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sincere advice needed from Mr Cool and other experienced people on this forum "what are my options"

 
#1 sincere advice needed from Mr Cool and other experienced people on this forum "what are my options"
01/02/2011 00:37

anon

Recently joined one of the big 4 as top band of Manager (worked within Industry for 2 years and with another BIG 4 as Manager for 3 years) with a potential of stepping up to the next level within 12 months.

Within 1 month of joining the current Big4 I am thinking in line of quiting (very disapppointed, not findning work very challanging considering the kind of work I have been asked to do at client site is far below than what I have been doing in last 5 years with another Big4 and industry) and moreoever I do not see how I would be able to make senior manager anytime soon "in lights of the kind of junior work I have been doing".

I now need to know what my options are:

a) If I quit BIG 4 in 1-3 months of joining would it have a negative impact on my CV and future job potential? I would never return to Consulting after the bad experience I am having with current BIG 4 and would rather focus on contracting or industry roles.

B) after 6 months of joining my notice period will increase from 1 month to 3 months so would it not be a good idea to quit before 3 months notice term comes into effect i.e. before I complete 6 months with current Big4?

Any other views?

Regds

Anon

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#2 RE: sincere advice needed from Mr Cool and other experienced people on this forum "what are my options"
01/02/2011 02:22

Marcus to anon (#1)

Which 'Big 4' have you been working for? I'm interested.

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#3 RE: sincere advice needed from Mr Cool and other experienced people on this forum "what are my options"
01/02/2011 11:23

Mr Cool to anon (#1)

I can only draw conclusions from the info that you provide, so apologies if any of this is inaccurate.

Making manager after two years in industry and just three year in Mc is pretty good and you’re clearly chomping at the bit to make the next level . It’s unlikely that someone as career conscious as you will have undersold themselves at interview, so your first assignment is probably a question of what was available rather than the new firm feeling that is your level. It’s not unusual to find yourself freewheeling on your first project as an experienced hire from another firm. Resigning would be a massive over-reaction before you’ve tried to address the under-leveraging of your abilities.

I feel you have two options.

Go back to the most senior person that you “clicked” with in the interview process and explain how you are very happy to be billable so quickly and happy to be pitching in. Do NOT appear in any way negative or whiney. But DO make it clear that as the role you’ve been asked to do is not going to be stretching you, how does he best advise you to invest some time in off-project activity (e.g. pitch documents, market analysis, networking). He believed in you enough to hire you, so be ready to be over-worked very quickly.

The second option is to grab extra scope on your existing project. This is really easy. Don’t volunteer for things – just do them. For example, I run big change programmes for a living. Often I’m working for sponsors (paying my bills) who don’t get the “pitch” across to wider stakeholders the way I’d like it. So I write an e-mail for them to “top and tail” that sets out the programme scope, the benefits, or the issue at hand. I don’t ask them if they want me to do this – they might say NO. I just write it and then send it to them. Ninety percent of the time they use it. The next time a complex message or steering pack needs to be put together they ask me to do it. The next time I’m extending my contract, I’m not just the guy that delivers their change, I’m also the guy that does their stakeholder management work – another £50 a day in my pocket.

Career progression is like riding a bike – if you’re going too slow, pedal harder.

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#4 RE: sincere advice needed from Mr Cool and other experienced people on this forum "what are my options"
01/02/2011 19:57

DG to Mr Cool (#3)

Very useful Mr Cool, as always

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#5 RE: sincere advice needed from Mr Cool and other experienced people on this forum "what are my options"
02/02/2011 01:00

OP to DG (#4)

Mr Cool, sorry as it seems I didn't make myself clear enough.

I have overall 13 years experience but my recent experience included 2 years in industry as a contractor and before that I worked 3 years with another Big 4 as Manager. Before joining another BIG4 I was having 8 years experience. So I joined my current BIG4 as top band of manager with an aspiration of becoming a senior manager in 12 months.

