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any regrets?

#1 any regrets?
20/05/2004 16:24


Does anyone have any regrets about working in the consulting industry? i have an offer, but it seems to good to be true. i know to expect long hours, hard work and unglamourous travel, but are there any other pitfalls? Is it a 'burn out' career like investment banking- where they take a pound of your flesh with every pay increase?

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#2 Re: any regrets?
20/05/2004 23:05


I'm not sure I would say regret but it is certainly a demanding profession in all the ways you mention. I suspect there is high burn out though it is not openly discussed as when you are within the organisation bravado prevails.

I found that the positives outweigh the negatives but only if you go in with your eyes open, a good support structure to keep you in balance and have the emotionally maturity to cope with constant uncertainty. If you have these things it is a very rewarding career because you will experience more in one year than most people do in a decade, it enables you to grow constantly and that is satisfying. I hope this helps.

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#3 Re: any regrets?
21/05/2004 21:14


Hi Sharon,

I worked for five years in consulting before finally leaving for a "proper" job. I think consulting is fine for limited periode time, but I doubt it is a wise career decision for 90% of the folks out there. You should be a stable person with a supportive environemnt (family / partner) otherwise it just wears you done. On the other hand you do learn lots of useful things: top clients handling, tactics, maybe you become an expert on your chosen area and of course money and status. My advice it to try it out for 1-3 years and the jump off the wagon. If you stay 7-10+ years you get unemployable for most of the industry jobs.

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#4 Re: any regrets?
24/05/2004 13:26


Hi Sharon,

I have been working about 5 years in consulting. A few quick thoughts :

- It is an exciting and highly-regarded job

- After all those years, it seems to me that consultants develop more knowledge about methodologies than about industries (unless you really try to develop your own industry expertise through client-projects)

- It is better to go for a well-known consultancy (if you do not like it, you have at least a name to sell).

- Going (back) to the industry afterwards can be difficult, not only in terms of salary expectations but also in terms of career positioning ("consultant un jour, consultant toujours").

As a conclusion, I advise you to go for it but you can already start thinking about your next career move in you really want to develop industry expertise. Spend at least 2-3 years in this area.

All the best,

Sylvain from France

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#5 Re: any regrets?
03/06/2004 17:35


After 5 years I'm still enjoying it. Constant change in environment and work content keep things interesting, and at any time when things aren't so good there is alway a horizon (end of assignment) after which things may change. Workload will vary a great deal I know consultants whom have worked 18hour days for lengthy periods (18months+) however while I've had some buisy times and long days the weight of work has been cyclical, an easy period followed by a tough time, for me it's been OK. With your expectations as they are you'll probably be pleasantly surprised.

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