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Progression in Consulting

 
#1 Progression in Consulting
18/08/2010 16:03

Chris Gardner

I have been offered a senior consultant position in the Technology Consulting stream in one of the Big 4 based in the City. I come from a predominantly industry background. The question I have is in terms of career progression, how difficult is it to actually chart a steady growth path given the fact that I am now in my mid 30s. I get the impression that performance in consulting is primarily driven by your utilisation. What other factors determine your progression. I also feel that the comparison with my younger peers could lead to potential frustration if there is no visible growth in terms of position. I am aware that consulting works in an "up or out" fashion but I have made this career move just to prove to myself that I can fit into this lifestyle and give it my best shot. Any wise words out there.

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#2 RE: Progression in Consulting
18/08/2010 16:13

Mars A Day to Chris Gardner (#1)

Look at the positives - at mid 30s you will have more life and commercial experience, and more maturity, than many of your peers at SC level, so use that to your advantage. You should in any case be comparing yourself to your immediately senior grade, not your own peer group, to progress quickly - the old adage about acting like you are doing the job you want. One of the best things about your progression will be that consulting enables you to move past your peers quickly - you dont need a vacant seat to move into, so your destination point doesnt need to be in your direct reporting line. Network heavily internally, and use your age to built bridges with your life peers not your grade peers - a Manager in his mid 30s is more likely to 'bond' with you than he is with someone in their late 20s.

Also look at your industry experience and how you can start to spin out points of SME from it for projects. Chances are your younger peers wont have this, so you can outstrip those working off a consulting only tool kit quickly with a bit of application and thinking through how you could make this known/useful in the firm.

Plenty of positives!

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