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How to decide on a career direction!!

 
#1 How to decide on a career direction!!
28/08/2007 09:26

br

So I'm 25, been in consulting three years and can't say I'm overly enthused by it all.

I work as a generalist for one of the big 4 and came into consulting to work out what I wanted to do - hoping the variety would present job functions and industries to me where I could later specilialise.

Unfortunately I don't really have any more of a clue as to where my vocation lies than when I joined as a grad a few years ago.

How do you know what you want to do, what job you'll truly enjoy? Are there firms that can help me with this or am I going to have to get used to the harsh reality of getting used to not really enjoying my vocation!?

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#2 RE: How to decide on a career direction!!
28/08/2007 10:18

Hard Reality to br (#1)

You are at precisely the point where a lot of people drop out. My advice would be, unless there is a serious problem, to tough it out. Between 2-4 years a lot of poeple drop out. Believe me, the market is littered with people who did 2-3 years and bailed out. I am told by one or two who have gone all the way or exited into a top position in industry that 4 years is the minimum benchmark. Realistically as many of your colleagues will leave, you have a good shot at promotion if you stick it out a bit.

You are 25, very young and probably doing well for your age. You have to take advantage of this time to advance as quickly as you can. If you can try to exit ar 27 or 28, this is far better than leaving now. Hang in there, I say....

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#3 RE: How to decide on a career direction!!
28/08/2007 10:35

really to Hard Reality (#2)

I am always interested by this idea that you can exit from consulting to a high level position in industry. How does that work?

Why would companies employ former consultants in senior roles who have little to no experience of the real world and minimal line management experience?

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#4 RE: How to decide on a career direction!!
28/08/2007 11:00

Hard Reality to really (#3)

I know it is crazy isn't it but they do.....

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#5 RE: How to decide on a career direction!!
28/08/2007 11:37

really to Hard Reality (#4)

what sort of roles do people exit too and at what stage of their career? from where to where?

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#6 RE: How to decide on a career direction!!
31/08/2007 10:27

Mars A Day to really (#5)

By Really! -

If you look closely at the senior levels in industry, the skills they evidence are not the usual 'line management' skills - these become largely redundant at a more strategic level where you are essentially operating through a small cadre of lieutenants to implement processes or initiatives which will have a matrix effect on the organisation. Consultants coming into industry at senior levels can do so - successfully - because they come in exactly at this strategic level, rather than evolving from operational line management, under which your direct reports first increase as your responsibility grows, and then decrease as you have less and less (but more senior) people reporting into you.

Usually you find consultants have moved into industry roles where there is little direct line management, and rather they are responsible for certain projects or initiatives which reflect their consultancy experience in house; in much the same way as a CEO isnt directly line managing the entire organisation.

Should find that most consultants are able to leverage their skills rather than only their sector expertise, opening up alot of exit options at Manager level and above.

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#7 RE: How to decide on a career direction!!
03/09/2007 10:45

anon to Mars A Day (#6)

Any steer on what the best way to assess these exit options and which recruitment consultancies specialise in industry placements? I’ve 8 years experience at a big 4 consultancy and looking to move into industry.

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