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Leaving consulting

 
#1 Leaving consulting
18/07/2009 18:08

Eddie

I’m having a difficult time deciding whether I want to stay in my consulting career or take on the family business. Anyone have any good advice either way?

I've been working in consulting for 7 years and have worked my way up. I am on a good salary but I am drifting a bit - I’m not really getting the opportunities I need to move my career forwards.

The opportunity to take on the family business will not be open forever. Unless I take it on, it will be sold. It is a medium sized company and is doing fine despite the recession and hopefully will continue to do so. It isn’t in an industry I am familiar with but have talked this through, and I am fairly confident I could pick it up with a couple of years of hand over.

I would be a director, I would be financially better off than my current job. In addition, I would have more flexibility with regards to the hours that I work, which is important as I have family. Sounds good (lucky me), but I am apprehensive due to the uncertainty of moving into an unknown industry and the risk to my career if it doesn’t work out. How easily could I return to consulting? How would employers view the experience? One idea that I had to keep the risks down and my options open would be to do a part time MBA at the same time. Any thoughts appreciated.

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#2 RE: Leaving consulting
18/07/2009 21:11

WhyNot to Eddie (#1)

Everyone who reads that will wonder why you haven't already gone.

Even if it all fell apart and the company died think of the massive experience you'd have gained in the process.

Why study an MBA - the job you described sounds like you'd be living an MBA?

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#3 RE: Leaving consulting
18/07/2009 22:49

WiseMe to Eddie (#1)

depends on your age. Are you in the 40s or 50s. That's different.

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#4 RE: Leaving consulting
19/07/2009 08:35

Eddie to WiseMe (#3)

I'm also starting to think that I should have made this decision years ago.

I think though that having had the experience of working for another company, I will hopefully be in a better position than if I had just joined straight after graduating. I have developed a strong work ethic, I have had frank and honest feedback about my performance, and as a consultant I can draw on the experience of having worked with many different companies.

What's holding me back is the fear of leaving my consulting career behind and uncertainty of where I will be if things don't work out. To answer the second poster, I'm 30.

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#5 RE: Leaving consulting
19/07/2009 13:25

anon to Eddie (#4)

It sounds like a worthwhile opportunity, but that's easier to say when you're not the one facing the risk. I'm sure you've done all the analysis on this - opportunity costs, probability of consulting career advancement and partnership vs. redundancy, family business commercial strength, etc.

Running the family business into the ground and destroying the family's reputation is something you only get to do once.

Regardless of how well or how badly your time with the family business goes, consulting is something that you can always come back to when your hair is grey, and with the additional claim of having "led the top company in the XYZ market before taking some time out to spend with the family".

I'm being silly, of course, but you get the idea.

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#6 RE: Leaving consulting
19/07/2009 22:22

WiseMe to anon (#5)

30? Go for it

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#7 RE: Leaving consulting
23/07/2009 16:06

anon to WiseMe (#6)

I agree - just go for it!

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#8 RE: Leaving consulting
23/07/2009 16:12

anon to WiseMe (#6)

I agree - just go for it!

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#9 RE: Leaving consulting
24/07/2009 11:05

Big G to anon (#8)

Just go! I've never heard anyone regretting leaving consulting, and so many people who say they wished they'd done it earlier. I think many people don't leave because they can't get the right opportunity - you have, it's a pay rise in a very tough environment, so do it!

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#10 RE: Leaving consulting
24/07/2009 13:16

Big G to anon (#8)

Just go! I've never heard anyone regretting leaving consulting, and so many people who say they wished they'd done it earlier. I think many people don't leave because they can't get the right opportunity - you have, it's a pay rise in a very tough environment, so do it!

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#11 RE: Leaving consulting
24/07/2009 13:34

Naive Grad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! to Big G (#10)

Hold on a minute. Why would any sane person want to leave consulting? Almost everybody is desperate to "get into" consulting. The high pay, generous bonuses, exposure to high level strategic issues, hob-nobbing with the corporate elite, job security, responsibility and challanges you get from day one, the flexibility and excellent work life balance make it an ideal career path.

Judging by some of the comments here, you would think that consultants work long hours, get told at the last minute that "unfortunately there will be a pay cut and no bonuses this year owing to the economic situation", get shat on by partners who couldn't give a monkey's toss about your welfare, and have 10 times the stress and responsibility of their clients for 10% extra pay!

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#12 RE: Leaving consulting
24/07/2009 18:22

anon to Naive Grad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (#11)

Nice summary Naive Grad - my sentiments exactly!

It's a mug's game.

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#13 RE: Leaving consulting
24/07/2009 22:53

.ppt & me to Eddie (#1)

I Made exactly this move 18 months ago and have not regretted it once (and I am speaking as someone who rakes over every single decision I make). In terms of freedom and possibilities there is really no comparison. On the flip side working in a small or medium sized firm requires more self discipline and motivation - no more neatly defined objectives and performance criteria (except for the P&L).

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#14 RE: Leaving consulting
29/07/2009 17:41

mikkconsultinggeezer to Naive Grad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (#11)

I am a senior face at a well known consulting firm on 6 figures+ and have a growing non- consulting business outside.

The numbers are coming in I spend 2 days a week on outside interests. my colleagues do the same. One day everybody ends up on the POP list so make sure you've got a nice business to walk into.

Discretion is the word. Don't register yourself as a director of a uk company.

In fact lower down the food chain is better as long as your billable no one cares what your doing. I know a senior consultant flogging wine to partners via the back of his car.

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