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prospects for experienced hires

 
#1 prospects for experienced hires
16/03/2006 09:34

experienced

Much has been written here about the challenges of gaining entry to consultancy as an experienced hire from industry with no consultancy experience. Assuming this hurdle is overcome what is the outlook for an experienced hire?

For example supposing someone aged 42, with strong industry experience in strategy and change, is offered a position in a large consultancy. Would this open up a new career in consultancy? And would they find the consultancy experience would make them more attractive to industry?

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#2 Re: prospects for experienced hires
16/03/2006 10:05

DLT

Unfortunately the answer is - it depends.

For someone who has no experience of consulting, the first consulting assignment can be a way of finding out whether they have the skills that are required of a good consultant - which may not necessarily have been developed or tested in industry positions. Some of these are the ability to work in unstructured situations, self sufficiency, intensive travel and a lot of variety. Experience in industry will definitely give you problem solving ability and domain expertise but it can be hard to assess if those consulting specific skills have been developed.

So if you go try to go into consulting that would explain some of the reluctance of some companies to take on direct hires - they would have no way to measure your consulting specific skills.

Once you get in you will have to give it some time to see if it is for you or not. The consulting lifestyle with the constant travel can be harder on a 42 year old than it would for a fresh graduate as family considerations are often involved and this can be a drastic change from an industry lifestyle in some cases. if you enjoy it, it is unlikely that you easily fit in to the traditional consulting career path but I suspect a close fit may be as a domain specific "expert". A lot fo consultancies these days are well aware that not everyone getting into consulting wants to dedicate their career to becoming partner so it is quite possible to do well as an expert. However, whether it will be a long term career that works for you is something you will have to assess when you get in.

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#3 Re: prospects for experienced hires
18/03/2006 04:17

VC

I agreed with DLT. I moved into the consulting industry focusing in ERP in 1996 after having worked in industry for years as well as having experience in ERP roll-out and BPR. Constant travelling was not a problem to me even I was a mid-30's married woman at that time as I have no kid and I always enjoy travelling so much even for work. However, the working culture,values and the human capitals of individual consulting firms do matter. I had to leave that IT consulting firm due to their constant lack of integrity and also over-commitment to clients. Do some research on the culture and values of consulting firms you would like to target. Although long and irregular working hours and constant travelling are the norms of consulting, it is still an exciting and challenging career if you can team up with some good and responsible team players.

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