The pain points are a) as a new manager I was seen as an easy target for BIG4 onsite client team (different than the team I joined in BIG4) who has a manager B in their team who failed to make senior manager this year hence, they were keeping an eye on new joiners and to get a new manager i.e. scapegoat on board to achieve a) make new manager i.e. me work like donkeys because I would know no one at BIG4 to complain about because they pulled me out of my induction on day 2 of joining and sort of forced me to take up a role which was far junior than what I have been doing all these years. B) getting a Manager who is brand new to the organization rather getting someone from existing pool of managers would have given the onsite Manager B far better opportunities to strengthen his case by putting me at a role which is far below where the Manager B sits “to the extent that I have a dotted reporting line” going into that manager (can you believe that I have a dotted reporting line going into a person who is on the same level as mine in BIG4 but sits higher in the client structure! Why I was forced to take up this role in first place when I can even do Manager B’s job!). This will indeed help Manager B to show that he has far greater responsibilities than another manager i.e. me! and he has a manager level person reporting into him!!!!!phew!!!! That manager even tries to boss around all the time and onsite partner doesn’t have any issues with such structure i.e. a manager reporting into another manager at client site despite of they are on the same level!

I found this approach completely unethical that why they didn't take any other manager from Bench (there were many available) and why they chose me despite of knowing I am brand new to the organization and would need time to settle in and would like to choose a role from available roles which I beleive fits better "there were many". Why this onsite client team hijacked me from my induction even before I step my first foot in BIG4 office or even before I could meet any one from my own team. Since the role is based 5 days outside London I haven’t met “anyone” from my own team it’s been 1 month since I joined this organization…

Interestingly both manager B and I reports into onsite partner (who was one of my interviewee from a panel of 4 interviewee and who is very well aware of my aspiration of becoming SM since my interview) so this partner is the one who pulled me out from my induction and dragged me to accept this junior role and also who is fine I having a dotted line into Manager B who this partner has been working with from last 1 year in the same project for the same client. Hope my story getting even more interesting !!!!

From the day I landed in the current project I have been working 12 hours a day so effectively burning myself inside out and do not have any bandwidth to grab extra scope on my existing project. This role will "never" make me senior manager!!

Understanding all that is not just happening incidentally, it’s been well planned by onsite partner and manager B for enabling manager B to make senior manager in coming cycle I believe in 6 months!

So clearly there is strong mismatch in the expectations not only in terms of kind of work I will be doing or potential of making senior manager in 12 months but also on the organizational culture front. I had a great respect for this company to the extent that I accepted 30-40% cut in my contractor salary to join this organization as a permanent employee and progress further in my career by making senior manager.

Now my all expectations are crushed in my month 1 so I see no reason staying with this organization. I would never return to consulting after this bitter experience and would now focus upon making good money through contracting and would dump the aspirations of becoming a senior manager in consulting.

As far as my performance in month 1 is concerned I won over client in 2 weeks and my 3 months assignment is now being further extended! But I just do not want to work with this BIG4 anymore!

So the question is how brave my decision of quitting will be and how negative working for this BIG4 for just 2 months (including 1 month notice I need to server) will look on my CV?

thanks for your time.

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#6 RE: sincere advice needed from Mr Cool and other experienced people on this forum "what are my options"
02/02/2011 09:41

no no no to OP (#5)

Wow, how perceptions can change after one more message. Your last post makes you sound like a whiney b!tch. For example - burning out at 12 hours a day?! You need to be earning your £70k+ (guessing) salary mate..!

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#7 RE: sincere advice needed from Mr Cool and other experienced people on this forum "what are my options"
02/02/2011 11:06

geeza to no no no (#6)

Onsite partner A has clearly hired you as a stooge for his secret love-child manager B. Supporting the latter's promotion is the thin end of the wedge - I wouldn't want to be in your shoes if Manager B ever needs a kidney transplant.

