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Consultant or Tube Driver?

 
#1 Consultant or Tube Driver?
01/02/2006 12:08

anthony

Greetings,

I am a recent grad - I have tip top qualifications; 2:1, decent A level grades, and I am a respectable, tidy and engaging young man. I am in a quandary as to my career path. I am considering consulting but am also keenly aware that driving a tube offers a similar salary and comes with a built in guarantee of limited hours and industrial actions conveniently timed around major public holidays. Consulting is more prestigious but that would result in emersion in a bland corporate environment.

Advice would be gratefully received.

Anthony.

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#2 Re: Consultant or Tube Driver?
01/02/2006 13:22

Anon

Thought about becoming a plumber - High in demand and the pay is good too!

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#3 Re: Consultant or Tube Driver?
01/02/2006 14:01

DC

I like the idea of working in an environment with a militant union who can hold the capital to ransom every sunny day with the eventual aim of working one day per year for every bit of money that can be squeezed from the evil capitalist oppressors. Forward comrades - if they get the weather forcasts right we may never miss another scorcher.

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#4 Re: Consultant or Tube Driver?
01/02/2006 14:26

tubularbell

Having once worked on the Tube (although sadly not as a driver), and now working in consultancy I feel I am uniquely qualified to answer! The holidays are indeed plentiful and the hours light, and what's more on many lines the train drives itself. On the other hand your annual payrise is in the hands of Bob Crowe and will therefore increase by a respectable but unspectacular 3.5% a year so although the starting salary is comparable with consulting, it won't go up as much. You may also find it harder to get in as a driver, as there is no direct entry! You have to do your time as a Platform Plonker telling everyone that "The next train is for Barking"...

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#5 Worrying new development
02/02/2006 08:26

RL

Give July's outrage, I'd suggest consulting has a lower potential impact on your health...

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#6 Options
02/02/2006 10:56

me

Tube Driver; £35k + 42 days vacation and a united brothers front pushing your vacation days up to 50 odd days conveniently spanning anti-social hours.

Plumber; no upper limit, definite lower limit of £60 per half hour. And the luxury of acting like a bstrd to your customers.

Consultant; Long and thank less hours, travelling for travelling's sake, a salary of wildly varying levels depending on your roe.

Jobless lardo on benefits with 6 kids running around my large ex-council house (right to buy of course) and circa ~£30k income......PRICELESS.

Go Figure

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#7 Re: Consultant or Tube Driver?
02/02/2006 12:08

anon

Tube driver 35k till you retire

Consultant 35k, then senior consultant 75k, managing/ principal 90k, director/ partner 130k - have some ambition!

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#8 Re: Consultant or Tube Driver?
02/02/2006 12:11

simon

As you can't spell immersion, perhaps tube driver would be the best choice.

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#9 Re: Consultant or Tube Driver?
02/02/2006 12:35

drrdf

Well, that is Socialism for you. The market is now awash with "graduates" with the thresholds and standards much lowered. Everybody is equal and this is the result. MBAs are now also two a penny and the market has become so diluted that only an MBA from one of the top 4 or 5 Business Schools counts for anything these days, and even then not now for very much.

The truth is that true expertise and true professionals are becoming much harder to find, largely because in any case hardly any companies want it or them any more, including consultancies. Its all about the bottom line: if a company or consultancy hires the cheapest instant Peter Principal candidate they can find they have a tremendously increased mark-up on engagements, which at least temporarily makes things look good for the senior managers.

I would suggest you "pay your money and take your choice". But remember "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush". If you can get any job which pays better money now then it could be better than one which "might" pay better later - perhaps. (Nothing is certain in the future.) That's what Discounted Cash Flow is all about. A lot of people seem to have lost sight of the realities of total net yield from lifetime employment relative to actual hours worked. You really have to consider all parameters - unpaid travelling time, unpaid overtime, time away from home, post tax yield over working lifetime with no retrospective allowances for studying/training tax years, the realities and risks of actually receiving the promotion/salary increases which you expect you are going to get. (Many of us even with the best qualifications do not make it and suffer redundancy instead when there is an economic downturn; if this occurs after a certain age, currently about 35, you are finished in any profession and would have to then look at a job like a tube train driver, taxi driver, B&Q assistant etc. in any case as all you will be able to get, despite your qualifications. If you do that job to start with and continue with it instead of fighting for a few years consultancy after which you could be redundant and thereafter on the scrap heap you could easily end up with a higher tax-paid yield over your working lifetime by opting to start and continue a so-called lower skill-level job, although your degree would then be effectively wasted. You would not be alone because most "graduates" are now having to accept traditionally non-graduate jobs, where their degree is effectively wasted, because the market is awash with new graduates.

The truth is that a truly intelligent career decision has to be based on a very complex algorithm. Most of us do not understand these complexities at the time we have to make these decisions and worse we cannot see what the future holds with changing trends and future economic mis-management by governments leading to personal disasters. All you need is a crystal ball. I am not sure where they sell fully working ones?

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#10 Re: Consultant or Tube Driver?
02/02/2006 12:36

drrdf

Well, that is Socialism for you. The market is now awash with "graduates" with the thresholds and standards much lowered. Everybody is equal and this is the result. MBAs are now also two a penny and the market has become so diluted that only an MBA from one of the top 4 or 5 Business Schools counts for anything these days, and even then not now for very much.

