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Should I do it and how do i come back? Industry to cosulting

 
#1 Should I do it and how do i come back? Industry to cosulting
09/11/2007 10:10

bluechip

Hi,

I wanted to ask for people’s thoughts and advice. I’m 26 and for some context: I recently completed a graduate scheme with a global FMCG company, promoted quickly and my life is comfortable, 9 start - 6 finish, although progression looks minimal.

However, I always wanted to try consulting and have been offered (and accepted) a role in a non-MBB/top 10 firm to start in a few months or so. My salary increases by 50% and, if I can survive, pay and progression will be good whilst hours and travel will not.

My approach is to try consulting as you never know until you give it a go. My fear is it won’t work out and I’ll have wasted the 3 years I built up with my current employer. My question is; how can I maintain good relations with my current employer when I leave and would it ever be feasible to go back if consulting didn’t work out?

Thanks and any advice would be welcomed

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#2 RE: Should I do it and how do i come back? Industry to cosulting
09/11/2007 12:21

Mars A Day to bluechip (#1)

In 3 years time you will have moved on and so will the world. Best advice is to commit to your move and make the most of the opportunity - there is nothing to be gained by looking over your shoulder the whole time. In that 3 years you will have been replaced at your old firm, the markets will have changed, and any trace of you expunged from the place. On the other hand in 3 years time you could be excelling in consultancy, being overpaid and too expensive to return to your old company anyway.

Grasp the nettle bluechip!

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#3 RE: Should I do it and how do i come back? Industry to cosulting
09/11/2007 14:25

Sophie to Mars A Day (#2)

Believe me, after 3 years of consultancy you won't feel like you're "overpaid", even if you do start off with a 50% pay increase. That's 100% guaranteed.

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#4 RE: Should I do it and how do i come back? Industry to cosulting
09/11/2007 15:24

bluechip to Sophie (#3)

Sophie - are you saying don't go into consulting?

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#5 RE: Should I do it and how do i come back? Industry to cosulting
09/11/2007 15:49

Anon to bluechip (#4)

don't listen to Sophie, Bluechip. All She (although I think it's a he) does is come on here and rave about how good IB is and how bad consulting is. Go with what your gut tells you and make an informed decision based on peoples personal experiences. Also don't make your decision based purely on remuneration, there are also other aspects to take into account such as work/life balance, job satisfaction and future career prospects.

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#6 RE: Should I do it and how do i come back? Industry to cosulting
09/11/2007 16:03

Sophie to bluechip (#4)

Well... ultimately it's your decision. You should consider the following however:

- You're doing well in your current job and have good hours and I assume minimal travel.

- A 50% pay rise must be very tempting.

- Many consultancies are very 'hire and fire' or 'up or out'. How much do you value job stability/security? Sure, nothing's certain in the world of work any more, but continuity of employment at some firms is a heck of a lot less uncertain than in others (consultants are almost always the first to be fired when a company is doing badly).

- Travelling around Europe and eating in fancy restaurants is fun for a few months. But believe me, it wears thin very quickly. Being away from home for most of the year is NOT fun in the long term. And it's a killer for friendships / relationships etc.

- Working to 7 or 8 every evening might not seem too bad. But have you ever done an all-nighter in your current job? How about 80 hours a week sustained for several months? Long, long hours and urgent deadline after urgent deadline. You get to a point where, no matter what they pay you, it ain't enough to keep you working those kinds of hours without starting to question why you're wasting your life sitting in front of a computer for 18 hours a day in a basement meeting room in Brussels.

- I'm guessing you know the people you work with quite well. Imagine being thrown into a new team every few months, with new egos/personalities etc and constantly having to 'prove your worth'. This might sound fun ('diversity' and 'change' and all that), but in reality it is very, very stressful.

- I'm also guessing you have fairly clear reporting lines in your current job and a 'reasonable' line manager. Imagine having to keep clients, partners, team mates, HR and various other parties all happy with your performance at the same time. It's common for consultants to end up reporting to multiple bosses, each of whom want 75% of your time.

- Imagine having to find a new job every 3 months. This is similar to many firms' internal staffing procedures. And if you go too long without finding a new 'job' (project), your utilisation drops and you get fired at your next appraisal.

- Many consultancy partners are very driven, competitive, egotistical people. Imagine what it would be like working for one! Think endless cycles of edits to pointless documents all night long. And you have nowhere to hide either, because your chummy little 'team' and managers will be sat right beside you in an uncomfortably close desk arrangement all day (and night) long. You will get to the point where you relish going to the toilet, if only to get away from your desk for 6 minutes.

- Most people reach a point in their life where other things become more important than pay. How will you raise a family for instance if you're working out of the country 4-5 days a week? And what if you get that dreaded phone call (as is quite common in consultancy) requiring you to drop everything and go and live in Singapore or Brazil for the next 6 months? It sounds glamorous, but not if you have a wife and kids who have just started school.

So those are just some thoughts. Use this input as you will!

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#7 RE: Should I do it and how do i come back? Industry to cosulting
09/11/2007 16:43

Question.. to Sophie (#6)

Sophie,

I'm guessing that you're quite feisty....are you fit too?

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#8 RE: Should I do it and how do i come back? Industry to cosulting
09/11/2007 16:52

Sophie to Question.. (#7)

I'm actually a 34 year old man but I use a female nickname because people tend to be friendlier and provide more helpful answers to my questions when I post as a female!

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#9 RE: Should I do it and how do i come back? Industry to cosulting
09/11/2007 16:57

AD to Sophie (#8)

Wow, the more I read this forum the more the MC illusion becomes shattered. I never see many IBers complaining on their forums. Any MCs actually enjoy what they do?

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#10 RE: Should I do it and how do i come back? Industry to cosulting
09/11/2007 22:41

anon to Sophie (#6)

a brilliant, accurate synopsis, Soph.

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#11 RE: Should I do it and how do i come back? Industry to cosulting
12/11/2007 17:17

trialae to anon (#10)

If its something you have wanted for a while then you should give it a try, otherwise you'll always wonder. And as someone mentioned before - you might even like it or at least learn some new skills, meet some new people etc..

You are young - if it goes horribly wrong at least you know you experienced it. So you’ll have t go back into the job market or back to industry. People move jobs all the time and if you happen to do it after a few months, and tell people you wanted to try consulting but it wasn’t for you, then you’ll be fine. You must be reasonably smart to get through the interviews and do well in your current role.

Who knows… your current industry firm might restructure in a few years anyway and when you are left without a job you’ll really kick yourself. Nothing is for ever – good or bad.

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