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Consulting Cross Roads

#1 Consulting Cross Roads
29/09/2008 17:54

Young Lad

hi people. i am at cross roads at the moment, i have two jobs offers, but not sure what to do. Your thoughts please....

job1 - continue developing upon past 2-3 years experience in a technology specific implementation consulting role.

job2 - branch into pure-play management consulting thats more business inclined, thereby becoming technology agnostic.

Long term plan is do an MBA, and move into leadership/management role for a specific business process -e.g. supply chain, procurement, etc etc

Job 1 is more predictable, and a steady money increase. Job 2, is more risky, as its a new area, although i have cross-transferrable skills, i understand its a different mentality to technology specific consulting. In addition, money may take a while to kick in as im starting from bottem again. Perhaps a case of (i hope), 1 step back to obtain 2 steps forward.

Over to you guys, im not sure which way is best, especially in this economic climate, where job2, primium end of consulting doesnt seem to be top priority due to its costs.

Your thoughts are much appreciated.

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#2 RE: Consulting Cross Roads
29/09/2008 22:34

x to Young Lad (#1)

If you're thinking of an MBA, I recommend sticking with Job 1 (this assumes you are fairly confident about the work pipeline). The reputation, connections, and experience you have built within the organisation will protect you from the worst ravages of the economy better than Job 2.

As you mention, no part of the business and IT services market it immune from the wider economy - right now, competition for entry-level jobs is very hot, and the fact of the matter is that a lot of firms operate "first-in first-out" policies (often unconsciously) so even those who battle their way to a job are in a precarious position.

Starting back at the bottom of the ladder in management consultancy, you'll be doing a lot of pretty generic work - you will be stretched and be learning, but I can't help but think that you'll sacrifice exposure to business development, people management, etc. that you may start to get if you continue in Job 1. Those latter experiences will stand you in good stead going into an MBA. The MBA will also serve to broaden your skills and horizons - it feels like there'd be an overlap with the development you'd get from Job 2.

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#3 RE: Consulting Cross Roads
29/09/2008 22:57

Dan E to x (#2)

"cross-transferrable skills" [sic]

Why can't consultants just speak plain English? Was 'cross-' necessary?

Sorry, probably an unnecessary dig, but your post riled me a little (as did x's response).

If you think you will be happier* in job1, then do that. If you think that you will be happier* in job2, then do that.

* happier: whatever it is that suits your wants and needs, be it money, promotions, status, work-life balance etc. etc. etc.

However, since you asked, I would choose job2. If you want to do an MBA, then breadth of experience is key. You're much more likely to get that in 'pure-play management consulting' than in tech.

I wouldn't worry about consulting budgets being cut - a good firm will always find a niche and clients that value your work will always want to work with you. And most of the evidence so far seems to indicate that consulting is riding the storm fairly well.

God luck with your decision. If I could ask something of you - come back on the forum when you have made your mind up, let people know what you decided and why. It really will add much to the forum if people start doing this.

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#4 RE: Consulting Cross Roads
30/09/2008 00:59

zb to Dan E (#3)

option 2 means you will not be a charlatan

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#5 RE: Consulting Cross Roads
30/09/2008 14:57

young lad to zb (#4)

cheers guys, i value your input.

Dan E - sure will post back the decision.

Any others want to put in the 2p worth....go for it!

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