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Think i made a mistake joining Accenture

 
#1 Think i made a mistake joining Accenture
29/08/2007 10:21

anonymous

Hi everyone,

I'm an analyst at Accenture of about 1yr now. i'm beginning to think i've made a mistake joining though and not sure where to go from here.

The company itself is really god to work for (holidays, pay, culture etc.) but, for me, i just don't find the work that interesting now that they do and don't aspire to move up the ladder and do what my managers etc. are doing.

I'm therefore in a predicament as i'm 1 yr in a grad programme so i think i'm faced with 2 options:

- Try and get through another year and then can leave consulting with 2 yrs experience but to be honest, people like that are 10 a penny and i'm not sure where it would get me as i don't want to work in IT. (or do a 3rd/4th and go MBA).

- Apply for the grad schemes in areas i am interested in (fund management) for next years intake as applications open soon and start again.

I'd appreciate any input from others who have found themselves in my situation.

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#2 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture
29/08/2007 10:42

Power of Greyskull to anonymous (#1)

Stick it out my friend. You are an analyst with 1 years experience, the work is bound to be dull. Finish the grad programme, and see where you are at. When you get to C1 level I am sure you will move out of the tea making duties, and progress onto more intresting stuff

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#3 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture
29/08/2007 11:02

tkae this from one who knows..... to Power of Greyskull (#2)

Accenture are very good (althoug far from alone) in doing the Olympic oversell when it comes to hiring graduates and other junior staff. Unless things are really bad, you must try to hang in there though. The grass most certainly is not greener on the other side. The danger is that by the time you are in your mid '20s, you have dropped out of 2 graduate schemes and become a head-hunter.

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#4 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture
29/08/2007 11:42

The Senior Vice President to tkae this from one who knows..... (#3)

Think of it as a rite of passage. The world of work, particularly when you are new to it, is boring. As a graduate, you probably have all sorts of money worries and end up working long hours for a big faceless company that treats you like dirt, pays you little more than a secretary who left school at 16, and gets you doing work such as filling out Powerpoint slides which nobody will ever read or care about. You're highly educated, hard working, intelligent and enthusiastic - yet you feel 'held back'. You know, hand on heart, that you are capable of so much more - but where are the opportunities? All you come across are yet more jobs and grad schemes that want you churning out Powerpoint slides in the land of the dull whilst some almost-senile grey haired old fox presides over this empire and turns up to work every day in a chauffeur driven Bently. You wonder to yourself - how on earth can this be fair? Here I am, a smart, highly-skilled, hard working grad, yet I earn about 0.05% of what some old duffer who goes around talking garbage and stroking his own ego takes home each year.

My advice is this: It may not be fair, but that's the system. You can either work against it, or you can go with the flow. I admire people who take the former route, but for the majority of us, learning to live with the fact that work is just boring and that it will take you at least 5 years to adjust to the point where you can get all worked up about some trivial little company matter is hard to do.

You'll do OK - just hang in there. Work gets more interesting after a couple of years.

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#5 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture
29/08/2007 12:40

anonymous to The Senior Vice President (#4)

Thanks for the encouragement guys but in response to the senior vice president:

I don't mind cutting my teeth in my chosen occupation and doing the grunt work at the bottom if it's going to take me somewhere i want; it's a necessary evil in any profession. I think my problem here is that i've got into management consulting and found out it doesn't interest me, not only at the analyst level but when i see what my managers/senior execs get involved in.

Everyone says i should do the 2 years but at the mo i'm failing to see for what purpose if i'm not wanting to stay in consulting. It may in fact hamper chances of moving away from it as i will be labelled as such.

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#6 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture
29/08/2007 13:10

Here's the equation... to anonymous (#5)

Look, you are lucky enough to have some experineced people taking time out of their day to try to help you. It is your choice. Stick it out and have a couple of years of frustration or drop out, try something else (statistically you are always likely to drop out again if you do it once) and have a lifetime of underachievement/frustration. Most jobs are cr@p at the end of the day. The naive enthusiasm is soon replaced by the simple notion that you are paid to do a job. You earn money to pay for your life. It is as simple as that. Unless you have a true vocation (teaching, furniture restoration, running a farm or whatever) you are as well to be there as anywhere else. Just don't assume that you will feel any different when you go to another company. It is the same sh!t everywhwere. As SVP rightly implies, if you want to get anywhere and put yourself in a position of choice, you just have to ride it out for now. I know, I didn't and my career very quickly turned into a means to an ends. Don't make my mistakes!!

