Looking for a fun flaming and any advice you care to provide, feel free to let rip :)
Best to first put this in perspective, so, a little about me, I graduated with a 1st from a red brick uni in Comp Sci, did a placement year with one of the big 4, but joined IBM as an 'IT Consultant' thinking they were the best fit for me. Three years in I've had a promotion, good reviews (top performance ratings on their bell curve), a few different client-side roles (public/financial) and started to head down a more technical route (systems architecture). I like to think I have a good network within the company, but very limited outside. IBM is really looking for me to move into a more Systems Integration role, really I wanted to be a consultant first and work in IT second. Also getting bored of working in small cities in the UK for pretty poor money/recognition.
So, looking to plan a move in the next year or so - I'd like to think my CV was good 3 years ago (started my own business as a kid, good uni experience of societies and lots of travelling) and on leaving I had offers from the 3 companies I applied for (In hindsight maybe IBM wasn't the right choice but they recruited me well, ce la vi!). Since then it’s been work, work related charity activities and travelling (probably not quite so impressive) though I also did pretty well in a national competition. Plus the usual experience of working in a big company, leading small teams and other techy stuff.
I’d like to think (like everyone else) that I’m smart, good at technical 'stuff', client 'stuff' and work hard – and can find examples to back this up. Really my ideal job would be working in a foreign country for 3-6months, then moved on to the next country/role, though more than happy with short stints - truly international consulting in the IT space. As I work at IBM I’m comparatively poorly paid which would mean that any of the options below wouldn't make me poorer :) (my salary is made more bearable by hotel points and airmiles for my travelling).
At the moment only putting in 60hrs week as I'm not too challenged (I take the weekends off), would like to push this up a notch for the next 4-5 years to accelerate my career somewhat, but need to do it constructively. As such I'm considering a few options, would appreciate completely different views from the ones I get from my IBM-based mentors;
1 - Move to Australia/New Zealand/Canada doing a similar type of role for 2/3 years (I have the points for Oz for example without a job offer) to differentiate myself from my peers with the international dimension
2 - Carry on working at big blue for 2/3years more, then do an MBA (self funded) and on graduation look to moving into a true consultancy
3 - Make a sideways move into one of the big 4 and see if I can advance faster in their less static environment, or find a small consultancy that works globally
4 - Do I pay for, in my own time/cash, various courses (Prince2, an open uni degree, any others?) to show I'm smart/have some tangible skills?
5 - Try for a graduate scheme for one of the proper mgmt consultancies (probably a pipe dream?)
Any other thoughts you might have on the above are appreciated, along with any small consultancies that work globally in IT?