Reposting this thread as the original got lost when the forum went buggy.
I am ex-industry with several years in corporate strategy role. I want to move into consultancy and I have two offers - one from a top 3 strategy consultancy, in one of their European offices (a small, but growing one). The other is from a small niche boutique in London specialising in the sector I used to work in.
As I'm in my mid-30's, my priority is to get established as a consultant to build my new career.
The money is about the same (after adjusting for cost of living) and I'm fine with living abroad for a while.
On the other hand the strategy house has 80-100 hour weeks while the boutique has great work-life balance and offers very rapid promotion to MC and eventually partner.
On a personal level, I prefer the boutique (money, hours and career progression are all great).
But from a career strategy perspective I feel I should take the strategy job because having these companies (M/B/B) on your CV carries a lot of weight. And I'm still (just) young enough to do the crazy hours for a while, say till I'm a PM or MC. Plus working on multiple sectors *should* open a wealth of options, while the boutique's niche focus will make me a one sector specialist.
What do you all think? Is it logical to give up a good job with a nice life for a few years of grind that may pay off later? Or will it all lead back to this point anyway - a senior post in a small firm, in which case, why bother?
All comments welcome.