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The grass is NOT greener

 
#1 The grass is NOT greener
15/06/2010 13:10

Greengrass

After several years in MC I joined a blue-chip in a similar role a few months ago, similar package, better hours, nice colleagues, (all sounds good so far) Not my first spell in industry either I hasten to add.

But I keep reading this great forum to hear about how hard life is as a consultant so thought I’d share my view from the other side of the fence.

Since joining I have been shocked frankly. We have an extremely complicated organisation structure (not wholly understood by anybody), and there is no real accountability for issues.

There is no ownership of issues, merely a ‘tick the box’ mentality. Given that there are many, many projects going on this is about all that anybody can really do. Everything is a priority.

Solutions are made extremely complex with the result that few understand them properly, easily find flaws in the logic and hence things quickly stagnate.

We have a number of large scale IT programmes going on, mostly over time/budget, yet nobody really cares or has enough influence (read, courage) to stop them.

There’s no clear direction or strategy, offices openly compete with each other over the same customers and we have endless internal meetings to talk over the same issues. These internal meetings take priority over customer meetings - unsurprisingly, our customer satisfaction is extremely low (so we have another internal meeting to understand why…)

We are actively discouraged from having conversations with other parts of the business in case it damages our boss’s power base, even when it’s clearly in the interests of the company. Nobody wants to listen.

The most frustrating thing as a former consultant is I can see exactly what is wrong and who needs to do what to improve things, but my voice is not heard. As a consultant I would have been advising my boss (and his boss) - here I’m just one of the masses.

Why am I writing all this? To make you appreciate your ‘easy’ life as a consultant where you have some influence, and one day your project will be finished...

Oh how I long to be back into consulting

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#2 RE: The grass is NOT greener
15/06/2010 13:31

Bluegrass to Greengrass (#1)

Unless you're one of the company shareholders, why should you care if it's underperforming?

You still have the job security. And the similar package. And the better hours. And the nice colleagues.

No up or out appraisals, I imagine. No timesheets. No greedy partners. No over-ambitious colleagues. No living out of a suitcase. No all-nighters.

I guess it's nice to be able to "make a difference", but other than just being one of the masses (I can sympathise with that) and perceived loss of personal standing within the organisation, it sounds pretty good to me, no?

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#3 RE: The grass is NOT greener
15/06/2010 13:32

rc to Greengrass (#1)

do you have any vacancies?

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#4 RE: The grass is NOT greener
15/06/2010 15:35

Greengrass to Greengrass (#1)

@Bluegrass

Who said it was underperforming.... far from it

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#5 RE: The grass is NOT greener
15/06/2010 15:40

Bluegrass to Greengrass (#4)

OK, let me re-phrase it:

Unless you're one of the company shareholders, why should you care so passionately about moving this not-underperforming-anyway company to the next level of excellence?

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#6 RE: The grass is NOT greener
15/06/2010 18:45

Industry escapee to Bluegrass (#5)

@Greegrass - Welcome to the real world! The problems you just highlighted are the key reasons why I'm running away from industry into consulting. I work in highly complicated industry that shares all the xteristics you mentioned.

@Bluegrass - It is extremely frustrating when you know the solution to a problem and you are not allowed to solve it. It is not fun at all - no matter how you make it seem. Some industries are so complicated, intertwined, duplicative and politicised that if you dare to initiate any changes/improvements, those who have been there for many many yrs would be up in arms against you. Some may even remind you that they've been doing it long before you were born!

Again, welcome to the real world Greengrass!

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#7 RE: The grass is NOT greener
15/06/2010 19:25

D to Industry escapee (#6)

I too moved from consulting to industry some months back and recognise some of what GreenGrass is saying, albeit perhaps to a lesser degree. Despite that my experience so far is that industry is incomparably better than consulting.

Sure there is bureaucracy, lots of stuff that is not done as well, the standard of work, or of employees, is perhaps not so high, it couldn't be. I could go on.

But on he flipslide people smile much of the time and seem very relaxed, they actually seem to enjoy being here. Those at the most senior levels laugh and joke in meetings, I get paid more, I work less, we have fantastic facilities, I travel just enough to keep my airline status but not all the time. I could go on.

Horses for courses I suppose. I would still go through the consulting experience again if I had my time again as it was invaluable, but now, having discovered that I can get paid more for doing less in an environment I prefer, I wouldn't go back for anything.

Each to his/her own...

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#8 RE: The grass is NOT greener
16/06/2010 09:07

taxrebate to D (#7)

I love the idea that Industry Escapee, having found himself completely unable to effect any change within a corporate, is therefore going to take that skillset into consulting and sell it back to corporate clients.... this kind of thing does reinforce the attitude prevalent in industry that consulting is for people who can't do a proper job

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#9 RE: The grass is NOT greener
16/06/2010 10:07

Industry escapee to taxrebate (#8)

@taxrebate - I think you are missing the point. The point is that may guys in the industry are passionate about implementing changes/immprovements in the industry but lack the authority/political support to do so. Some industry senior leaders would take you more seriously when they pay you lots of money as a consultant to listen to the same ideas you have been pushing to implement as a staff.

Rather than let your drive and skills grow dusty, why not go to where they are needed and appreciated!

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#10 RE: The grass is NOT greener
16/06/2010 18:00

Q to Industry escapee (#9)

They won't be needed and appreciated in consulting - take off the rose-tinted spectacles and the grass will turn green again

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