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Career switch question

#1 Career switch question
19/10/2007 11:03


Hi, I know I need to decide by myself, however I was wondering whether anybody had the same/similar doubts... If so maybe you can share your experience...

So I work in corporate finance of FTSE 100 multinational. I have been here for 2.5 yrs and I really enjoy work, people, company and career prospects. If everything goes well in 4-5 yrs time I could become head of finance in one of the markets and later even managing director somewhere in the world. I like this vision and if only I had any guarantee that I'll get to these positions in few years I'd be very happy.

However... grass is always greener... ;-). So driven by curiosity and money I applied to strategy consultancy firm and to private equity shop. At that point I was thinking that if they accept me I'd make the jump, to learn something new and to make more money. Long story short I got job offers from both of them. And when I was presented with job offers and had to sign the contract I started to chicken out.

Consultancy offers brand name (tier 2 - think ATK, Monitor, Roland Berger) and broad industry exposure, international travel and better money. I now have 45k + 5-7k bonus, consultancy offers 50k + 10-15k bonus. Private equity (fund of funds firm) offers way better money (60k base plus 30k bonus and carry in 1-2 yrs time - so all in circa 150-170k in 2 yrs time).

So... am I nuts to consider declining both offers? Am I too risk-averse? I mean those of you who were jumping ships (and abandoning at the time of the switch good/prospective jobs as you thought of them at that time) - have you ever regretted it? From your (experienced perspective) is it better to diversify experience or stick to one and grow there?

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#2 RE: Career switch question
19/10/2007 12:05

part timer to doubtful (#1)

What hours do you work in CF compared to what you’d do in the other two?

Personally I’d be happy with my 45+ as as you get on in life you need your spare time for wife/kids/pissing about in the garage. Assuming you get spare time now that is – I don’t really know too much about CF.

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#3 RE: Career switch question
19/10/2007 12:18

go for it to part timer (#2)

Go with PE, you can always make the switch back later on if it doesnt suit. but for now, while youre young (presume you are for 2.5 years exp) you shoudl go all out and work as hard as you can making best poss CV for the future when you will want an "easier" life. I wouldnt go for 2nd tier consulting. Frustrating for the majority, interesting and rewarding for the select lucky (often not meritocratic) few

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#4 RE: Career switch question
19/10/2007 13:18

doubtful to go for it (#3)

Hi again - thanks for replies so far.

Hours... now I work 45h a week (mainly 9-18). Not much of a stretch. In private equity fund of funds hours are not worse... from what I heard it's 9-18 as well (keep in mind that fund of funds differs from direct investment shop). In consulting indeed I'd expect longer hours - 60h/week at least.

As for my age... I'm 25.

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#5 RE: Career switch question
19/10/2007 16:59

idea to doubtful (#4)

I'd go for PE. PE is the hottest area now and you can easily transfer from PE to MBBB or industry. Other way round is extremely difficult. So I'd say that have a unique chance - don't waste it!

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#6 RE: Career switch question
19/10/2007 17:08

anon to idea (#5)

I'd go for PE - if the hours really are the same. Consulting hours can vary hugely, the project variety is good but the travel is less than glamorous and the money's not as good. PE skills are very desirable it seems.

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#7 RE: Career switch question
21/10/2007 11:22

Peter to anon (#6)

Hi Doubtful, did you received any sort of qualifications during your time in CF?

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#8 RE: Career switch question
21/10/2007 17:02

fred to Peter (#7)

This is a really interesting thread - I am exactly the opposite and would really appreciate some advice in getting into CF maybe.

So I'm 24 - been workign in consulting for 2 years, just been promoted before time out of the grad scheme of a Big 4 consultancy. Have been working mainly in 'broad strategic issues' for the strategic offering capability the firm has (although I appreicate this won't be the same as an MBBB offering).

The money is good, 44k with a small bonus and the firm seem to be going places with a good mix of private sector engagements and FTSE 100 clients. However, I hate the back-office transformational nature of the work we do and despise working away from home all the time - it is really getting me down.

From what I have researched,CF or TS related work seems much more up my street but I need to know two things really:

- on a task level,what do you spedn your time doing in CF - is it all playing with s'sheets 24/7 and/or churning models?

- do you think my experience will enable me to shift towards CF at more than grad grade? I have been working for four years (graduated at 20 and in consultancy for 2)

Thanks in advance, good luck with whatever choice you make WRT PE or consulting.


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