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been there done that got the t-shirt, now what next??

 
#1 been there done that got the t-shirt, now what next??
24/01/2010 20:57

ANON

Hi All,

I have 13 years of international experience in IT and have done extremely well in the age of 32. Done MBA from one of the leading UK university, recently worked with Accenture for 2.5 years as Manager in SIT. Took VR in May 2009 and immediately landed in £125K contract per annum with a leading UK financial institution. Though the contract will go on until the end 2010 but I am doing foreward planning at the moment that where should I land in late 2010 or in 2011. Want to join one of the big Strategy house such as BCG, BAH etc..but not sure whether my skill set as IT Programme/ Project manager will be useful for these guys.. who else can afford paying me over £125K P.A. as I have no intention to see a decrease in my pay cheque should I join some permanent position. Is any BIG 4 hiring now a days? how are the prospects at Deliotte after ACN?

Regards

ANON

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#2 RE: been there done that got the t-shirt, now what next??
25/01/2010 10:26

Mr Cool to ANON (#1)

Your post is a weird mix of self-confident back-slapping and naïve questions! To assess your attractiveness to MBB firms, more specific details are required.

13 years experience at the age of 32 implies your first job started at the age of 19. Did you graduate early, or did you not complete an undergraduate degree? Completing an Oxbridge Maths degree at 19 might attract the MBB; not doing an undergrad would not.

Which leading UK university for the MBA? Your idea of top may not meet the MBB (or even Big4) definition of top.

2.5 years at ACN? What else have you done? Half the world has done 2.5 years at ACN.

Who can afford 125K? Almost anyone. You won’t be breaking any salary structures at that level. The issue is whether you have the experience to merit the position/grade that would generate that sort of income.

125K contract – is this a fixed term contract paying a 125K salary, or are you taking a day rate and multiplying it by 20 days for 12 months? That may be the case in the next year, but most career contract consultants would assume no better than 10 months in any year as fee earning. Holidays alone make it 11 months maximum! If it is a day rate contract, you will have expenses associated with running your business - corporate tax, insurance, accountancy fees, etc. A 125K contract will generate personal 95K income in a tax efficient environment – however that is a raw salary. For comparison with employment, you need to consider other factors such as bonus, insurance, pensions, etc. Also, career progression in contracting is substantially more difficult that in employment. Contractors are generally hired for what they have already done, not their potential. Consequently it is common to find contractors “stuck” at a rate that was initially attractive, but that becomes less so over a period of 5-10 years.

First impression from your post is that it is very unstructured and does not provide useful data - not something the MBB are renowned for admiring...

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#3 RE: been there done that got the t-shirt, now what next??
25/01/2010 11:03

$0.02 to ANON (#1)

rule of thumb with contracting and being a permy, you should look to get a contract rate that allows you to achieve your annual permanent salary in 6 months. so just because you have a contract that is £125k you are unlikely to make a case to go permanent and get the same amount. so if you want to keep contractor rates, then carry on contracting.

blowing hot air up your own behind about how well you have done and just how great you are but oh yeah please help me on this forum will without a doubt draw some rather vicious commentary your way.

and just so you know someone is probably going to pipe up about your grammar sentence construction etc.

now back to what you want to know, everyone is always hiring. it really is just a question of whether you are what they want or need. I went to Deloitte after Accenture and loved it. Yes still big company mentality, but you are far less a number than at Accenture. But by my reckoning to earn the amount you want you would need to be coming in at Director level. and you will need to show your ability to generate revenue. once you start passing the £80k mark, your international experience of IT, will need to be supported by your ability to earn your firm/company revenue.

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#4 RE: been there done that got the t-shirt, now what next??
25/01/2010 11:15

someguy to Mr Cool (#2)

Mr Cool should get a medal for taking the OP at face value, so I will attempt to answer as well.

If you've "done MBA" and are now contracting then you're well aware that contract rates take into account your NI payments, liability insurance and a host of other things you're not expected to pay for as a salaried employee. Therefore equating a 125K contract to a 125K salary is foolish. Point already made above.

Secondly your skillset is wonderfully generic and sounds like those CV-farming posts in job sites (IT Project/Programme Manager 60-200K!). Unless you have a USP in a specific industry/technology (e.g., SAP Oil & Gas or Oracle - Utilities) or the relevant certifications, the Big4 will treat you as they would any contractor jumping back and offer you the midmarket permanent rate.

