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Industry to Consulting Director

#1 Industry to Consulting Director
24/08/2009 15:40


Hi I have a progressive "industry career" focussed primarily on transformation, process improvement, cost optimisation, programme management etc. I currently work for a FTSE 100 as Change Director.

I am considering moving into Consulting and believe that I could / would be moving into a Director level role with one of the big players (focus would be on above mentioned skills and experiences).

Whilst I am confident about my leadership, client handling abilities and subject matter expertise, without a structured consulting / sales background I have some concerns as to the revenue generation side of the role.

I have some industry contacts that I may be able to leverage into opportunities but feel that this cannot be the only way.

Has anyone made the transition before - any insights would be gratefully received?!?!



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#2 RE: Industry to Consulting Director
24/08/2009 15:47

Anon to MK (#1)

If you're a director in a FTSE company, then you're already on big bucks, right? So why on earth would you want to become a small cog in a big consultancy that will happily burn you out, chew you up and spit you out?

Even without knowing you, I can tell you'll be able to do the job just fine. Don't worry about that or lack of sales experience and the like. With your background, you'll find a role without any trouble. But my over-riding question is, why on earth would you want to head in this direction in the first place???

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#3 RE: Industry to Consulting Director
24/08/2009 16:26

MK to Anon (#2)

Good question, one that I am still grappling with but the key points are around international mobility, industry/brand recognition and a disinterest in operational BAU type activities. I am motivated by transformation initiatives and will enjoy the variety of consulting. That said, I am still considering options hence the initial question.

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#4 RE: Industry to Consulting Director
24/08/2009 22:08

Anon to MK (#3)

Take it from me, the 'international mobility' thing is greatly over-rated. They're not gonna send you to Beverly Hills. Nor are you gonna get a penthouse suite overlooking Sydney Harbour. And you certainly won't be shipped off to Mauritius for a 12 month assignment.

The reality is that most 'international mobility' will take the form of being shoved from pillar to post, early morning flights to Dusseldorf, lonely nights in Brussels, and maybe being told to go to some random place like China for a 12 month stint every now and then. Living out of a suitcase gets tiresome very, very quickly.... even if you do get to do it in 5 star hotels.

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#5 RE: Industry to Consulting Director
25/08/2009 00:30

tootrue to Anon (#4)

Nonsense the reason you dont like where you get sent is a reflection of your language abilities, your business skills and the culture of the firm you work in (that probably has some idea about why it sends people to the locations it does).

In my consulting career people do go to California, do advise on the management of luxury hotels in exclusive island resorts, and do rely on a few different languages in Brussels that adds up to more than one (thus having a better time when they are there and less stress when getting out).

You might hate me but its true.

I would have large objections to working for a director that I knew had no structured consulting experience. If he/she could sell themselves into the industry before I realised and I was forced to work for them, then I suppose if the money was good enough I'd stay. It would be reluctantly though.

I'm very sorry but that is also true.

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#6 RE: Industry to Consulting Director
25/08/2009 13:12

MK to tootrue (#5)

tootrue - thank you for your feedback, I had not considered that existing staff might have an issue with me joining at a senior level. I suppose my ability to sell myself into a Directors role in the first place (without this experience) could be seen as valuable. Would you primarily be concerned around their leadership and client management skills? If not these, could you please elaborate?

anon - by international mobility I was considering overseas employment opportunities as opposed to travel. I plan to migrate to Australia / New Zealand in a few years and hope that working in consulting for a big player will allow me to enter this foreign market with a "warm" network and recognised brand name.

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#7 RE: Industry to Consulting Director
25/08/2009 17:07

anon to MK (#6)

mk - what do you think are the answers to these questions (I'm not being 'funny' by the way):

1. The chances of finding a consultancy firm that is recruiting at senior levels right now

2. AND which is willing to take a chance on somebody with no prior experience of working with external clients (internal consultancy is a different world)

3. AND which just happens to have a nice project that meets your skill set

4. AND for which said project requires somebody at your level

5. AND with the project based in Australia/NZ

6. AND with the project being of some significant duration (like years rather than months)

7. AND which needs your input for that full duration

8. AND working for a client which has an internationally recognised brand name

Realistically, I think what you're looking for is just way too specific. If you wanna go to Aus or NZ, why not just apply there now? I don't get the point of the 'stepping stone' move?

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