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#7 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture
29/08/2007 13:10

The Senior Vice President to anonymous (#5)

Are you sure you won't find other jobs boring too? I don't mean that in a 'funny' way - really, do you know for certain that other lines of work would interest you more than MC does?

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#8 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture
29/08/2007 13:11

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) to anonymous (#5)

Anon - what I would hold on to here is the fact that a stint in consulting with a firm like Accenture is (like having an accounting qualification) a door-opener to a great many career directions in the future. Many people get into consulting (and indeed law, accounting, banking, etc.) and decide it is not for them. The key thing is to ensure that you are as marketable as possible when you make your next career move. 2+ years at Accenture will make you eminently employable elsewhere (friends of mine from the grad programme at Accenture are now with i) a top investment bank and ii) one of the world's leading internet brands). So the reason to stay on is not that you aspire to making it to manager grade but that you aspire to ensuring you are very employable and able to move into the career of your choice a year or two from now.

My suggestion would be to try and get yourself staffed on an assignment that is in a sector that you think may interest you (eg. fund management) or that is overcoming a business challenge that you find interesting. Talk to your mentor or to one of the HR team. In the current candidate-short market, no firm is going to want to lose staff - so if they know you are unhappy they are more than likely to want to do something about it. If you are thinking of leaving anyway, then you have nothing to lose by making it known (in a professional manner) that you are unhappy.

Hope this helps and good luck with getting your career sorted.

Tony Restell

Top-Consultant.com

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#9 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture
29/08/2007 13:17

Taxman to Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) (#8)

Listen to Tony, after 3 or 4 years you have proved that your worth your salt. I should also point out that on assignments the client will want to see your CV and if you tend to be with an organisation for only 12 or 18 months, you will not get a key man position.

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#10 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture
29/08/2007 13:24

rickygervais to Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) (#8)

Thanks for that Tony (and the others of course!)....a lot of sense is being spoken here.

I personally think the worry is what sort of transferable skills can you promote when you leave Accenture?

Sometimes in a big company like ACN, it's easy to become a generalist. To consider applying to "Experienced Hire" roles in other companies is sometimes laughable as you'll not have expertise in one field of work!

I hope it works out mate

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#11 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture
29/08/2007 13:28

Michael Parkinson to rickygervais (#10)

Ricky, you make a fair point and this is the big worry but in this market a consultant/analyst can with a bit of gumption ensure that he/she specialises and sticks to one area, thus becoming a specialist. When the market was tighter and people were deployed wherever they were needed, people ended up with directionless CV's. I take your point but this is much less of a problem to today's grad than it was to someone a few years older.

This is one of the reason why the poster's thread annoys me so much. When I graduated, the market was much tighter and these prestigious firms hired virtually no-one on their grad schemes....

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#12 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture
29/08/2007 13:49

anonymous to Michael Parkinson (#11)

Tony, I can see where you're coming from and from reading on here, I'm aware people do leave Acn to go on to decent careers at IB's etc. They tend to be in Strategy though unless i'm mistaken?

I'm not sure how the experience one gains doing large scale systems integration projects would be of interest to a fund management firm or an investment bank for example, unless you're going for a job in IT there?

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#13 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture
29/08/2007 13:54

Another way to Michael Parkinson (#11)

Interesting views regarding staying on and completing the 2 years, which is viewed as a "benchmark" by many.

But sympathise with your view and as a grad it is slightly different. I decided that consulting wasn't what I wanted to do long term, despite being sucessful at it. I applied for a number of graduate schemes (starting looking 1 year after joining). I got some offers but having made an error once I declined them for various reasons.

In the end I stayed for an extra 12 months, continuing to look and moved into a senior position within industry after this time. This was after exploring the role in a lot of detail and getting comfortable it offered me what I wanted.

So in summary if you find a grad scheme which offers you want you want I would go for it and not waste any further time at ACN.

Alternatively if not wait and then move after 2 years. If you know where and what you want to go into you can try to ensure you get the experience / client exposure required to help in interivews. This is something I did once I had decided I would leave.