To be fair conditions should be improving, so congratulations on superb timing if nothing else - a move back to permanent employment sounds like the right move in a rising tide.

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#5 RE: been there done that got the t-shirt, now what next??
25/01/2010 15:12

Mr Cool to someguy (#4)

Interesting additional points in the two posts above. Rates versus salary are a constant issue with me, so have become a bit of a hobby -or is that hobbyhorse (:-)

If you really are doing forward planning, then consider the following “fundamentals”. Markets rarely lie.

A 12 month full-time contract generating 125K would normally require between £575-£600 a day, depending on holiday, training and time required to find your following job. Admirable as this is, it is not the rate of an experienced program manager running big transformations at blue chips. That would be £750-£1000. £600 is more the rate for a senior project manager or PM with specific niche expertise that puts them temporarily above market rate..

My experience is that Big4 charge roughly twice the contractor rate for a similar person. This suggests that your billing rate, were you to return to Big4 would be £1200. Big4 people at that rate on the projects I am working on are Manager or at best Senior Manager, not Director (which based on good info above, is the level you'd need to attain).

Taking the £1200 and multiplying it by a 70% target billing utilisation, and assuming a target ratio of billing to salary of 3.5 to 1 (any engagement managers out there? please, am I out of touch?) then you get a rough salary of £75K – is that close to what you were on at ACN?

I don’t wish to burst you bubble, but I think you’ve done well to take VR and walk straight into a decent contract position. If you want to maintain that level of income in returning to permanent employment then I suggest you take a class in silk spinning and build yourself a cocoon, because it’s going to take a personal transformation of butterfly proportion.

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#6 RE: been there done that got the t-shirt, now what next??
25/01/2010 15:31

Mars A Day to Mr Cool (#5)

Translating Mr Cool's insights for you OP, because I'm much blunter than he is: you plateaued a while ago and got lucky, now you've inflated your worth and will find a return to reality uncomfortable - for your bank balance and your ego.

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#7 RE: been there done that got the t-shirt, now what next??
25/01/2010 15:36

Recruiter to Mr Cool (#5)

Saw this earlier and didn't have time to respond, but looks there was no need.

Hear hear to all of the good answers above, although I don't think the original post could have been entirely truthful and serious itself.

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#8 RE: been there done that got the t-shirt, now what next??
26/01/2010 02:03

anon to Recruiter (#7)

having used this forum before, it is not surprising to get these sort of unconstructive response. But in the belief I will get some genuine response as well here is my last response in addition to my earlier mail ( have better things to do mate):

@ Recruiter: You have no sense of recuriting if your common sense ( if you have one) suggests that my orginal post is not truthful of serious.

@ Mr Cool and rest of the lots: thanks for enlightening me that one can do MBA"that to be from a leading university without already graduating" so you are right I started my first job at the age of 19 "post graduation". I am sure I haven't yet told you which country I hail from so it wasn't a bright idea to assume that in other countries you can't graduate at 19. To correct you, have you got the idea what is the world's population as we stand today, it is 6,798,500,000. Did you manage to read that number and you still beleive half of the world did 2.5 years at ACN. What a brilliant person you are!! Anyhow, what I did at ACN in those 2.5 years was sufficient for UK MDI to reject my first VR application and was also sufficient for ACN's biggest financial client in UK to offer me a £125k contract immediately after my second VR apps was approved. >>>> You spent too much time on explaining how much take home one would be getting on £125K P.A. contract. Are you that insane that I have been drawing this money from last 8 months that I would not know what my take home is!!! Did I not make it clear that I don't want my pay cheque to be reduced than what I currently get so should that not be self explainatery that the salary I am currently targeting as a permie!! no at Accenture I was drawing £90K P.A. not £75K as one of you mentioned.>> On your comment about you found my post very unstructured and also on my grammer, well english is not my first language and I don't regret :-) ask Tony to include spell check feature and other MS world features in this forum to meet your expectations Sir!! No I have not been hired for something I have ever done before, it's totally new for me however, the scale of budget I am managing is more than an SE from Accenture normally manages in their year 2 at level!! No I am not seeking for your kind help to get me into MBB, just wanted some one from MBB to put insight on what the scope is for IT Programme Manager who can manage the projects in the range of £10 million to £100 million with the duration from 1 to 5 years.

