overall, I like the job. I'm perfectly content doing valuations all day and the firm has a pretty chill culture where we work 35 hour weeks in non-busy season and we get paid overtime. Also the base salary they offered me is surprisingly decent (like better than B4 TAS). But I'm wondering if I can leverage this experience for any exits outside of accounting firm stuff. I'd ideally like to exit to boutique IB or LMM PE 2-3 years down the line. Is this possible given my job's limited scope and the small size of the deals I'll be working on? Or should I try to find something else as soon as I can?