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#14 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture
29/08/2007 14:09

A point well made to Another way (#13)

also, it is a very good idea to examine the alternatives before writing off what you have. I work as a Head-Hunter and I often joke with the leadership of a particular high profile organisation that I do a lot for their staff retention because I help all of their staff to see what else they could be doing instead and the staff tend to decide that life is not so bad after all. Have a serious look at what else is out there. Either, you will decide that your current job does not look so bad afterall - many come back "re-motivated" after checking out other options - or you will be yet more certain that yo want to leave. Either way, you wil lknow for certain what you want to do.

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#15 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture
29/08/2007 17:42

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) to anonymous (#12)

Anonymous - no-one who is only 2 years into their graduate career will be expected to be an expert in anything!! If the City has a penchant for hiring strategy consulting graduates more than IT consultants this has more to do with the perceived calibre of someone that has made it into strategy consulting - rather than because that 23 year old graduate is thought to have become a strategic expert during those 2 years of "strategy" exposure.

The main thing is to have some transferable skills and credibility on your CV. Try to get responsibility for managing a workgroup on the client site or for "leading" a small module of the overall project. These are the kinds of management / leadership / people skills that can be very valuable if you have managed to get any kind of exposure to them during the earliest years of your career.

Also assess whether your aspirations are realistic. Did you apply to the wrong part of Accenture (ie. you didn't apply for the strategy practice) or did you end up in another practice area because you didn't have the background that would have been sought by the strategy practice? If you've got top notch academics and 2 years at Accenture then options in the City will still be open to you regardless of whether you are currently in strategy or not. If however your academics are less impressive and you would probably not have got into strategy consulting in the first place, then aspiring to a move to a City role may be quite unrealistic - except in an IT capacity.

Hope this helps.

Tony Restell

Top-Consultant.com

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#16 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture
29/08/2007 21:32

anonymous to Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) (#15)

Tony,

Thanks again for an insightful reply.

With regards to academic background I think that's an important point and one that could hold me back. I didn't go to a 'target' uni for banks to recruit from though I know there are exceptions to this if you make the right contacts etc.

Perhaps my best, and safest, option would be to stay here long enough to do an MBA if i can get into a good school and re-assess my options after that. It's hard to stay motivated though.

Thanks again.

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#17 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture
29/08/2007 22:59

Adviser to anonymous (#16)

If its really that bad, pack it in now. It won't be any better in 2 years time. Otherwise, grow up

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#18 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture
29/08/2007 23:12

RamboMonkey to Adviser (#17)

Like the original poster, I recently joined Accenture - however, I actually want to get into IT. Rather than coding however, I wanted to go more higher-level design/architect so to speak.

The thing is, Accenture HR have this funny habit of randomly placing you into divisions you have know clue about - and then make it virtually impossible to move.

I was put into an area that, frankly speaking, I don't have an interest in tbh. The way I'm looking at it at the moment, I'll plough on and do my best. Hopefully, when/if the time comes to move, I hope that the experiences learnt will allow me to move into areas I wanna be in.

I think another thing to remember is that ACN have many opportunities to learn from industry and gain plenty of training. I recommend to use these opportunities to make yourself valuable to industry for when the time comes....

I hope that helps!

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#19 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture
29/08/2007 23:26

Inside Track to RamboMonkey (#18)

As a point to RamboMonkey, if you are unhappy with your current capability/operating group within ACN, then raise it with HR... due to the nature of the market (and assuming you are any good) they will make a lot of effort to satisfy your requirements and move you into an area you would prefer. You can always do things to grease this process, i.e. get onto projects which are focussed on your desired speciality. </br></br>On the subject of jumping ship, Tony's points are correct... essentially Accenture still retains a fairly strong brand within the city. We do work with all the top IBs in London, often at surprisingly high levels. I know of at least 2 people who have gone on to front line salestraders and trading roles at bulge bracket IBs, so its there if you want to push. The two were both SI alligned, NOT strategy. Good luck with your thinking.

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#20 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture
29/08/2007 23:41

RamboMonkey to Inside Track (#19)

Thanks for the advice Inside Track.

I kind got a bit concerned as I've read on these forums that it becomes more difficult to move divisions the more time you spend in your current division. Is this really the case?