Yes, I know everyone is always hiring but I am not looking for plumbing job which are currently in high demands due to advese weather conditions. As I mentioned my expertise in Programme and project management. And no my skill set is not generic rather expectional to find. I am right blend of technical, programme management and business development skills and that is complimented with MBA, Prince 2 Practioner and all those industry certifications including ITIL V3. Further more it is complimented by the 5 years I spent in outsourcing and offshoring domain in South East Asia and managed some of the high profile outsourcing projects including SAP for world's leading companies!

I appreciate some of you guys comments sounds positive such as Deliotte is better than ACN so thanks for that view. If I would have sticked to ACN I would been SM by now so it is obvious that I would aim for joining at Director level at Deliotte if I found the right firm to join and they found me the right guy to hire! Yes generating revenue in not an issue at all, have been doing it all the time!! Getting my contract extended is also a revenue generation for my own company!

Cheers guys, would appreciate if we stick to MBB and aviod spending time of finding the grammatical mistakes in my post cos trust me I won't improve so long as I have MS world doing this job for me!!

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#9 RE: been there done that got the t-shirt, now what next??
26/01/2010 07:54

anon to anon (#8)

ah the joys of globalisation

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#10 RE: been there done that got the t-shirt, now what next??
26/01/2010 10:29

Mr Cool - with help from Little Miss Patience to anon (#8)

Wow, ANON, dude – did you read any of the responses? I don’t suppose you’ll read this one, but in case someone else does, here are a few genuine points…

Graduating at 19 – no one suggested this was impossible; I asked if you had. I personally went to University when I was just sixteen and had completed my degree by nineteen. I completed a fourth (joint honours) year by twenty. Genuinely, man, you need to calm down and read what people wrote, not what your angry brain thinks there are implying.

The country you’re from. You’re right – you didn’t say, but neither did anyone assume otherwise.

Half the world does 2.5 years at ACN. – This is hyperbole not statistical accuracy. Your own post suggests you understand the use of similes, metaphors and the like. This was such a mechanism. ACN are very good at making you feel that having their name on your CV will be a badge of quality. This may have been true 10 years ago when they were AC, but since they moved wholesale into outsourcing and offshoring, I’m afraid this simply is not the case. ACN are a perfectly respectable IT/MC shop, but it is not in any way exclusive, nor special. “Leading” your CV with it that it is your “flagship” experience, which would in no way impress MBB firms.

Rejection of VR application – Good for you. However the sad fact is that VR applications are almost always rejected for people currently billing. Besides, they accepted your second application, so they can’t have been that bothered.

Perm V’s Contract income. – Anyone comparing these two options needs to compare NET income because of the substantial taxation differences. Sorry if that is boring; the arithmetic is hardly difficult to follow. There is a simple fact that is indisputable. If you tell a perm job recruiter that the rationale for your salary request is your current CONTRACT income, they will laugh. End of story.

Unstructured argument/English. - It is true that we are often very anglo-centric on this forum, so don’t take any criticism of language too seriously. It is admirable that you are at the very least bi-lingual. However you do need to consider two things. 1) Failing to pose your question in a structured way is not a grammatical issue. It points instead to an unstructured mind. If you disagree, i.e. you feel you are a structured thinker, then you should ask why others get a contrary impression. 2) Unfair as it may be, speaking and writing in English is a large part of working at MBB firms. I believe you would need to improve your English to attain the required level.

Skills blend. – You say it is exceptional – Programme/Project Management/Bus Dev/Technical mix that you mention is fairly common in the MC world. Please help us provide better responses by making it clear what it is that is exceptional.

Progression to Director at Deloittes. As I understand it your argument is “I left ACN as a Manager, but if I stayed I’d have been a Senior Manager, which means I’d only then have left for somewhere like Deloittes for an offer of Director”? I’m afraid this is fundamentally flawed. The world is absolutely FULL (including me!) of people who “would have been partner” if they’d stayed at one firm or another. Progression to Director more or less requires that you perform “as a Director” while at SM, probably for 2-3 years.

I’m pretty sure you gave up reading this after the first paragraph, but perhaps other people with your background who are also interested in their career will get something from it.

Best of luck.

P.S. I’m pretty willing to bet that whenever you leave a room, most people turn to each other and say “what an a$$hole!”. I’m including interviews in that. Your life, your choices.