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#8 RE: sincere advice needed from Mr Cool and other experienced people on this forum "what are my options"
02/02/2011 11:59

Mr Cool to OP (#5)

Hmmm – a very illuminating second post indeed; as “no no no “ says – it puts a very different light on things.

Short answer – you should quit immediately and return to contracting to which you are likely to be more suited. The impact on your CV will be zero assuming you stay contracting in the future. If you have aspirations to move to another permanent job, it WILL be a problem.

Longer answer (and sorry but this is going to sting)...

Five years to get to Manager is great – thirteen and you’re still a Manager? Statistically there is a distinct possibility that you won’t make it to SM and almost definitely not in 12 months.

Your second post is incredibly emotional (read whiny), status conscious and naive – not traits that will help you make SM, and again not in the next 12 months.

You have an issue with being pulled out of induction to be billable. You have an issue reporting within a project structure to someone on the same salary grade. You have an issue with a Partner loyally supporting the promotion case of a Manager that has presumably being delivering for that Partner for some time. Sorry, but these are all things I’d expect to see if I was in your shoes, I’d hope to see if I was in the other Manager’s shoes, and would be positively proud of if I was the Partner. Your complaints are of the nature I’d expect from a brand new grad, not someone with previous BIG4 Manager experience and certainly not from someone with any hope of making SM in the next 12 months. If you haven’t learned the importance of utilisation rates, the difference between grades and project roles and the importance of sponsorship, then you’re not made for SM.

You say you are doing work which is “junior” and way below your abilities and yet you’re working 12 hours a day and “burning out”? Sorry, but that just does not add up. Almost without exception, when anyone working for me has complained of that strange mixture, it transpires that they are not capable of the junior work but have self-important ideas as to what they are capable of. “I write bad code, because I should really be designing the system” they say, or “I’m missing my deadlines for these process designs, because I should really be leading the entire engagement”. Sorry to be blunt but I learned the very hard way that it’s a good idea to fire those guys very quickly – they are dreamers and they land you in the $hit.

Finally, your second post is a communication disaster. You say the Partner was one of the “interviewees”? That means you were interviewing HIM. I think you mean he was one of four interviewERS. You move from one complaint to another with little coherence. You confuse singular nouns with plural verbs and vice versa. One of the major differences between the mass of Managers and the ones that make SM is the latter’s ability to communicate effectively. Again I’d say you will struggle in the next 12 months to achieve your target.

Contracting (and that 30% raise) is calling your name.

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#9 RE: sincere advice needed from Mr Cool and other experienced people on this forum "what are my options"
02/02/2011 23:11

yes yes yes to Mr Cool (#8)

Mr. Cool,

Your other comments are not worth responding but on your following comment:

--------------------------------------

Almost without exception, when anyone working for me has complained of that strange mixture, it transpires that they are not capable of the junior work but have self-important ideas as to what they are capable of. “I write bad code, because I should really be designing the system” they say, or “I’m missing my deadlines for these process designs, because I should really be leading the entire engagement”. Sorry to be blunt but I learned the very hard way that it’s a good idea to fire those guys very quickly – they are dreamers and they land you in the $hit.

-----------------------

Do you really think the CEO of Bentley would have ever gone through assembling the car engines on his own in his entire career? Do you really expect him to be competent enough in knowing how CAR engine gets assembled?

So you say you are change manager (I would assume IT change manager not organizational change manager) I throw you in a brand new client setup where you do not know anyone and I asked you to work directly with my technical resources to deliver a “major change” in my production system. I will introduce you to a couple of technical resources who wouldn’t give you a damn as you are third party i.e. BIG4 and I wouldn’t give you a damn what you have been delivering in IT Programmes in your previous career and I wouldn’t give you a damn what you know about my set up and also I wouldn’t give you a damn what you know about the technologies I have. I hired you from BIG4 for my work so I don’t give you a damn if you have been leading multimillion global IT programmes and you have never worked upon or used those technologies ever before in your entire career. I was told a BIG4 manager will be suitable for this role so I now have you.

