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Consulting my way out of here

#1 Consulting my way out of here
14/06/2010 09:24

Crossroad Chris

Hi everyone,

I was hoping for some advice on the career options i might have after a few years of consulting and corporate finance experience and importantly, how to get out of where i currently am into something new.

To summarise my background, I have nearly five years of professional services experience; two at a Big 4 consulting outfit in the US and more recently three years in Transaction Services at another Big 4 in Operations Advisory and Restructuring solutions in London.

Fortunately I have done very well in terms of progression and have been promoted consistently to arrive at Senior Manager at 28 after 5 years in the game (next step Director).

However, I have absolutely no interest in becoming a Partner (or Director) in any of the consulting or accountancy related services any of the Big 4 offer and the job is really starting to get me down...boring me senseless and getting pretty depressed with it. I don’t think i can handle another report to write, PPT deck to churn or model to diligence. I've decided I need to move on (the easy part) but have limited ideas as to where I could go and what roles I could do in industry (or banking/commercial lending) perhaps with my background?

Despite the claims of super-employability, I am failing to believe consultants with my standard career history have anything really to offer in terms of getting roles away from consulting.

One careers advisor told me i’d be really suited to equity sales and that I should take the hit in terms of salary, start at the bottom again in some bank and cash in over 3-5 years. I have had similar conversations regarding acquisition finance and any analytical role with a sales twist, rather than locked in a cupboard on client site, reviewing financials or procurement strategy all day.

Specifically I wanted your advice as to any experience (first or second hand) you might have of friends / colleagues leaving consulting/corporate finance and the types of roles they went into (and importantly why you think they got them (i.e. relevant client or niche sector experience). I think my ideal job would be a CEO of mid-sized firm so that is perhaps the end goal. The question is, what should I do in the meantime to get there I guess?

Any advice will be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,


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#2 RE: Consulting my way out of here
14/06/2010 22:38

Reality Check to Crossroad Chris (#1)

Five years and you're at Senior Manager Level? Sounds a bit odd to me.

IF you have managed to get such accelerated promotion I'm sure you should have some strong skills you can take away. Best generic consulting transition roles for your skill set in banking would be project management work...

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#3 RE: Consulting my way out of here
15/06/2010 09:47

Sales to Crossroad Chris (#1)

Senior Manager in 5 years? You would be lucky to make manager in most Big 4 type companies in that time….

I digress. Regarding equity sales type role – I recently tried to make the jump after only 2 years working at a Big 4 type establishment. My feedback stated that while I had the perfect skill set for sales, the general consensus was that consulting experience was if anything – a hindrance.

Starting “at the bottom” is perhaps not always as easy as you would think. Sales juniors are usually tasked with running around after the experienced salesmen (cold calling etc). If you have been working as a senior management position, organizing people and managing a budget, how are you going to convince a recruiter that you are prepared to forget all that and make coffee for the next 2 years?

In my experience, banks don’t want people with experience outside banking – however senior. They want people they can mould, who will thrive on being asked to produce a PPT slide and jump at the chance to type up minutes. Is that you?

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#4 RE: Consulting my way out of here
15/06/2010 23:19

Crossroad Chris to Sales (#3)

Thanks for your responses,

I am in fact at Manager level, not Senior Manager (Associate Director in CF) at 28 and was the youngest to make the grade last year in the county. My progression has been mainly due to a good move between firms jumping grades and having a good mix of projects to tick the boxes with in terms of promotion. I don't expect to climb anymore anytime soon, hence the look around at something new.

Reality check; to be honest, I could probably get a job in a PM role in house somewhere (have thought operations in banking perhaps) but it would just be consulting without the project variety (i.e. PPT, change management, workshops...all the stuff I moved into a corporate finance role for).

WRT to Sales' response; maybe that isnt a bad thing, to go back to the bottom again. I am pretty sure relative to the average grad my experience would help me get up the ladder reasonably quickly and that my earnings wouldnt be too different either.

Have you any experience in broking or sales? Any advice as to who i could speak to about getting any insight in terms of recruitment agents etc...?

Thanks in advance.

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#5 RE: Consulting my way out of here
16/06/2010 07:26

eb to Crossroad Chris (#4)

You may be willing to start at the bottom.

Convincing a recruiter is something else entirely.

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