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Through with consulting -- advice on how to change careers

 
#1 Through with consulting -- advice on how to change careers
21/05/2008 01:19

Lost

Guys,

I need help on career guidance. I am not asking you to tell me which career I should switch to -- obviously I would not take such critical advice from an internet forum!! -- but rather how I should go about discovering which career is best for my skills and personality.

I've been in consulting for 2.5 years now, in a large consulting firm(ACN/IBM/Deloitte). I went in right after graduation.

Now I realize I've made a big mistake and that consulting is not for me.

I just cannot stand being constantly asked to sell myself every day, every day, force myself into a friendly relationship with a client to whom I do not admire -- nor despise for that matter -- just to make sure that he will hire us again. And if the pressure is not coming from the client, it would come from your managers. I cannot stand hierarchy anymore, it's completely stiffling my creativity and I feel that I'm only using 20% of my abilities. At the end of every day, I feel empty, unsatisfied and frustrated.

What can I do to find out what the best career is for me? Shall I seek professional guidance from career consulting firms?

Shall I try a smaller company to see if things get better? Can they be better elsewhere anywhere? Definitely not in another consulting firm... How about industry? I wouldn't have to deal with clients at least.

I know that I can get valuable advice because there are quite a few experienced people on this forum... .

Thanks people

cheers,

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#2 RE: Through with consulting -- advice on how to change careers
21/05/2008 10:33

dontworry to Lost (#1)

I was there myself a few years ago. I joined one of the big ones after graduation and detested it, and so did many of my colleagues. In one or another we all left for smaller consultancies where we are all happier. I was not too keen on retail banking consulting, so left the big firm, joined a small hedge fund marketing business in London as an office manager, learned the basics of the industry (NAVs, etc...) and used that to leverage myself into the kind of work that I want to do.

If you want to get out of consulting you have to reconcile yourself to the following:

1.) whatever you do next, you may be paid less

2.) Most businesses have hierarchies that are irritating.

3.) Smaller firms may give you a better chance to prove yourself.

4.) Whatever you do, do not get into a position where you think, a year down the road 'i wish i didnt leave.'

Therefore plan carefully. Find out what industry an profession you want to be in, and call people up, find out what their thoughts are - specificially see if what they suffer from on their bad days is the same that you suffer from.

Have you been promoted yet? Its a good way to sell yourself in industry 'after promotion at this consultancy I have come to the decision that this firm's career path is not for me...etc..' Can you get in with any of the firms that you have consulted with?

Ultimately its a hard move to make, it really is, unfortunately. Best of luck!

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#3 RE: Through with consulting -- advice on how to change careers
22/05/2008 01:40

agree to dontworry (#2)

agree with above

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#4 RE: Through with consulting -- advice on how to change careers
22/05/2008 15:57

Lost to agree (#3)

Thanks for your responses.

I would like to know what the process is for discovering one's best suited profession. Are there services that help you with that? Has anyone used them and if so what is the feedback?

I will probably give it a shot in a small firm first before deciding to completely change careers.

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#5 RE: Through with consulting -- advice on how to change careers
30/06/2008 18:50

The Guru to Lost (#4)

Hi there Lost,

If your really are a little confused and would like to refocus your career choices then you might like to these two tools - "Schein's Theory of Career Anchors" and "Holland's Theory of Occupational Choice"....see if you find them useful...i actually did! Cheers.

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#6 RE: Through with consulting -- advice on how to change careers
01/07/2008 15:29

Umga-lumga to The Guru (#5)

I can sympathise with your situation. I'd recommend "What Color Is Your Parachute?: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers" as well.

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