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#11 RE: been there done that got the t-shirt, now what next??
26/01/2010 11:16

someguy to anon (#8)

Anon - your responses show a lack of self-esteem backed up by the thinnest skin of any consultant I've had the displeasure to interact with shows you are not ready for the big time. Don't be under any illusions that you were up for SM at ACN - whatever doubts I had about your ego and communications skills were instantly dispelled by your second response.

So as not to waste time, here's a serious question: what's your day rate? You bandy around your shiny 125k figure but that's £500/day for 21 days for 12 months. Put up or shut up, friend.

Here's a second serious question: Having used the forum as you say, did you expect anyone to give you an easy ride for your attitude?

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#12 RE: been there done that got the t-shirt, now what next??
26/01/2010 11:20

In awe of the master to anon (#8)

“Yes generating revenue in not an issue at all, have been doing it all the time!!”

Looking forward to your sales pitch…

“Me genius. My firm is top class. You are a foolish, foolish man. You sign here, loser, maybe I make something of your miserable department!”

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#13 RE: been there done that got the t-shirt, now what next??
26/01/2010 11:57

AD to In awe of the master (#12)

"I’m pretty willing to bet that whenever you leave a room, most people turn to each other and say “what an a$$hole!”.

Absolutely spot on - Mr. Cool. I found myself saying exactly that. Even if this guy were to mention Harvard/LBS or another 'top school' and/or amazing Client crednetials, it wouldn't change a thing about my perception of him as an absolutely insecure, rather dangerously naive, and militantly aggressive moron.

P.S- ANON learn to at least spell your target Firm correctly. It is Deloitte. 'MS World' wouldn't be able to help with that.

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#14 RE: been there done that got the t-shirt, now what next??
26/01/2010 12:48

dave to AD (#13)

if ANON really is pulling in £125K over a 12 month period, then he must be doing something right. If true, then he's certainly kicking my ar$e salary wise.

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#15 RE: been there done that got the t-shirt, now what next??
26/01/2010 13:39

Anon to anon (#8)

Anon - My sense of recuriting, (sic) is fine thanks, as is my, (one (sic)) common sense. I don't know now whether the post was truthful of (sic) honest now, but the answer is that you are unlikely to be useful for MBB.

Apart from a complete lack of humility and professional Adonis Complex, the "skill set" described (MBA, Prince II, ITIL, outsourcing, Accenture, SAP, Programme Management, MBA) is not as rare as you think. Many people at any senior level in consultancy will have the technical/management/BD mix. That's what the job is.

It is less your grammar issues, more your attitude and lack of effort / attention to detail which people pick up on. MS world (sic) does not excuse lazy and unrealistic posts which make people sic (sic).

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#16 RE: been there done that got the t-shirt, now what next??
26/01/2010 15:15

Anonimator to Anon (#15)

You were only a Manager at ACN so you can't have been doing that senior work. If you worked in SI&T then you were probably just managing a team which is hardly the stuff of legend.

Also, A £125K contract (I'm assuming thats pro-rata'ed per annum, As opposed to the 3 or 6 months term) is hardly setting the world alight, It equates to about £450 a day gross.

I was an SM at ACN, took VR and walked into my client as a contractor. I however wouldn't get out of bed for £450.

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#17 RE: been there done that got the t-shirt, now what next??
26/01/2010 15:40

someguy to dave (#14)

@dave, I wouldn't lose sleep over it. As was pointed out an equivalent permie salary with holidays, benefits, NI etc. would be 75-80K or thereabouts which is roughly Manager (M2-ish) at ACN (not counting bonuses or car). So if our hero truly was drawing 90K (let's assume that includes the bonus and car) then at best it was a lateral move into contracting, and not really "expectional to find".

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#18 RE: been there done that got the t-shirt, now what next??
26/01/2010 17:59

dave to someguy (#17)

thanks someguy, will try not to. he still earns quite a lot more than me, but i guess some people just earn more than others. in 100 years time things like this don't matter anyway i guess.

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#19 RE: been there done that got the t-shirt, now what next??
26/01/2010 22:12

Just A Thought to dave (#18)

The reason why I absolutely like this forum. When all is said and done, the OP would always get the answer they deserve.

Made my day chaps - responses were spot on...

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#20 RE: been there done that got the t-shirt, now what next??
27/01/2010 05:35

aus_mike to Just A Thought (#19)

@Just a thought - spot on.

Glorious post, with some great responses from Mr Cool.

OP, with that attitude I'm fairly certain you won't get past the first stage with Deloitte, but please do let us know how you get on.

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