But I'll reuse Inside Track's advice for the original poster. Speaking to HR and maybe your Career Councillor may help a bit...It's been a year after all, so you do have a case that you have tried but it just hasn't worked out.

There are opportunities out there in ACN which you may have more interest in. I just hope it works out for yourself as well as for me! :)

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#21 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture (me too @IBM:(
30/08/2007 01:38

Anxious to RamboMonkey (#20)

Hi there,

Hope someone can advise...

I am in a very similar position. I have completed 2 years on the graduate course of IBM Global Business services as a junior consultant. I have managed to steer myself away from any coding type work and have been able to gain generalist exp across pricing, business analysis, some change management work. This culminated in being top rated in my peer group.

1) I only state this as I hope this will hold some leverage when applying elsewhere? Does the IBM Consulting brand hold similar weight to Accenture's??

2) Over the last 2 years I have developed an extremely strong fascination with the Capital MArkets world, often studying theory & concepts online - given how IBM has provided me with no roles or admin roles for the last 9 months, I have decided to leave (my brain is rotting!)...I have 4A's at Alevel in maths/sciences and MEng in Engineering and have scored 700 on GMAT. I am only just realising the mathematical horse power needed in areas such as credit derivitaves and Cap Mkts and i think my people consulting skills would be a great fit. A job in an investment bank i feel would finally challenge me and use my potential & i would be rewarded for perf. ..I studied at Sheffield...Is that a target uni for I banks??? (im the guy who rejected Imp...doh!) Even if it is not a target uni...if i gained an MBA in Finance from LBS/Oxbridge...do you think I hav a realistic chance of getting in to a bank or would i be wasting my money on an MBA to this end????

Sorry for the long Q's ..im really in a dilema! (my backup plan is to move to Big 4 consulting in a more financial capacity)

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#22 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture (me too @IBM:(
30/08/2007 05:23

A general observation...... to Anxious (#21)

Please bear in mind that, while investment banking is very much the place to be now (young graduates have grown up in a market dominated by the fnance sector), this may not always be the case. Things fluctuate alarmingly and you will probably find that the bubble will burst in a few years and all these über successful bankers will be unemployed. It is a passing bandwagon and not necessarily the longer term option. A few years ago everyone wanted to invest in dot.com stocks or become internet entrepreneurs.

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#23 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture (me too @IBM:(
30/08/2007 10:11

BLT to A general observation...... (#22)

I'm sure you can appreciate our frustration that our friends are earning total comps of 75k as A1's, more than double what we get and an amount we can be pleased with after 5 or 6 years in consulting.

Grads like those in this thread have become desensitized to big salaries as a result of this and anything less than 6 figures doesn't seem that much anymore.

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#24 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture (me too @IBM:(
30/08/2007 10:30

yes but.... to BLT (#23)

Quite agree and it is not surprising that graddies like this are looking to sell out early. Nothing is guaranteed in life and perhaps you are better off grabbing the bandwagon as it passes. It is just worth remembering that these things are far from without risk. There are a lot of economic indicators, which make pretty gloomy reading as far as the future is concerned

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#25 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture (me too @IBM:(
30/08/2007 10:32

anon to yes but.... (#24)

Planning a career 10 years in advance is crazy imo. Things are just too uncertain. My view is that if you look after the short-term, the long term will take care of itself

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#26 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture (me too @IBM:(
30/08/2007 12:37

Anxious to anon (#25)

I do believe all your points are valid and important ones, especially how volatile the financial markets can be. We only have to look at the recent Liquidity Crunch due to the Issues with worthless Mortgage Backed Securities from the US. Ironically it is this event which has really set alight my interest!

Anyway, I have made my decision to go for it (If practically realistic)...My state of mind is just far too negative and frustrated in my current menial consulting role.

Therefore, I kindly ask for some views / answers on my 2 questions from my prev post (30/08/07) by 'Anxious' 4 or 5 posts up (as I am v anxious with my career right now!!)

Thanks

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#27 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture (me too @IBM:(
30/08/2007 12:42

Mars A Day to Anxious (#26)

Answers:

1. No

2. No - Sheffield is not a target but try anyway and No I would not recommend an MBA as MBA hiring is the first to suffer if banking takes a downturn, although you may find this is your only way in directly.

