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Options? Confused

#1 Options? Confused
05/01/2008 11:50


Hi - I have just started an entry graduate position as a strategy analyst (few months in) which has been relatively quiet due to the xmas period. However, whilst I'm really happy to be there (and feel quite privileged considering how hard it was to get into), part of my gut instinct is telling me this career isnt for me - its far too corporate which isnt what I see for me in the long term. At the moment I'm thinking maybe stick with it for a year or so and then diversify into something else - does anyone have any insights into the options/possibilities? Thinking civil service/media/industry? At what stage have you pigeon holed yourself so its difficult to move across professions? I'm 25 and graduated a year ago.

Any input will be really appreciated - still quite a newcomer to the world of consultancy (and the world of work in some respects) so my lack of experience and knowledge isnt helping

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#2 RE: Options? Confused
05/01/2008 11:58

Mikmo to Anya (#1)

I'm a graduate myself so perhaps not the best source but I would say that the skills a strategy analyst develops are applicable to many industries, as diverse as a MCs client base itself.

You're fortunate in that the skills and experiences you gain now are likely to be highly sought after by a wide range of public and private organisations.

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#3 RE: Options? Confused
07/01/2008 10:34

Mars A Day to Anya (#1)


Relax a little and crack on with it - you are indeed in a priviledged position. You really need to give it 2 years so you can leave as an experienced hire - strat consulting experience is highly valued across many sectors so you will find it fairly easy to line up any number of exit options when the time comes.

The grass always looks greener so be cautious in deciding civil service or media might be more to your liking - both can be just as corporate and even more bureaucratic.

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#4 RE: Options? Confused
07/01/2008 10:43

definitely to Mars A Day (#3)

hate to admit it but Mars is spot on. With so little experience, the alternatives are likely to be less well paid, just as corporate and no more exciting.

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#5 RE: Options? Confused
07/01/2008 13:20

anya to definitely (#4)

thank you for the replies - Mars, I think you're spot on too. I am throwing myself into this role and trying to gain as much as I can from it - as it is all positive in most respects and I wouldnt change my situation right now as I am learning huge amounts. However, I want to keep an open mind too, and at least try and inform myself of the various opportunities out there after a couple of years. I'm thinking of maybe trying to use some of my holiday to get some work experience here or there (to see if the grass is greener or not), or to try and talk to people from other industries to get better informed. My main issue is that my passion/interests tend to lie with social issues, and not so much the business world. So for example, I can try and maneuver my experience in strategy to suit (as much as possible) what I may want to do after I leave. I think this will help in the long term no end. I just don’t know that much about how easy it is to move from one profession to another etc.

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#6 RE: Options? Confused
07/01/2008 14:11

Mars A Day to anya (#5)

Anya you would be - frankly - insane to waste your precious annual leave on such matters, no matter how committed you are; strategy will work you VERY hard, and you will need time to rest and balance your life with some personal pursuits. All work and no play will not make you more interesting or focused.

Your experience in strat will be broad enough to transfer into more social policy/NFP sectors in due course if this is still of interest - it's not all bleeding hearts in the charity or social policy sectors, and they are increasingly looking to align themselves to best practice from the private sector. Also as most strat consultancies will start you on a generalist track for some years you will have ample time to get a better look at various possible destinations, and when the time comes you may be able to move across with the blessing and support of your managers as strat firms win a lot of business through their alumni.

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#7 RE: Options? Confused
07/01/2008 23:14

Ned Flanders to Mars A Day (#6)


I think Mars is quite right.

On top of that I would say there is a strong issue about timing. If you moved over to an nfp/govt social outfit now or in the near future, you would probably be doing basic, boring stuff or may I dear say alienating from any desire of impacting people and real needs. The progression of responsability, roles, involvement in core issues is also a lot slower (age, which you specify, wont be an issue and you wont be pigeon holing yourself). By sticking it out in your present position you'll leap-frog in front of a lot of your peers and along the way avoid a lot of glorified clerical stuff.

I also think that a few months in your present position is not enough to write it off, especially as its your first job.

In 2 years as in 7 you'll still be fine to move out and do well.

Please don't use your holiday for work experience.

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#8 RE: Options? Confused
07/01/2008 23:34

anonE to Anya (#1)

Hi Anya,

Depending on what sector your strategy firm focuses on, I know that Ofcom recuit strategy analysts where you get to work on projects such as the role of public sector broadcasters. Ofcom are also a converged regulator covering telco, radio & tv. Social issues are certainly relevant here. just a thought. but stick with it for a year at least and it will lead to other opportunites for you.

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