The truth is that true expertise and true professionals are becoming much harder to find, largely because in any case hardly any companies want it or them any more, including consultancies. Its all about the bottom line: if a company or consultancy hires the cheapest instant Peter Principal candidate they can find they have a tremendously increased mark-up on engagements, which at least temporarily makes things look good for the senior managers.

I would suggest you "pay your money and take your choice". But remember "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush". If you can get any job which pays better money now then it could be better than one which "might" pay better later - perhaps. (Nothing is certain in the future.) That's what Discounted Cash Flow is all about. A lot of people seem to have lost sight of the realities of total net yield from lifetime employment relative to actual hours worked. You really have to consider all parameters - unpaid travelling time, unpaid overtime, time away from home, post tax yield over working lifetime with no retrospective allowances for studying/training tax years, the realities and risks of actually receiving the promotion/salary increases which you expect you are going to get. (Many of us even with the best qualifications do not make it and suffer redundancy instead when there is an economic downturn; if this occurs after a certain age, currently about 35, you are finished in any profession and would have to then look at a job like a tube train driver, taxi driver, B&Q assistant etc. in any case as all you will be able to get, despite your qualifications. If you do that job to start with and continue with it instead of fighting for a few years consultancy after which you could be redundant and thereafter on the scrap heap you could easily end up with a higher tax-paid yield over your working lifetime by opting to start and continue a so-called lower skill-level job, although your degree would then be effectively wasted. You would not be alone because most "graduates" are now having to accept traditionally non-graduate jobs, where their degree is effectively wasted, because the market is awash with new graduates.

The truth is that a truly intelligent career decision has to be based on a very complex algorithm. Most of us do not understand these complexities at the time we have to make these decisions and worse we cannot see what the future holds with changing trends and future economic mis-management by governments leading to personal disasters. All you need is a crystal ball. I am not sure where they sell fully working ones?

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#11 Re: Consultant or Tube Driver?
02/02/2006 12:55

Chris

Anthony

Neither. Young graduates have nothing to offer consulting firms apart from their keen minds and willingness to work stupid hours as billing fooder.

Job satisfaction? Don't expect too much.

Client credibility, I am afraid that no matter how clever you are you will have no credibility with any client. Be they a manufacturing team-leader or a CEO, they are just not going to follow your bright ideas.

So, if you want a career in consultancy go and get some life and work experience first. Do something yourself - be succesful, make a profit, build a great team, achieve something so tangible and obvious that it doesn't need a spreadsheet or a powerpoint to explain it, above all work with REAL people, not identi-kit consultants.

Then you'll have something to offer to offer clients as a consultant (if you still want to be one).

As for option 2, well you probably won't achieve much of the above if you go for that, so forget it. In any case, how long before the tube is automated?

Good luck!

Chris

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#12 Re: Worrying new development
02/02/2006 13:02

Chris

Not really.

Most management consultants I know in their 30 and 40s have the least healthy lifestyles of any workgroup I know.

Excessive travel, long hours, excess travel, living in hotels, high work related stress, broken marriages, over-weight, unfit, often smokers and heavy drinkers, lucky not to have a heart attack at 50.

I'll take my chances on the tube.

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#13 Re: Consultant or Tube Driver?
02/02/2006 13:28

@

what a great post....

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#14 Re: Consultant or Tube Driver?
02/02/2006 13:55

john mcbride

There are other "soft-parameters" to consider though.

- like achievement and job satisfaction

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#15 Re: Worrying new development
02/02/2006 15:49

Becks

And we tend to have offices in tall buildings....

Consulting is not a very healthy career- after a day of trying to coach a client to walk and chew gum at the same time, the hotel bar is way more attractive than the gym...

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#16 Re: Consultant or Tube Driver?
02/02/2006 16:47

marcus oliver

You sound to me like a complete prat.

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#17 Re: Consultant or Tube Driver?
02/02/2006 16:49

@@

That's why I'm on this forum:-)

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#18 Re: Consultant or Tube Driver?
02/02/2006 16:52

Chris

Gosh you're so mature...

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#19 Re: Consultant or Tube Driver?
02/02/2006 19:36

John

If driving a tube is a serious career alternative I suggest you should pursue that route.

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#20 Re: Consultant or Tube Driver?
02/02/2006 23:11

EH

RU Tony from the Bakerloo??!!

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#21 Re: Consultant or Tube Driver?
03/02/2006 11:24

anon

It never fails to surprise me the number of consultants on this board without a sense of humour... What an advert for us.

I thought this was a great post and the subject was one that my friends and I have commented on previously over a beer. Sounds to me like there are other people who are complete prats, or maybe just maybe have a different sense of humour...

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#22 Re: Consultant or Tube Driver?
04/04/2006 01:05

Well done for this post!

You've got a great sense of humour, Anthony. I'm sure I don't need to tell you this but ignore the pretentious, humourless, defensive and ultimately idiotic responses you've had.

And as to an answer to your question:

I'd say do neither and instead work for Tesco. Much less money but weekly shopping has a 1% discount. Finest value bread. Every little helps.

Or better still, Asda. That way you can slap your ass for no apparent reason at random times during the day. I wonder if that counts as a staff benefit...

CHEERS!

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