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#28 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture (me too @IBM:(
30/08/2007 14:43

CGer to Mars A Day (#27)

Anybody got an impression of how Capgemini is perceived in the City? Anybody know of anyone who moved from CG to IB etc?

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#29 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture (me too @IBM:(
30/08/2007 15:32

Anxious to CGer (#28)

Ok..so judging by Mars a Day's answers.....with my profile I have little chance of getting in to IB...I will try of course.

Ok so plan B: Move out of IBM Consulting and into a Big 4 Consulting practise in the next few months.....here's my profile again:

"completed 2 years on the grad course of IBM Global Business services. I have managed to steer myself away from any coding type work and have been able to gain generalist exp across pricing, business analysis, some change management work. This culminated in being top rated in my peer group and being promoted... 4A's at Alevel in maths/sciences and MEng in Engineering"

The issue

>> Looking on big 4 websites, the consulting roles all seem quite senior/specilist consulting roles. I feel stuck in the middle -- not senior enough for those but have done 2 years with promotion so don't want to start from the v bttm again

>>Surely grads move between firms after 2 years?....What 'entry' points are available? (the advertised roles all seem too senior) I do plan to attend the consulting careers event...still feeling a little stuck but determined to move firms....Help! :)

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#30 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture (me too @IBM:(
30/08/2007 15:47

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) to Anxious (#29)

Anxious - you needn't worry! During the consulting downturn (circa 2001-2004) the major consulting firms scaled back massively on their graduate recruitment levels. The upshot of this was that the numbers of analysts joining the firms from 2002-2005 collapsed. This in turn means there is now a shortage of candidates in the market who are at the 2-3 years' experience level.

I can tell you most firms are having huge difficulties recruiting at this level within the organisation.

The Big 4 are somewhat unusual - as they are all (with the exception of Deloitte) essentially trying to rebuild their consulting practices from scratch - and so do have a greater focus on hiring in "big hitters" and "rainmakers" and are only bringing on board more junior hires as these senior hires are made. But I'm quite sure that most of the other major consulting brands will bite your arm off at the careers fair!! Or indeed if you apply direct to the roles they'll have advertised on their sites.

Good luck with the move - and do look me up if you make it along to the fair.

Tony Restell

Top-Consultant.com

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#31 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture (me too @IBM:(
30/08/2007 15:52

confused to Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) (#30)

what is a rainmaker?

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#32 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture (me too @IBM:(
30/08/2007 16:39

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) to confused (#31)

Rainmaker = senior figure within the firm who can bring in serious amounts of new business

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#33 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture (me too @IBM:(
30/08/2007 18:14

Anxious to Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) (#30)

Tony,

Thanks very much for your response. It is v re- assuring.

The points you made regarding the Big 4 re-entering the market ring true but are EXACTY the reason why I, as a junior would love to work there. The Opportunity to personally deliver and grow fast along with the consulting divisions is very appealing.

More importantly I signed up with IBM to be on the Business' side of the Business/IT consulting practice. I have learnt a great deal and had some good experiences, but it has been a stressful uphill struggle to side step the coding type roles successfully - tiring - despite proving myself through high performance, they don't seem able to provide me with the right opportunities/development. Red tape is a huge problem in letting me move internally. A shame.

Anyway onwards and upwards. I have alot to offer to prospective firms but simply don't want to be an IT consultant - more financial / Analysis /CRM/SCM... I'm hoping to leverage my pre-consulting experience to try and 'crack' the Big 4 and get in as a junior.

> This leverage is in the form of 2 years pre-consulting full time, Industry exp for a large international FMCG, who were employing consultants and hence how i decided to transition to consulting. Do you think such exp prior to the consulting grad scheme would make a diff in my case to the re-emerging big 4??

Thats my last Q! Thnx again and hopefully i will have some doors open after the consulting careers event

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#34 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture (me too @IBM:(
31/08/2007 12:31

Jimbo to Anxious (#33)

To "anonymous", the original poster.

I am in the same position as you except that I have been with Accenture for a little longer (nearly 2 years.)

I've just handed in my notice and I am looking for a new job. If you like I will report back here when (if!) I find one and let you know how I got on. This might help with your decision!

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#35 RE: Think i made a mistake joining Accenture (me too @IBM:(
31/08/2007 12:39

anonymous to Jimbo (#34)

Please do Jimbo and best of luck.

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