You need to plan and deliver a pure technical change in my production environment which “should anything goes wrong” will have an impact in bringing the entire organization down and a bad reputation for my IT department for hiring an incapable person like you from BIG4.

This change must be delivered within next two weeks “read 2 weeks” using my technical resources which you are yet to be introduced with.

So Mr. Change manager can you deliver it? My profile is similar to what you might have been doing as IT Change manager i .e. I am IT programme manager and have been managing multimillion IT programmes across the globe "perhaps" bigger in size, scope and budget than what you might have managed ( pure assumption as atleast in your last mail you didn't sound like someone who would have managed change budgetery control/ rev exp of >£15 million, anyhow I might be wrong on this).

I know you can’t but you know what I have been delivering this with the greatest satisfaction of client and BIG4. That should justify why the heck I am spending 12 hours. But do I want to work into such environments or role NO. Do I want to forgive BIG4 for forcing me to take up such roles which puts my career 8 years back (mind you 8 years back I did my MBA from one of the top business school to move from hardcore technical roles to IT Project and Programme Management roles and since then have been enjoying a successful career) NO.

So yes, the answer is contracting is calling me, to hell with career progression with BIG 4!

I can always come back to you for obtaining the tips how to progress in consulting career which I am sure you would be happy to share.

Take care mate, I might be significantly younger than you ( if you are in your early 40s) so please bear with me if my maturity is not mature enough to impress a person of your age and caliber.

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#10 RE: sincere advice needed from Mr Cool and other experienced people on this forum "what are my options"
02/02/2011 23:33

Dodge to yes yes yes (#9)

Oh dear,

Cool, I feel truly sorry for you. You took time out of your life to write not one, but TWO perfectly reasoned and (in my opinion) perfectly accurate posts, only to realise you have been responding to a total lunatic.

It really does make me wonder about the profesionals out there in the world today.

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#11 RE: sincere advice needed from Mr Cool and other experienced people on this forum "what are my options"
03/02/2011 07:07

Mr Cool to yes yes yes (#9)

I take it all back - the OP is a genius. I wish I could invest 50K for a top MBA in order to be qualified enough to go contracting.

Dodge - thanks for the support. To be honest it doesn't bother me. About the only thing I miss about being freelance is not getting to mentor younger consultants that show a bit of spark.

I benefitted massively from this in my early career from a mad Dutch guy and an even madder NY ex-trader turned Harvard MBA, both of whom were very supportive but constantly challenging me.

If someone (obviously not the OP in this instance!) reads the thread and thinks "hmm that might be a good approach for me to take", that's satisfaction enough for me.

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#12 RE: sincere advice needed from Mr Cool and other experienced people on this forum "what are my options"
03/02/2011 07:38

onanon to Mr Cool (#11)

-Some inspired trolling from the OP or he is delusional (i mean, who on earth would do an MBA to move from contracting to PM?)

-Can only assume the OP is wearing a tinfoil hat given his paranoia and conspiracy theories.

-Good responses from Mr C as usual.

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#13 RE: sincere advice needed from Mr Cool and other experienced people on this forum "what are my options"
03/02/2011 16:39

recruiter too to anon (#1)

indeed. He's taken a lot of time to respond in detail and the reply is the work of an ungrateful chippy lunatic. get outta here!

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#14 RE: sincere advice needed from Mr Cool and other experienced people on this forum "what are my options"
06/02/2011 20:52

anon to recruiter too (#13)

My suggestion to interviewers is to be properly trained in human psychology. Any interviewer who is discerning enough should have spotted that this guy is a potential trouble! Do not just focus on technical skills only when hiring.

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#15 RE: sincere advice needed from Mr Cool and other experienced people on this forum "what are my options"
06/02/2011 21:14

anon to anon (#14)

Yep, he's been on here before whining and moaning about not catching a break. He was looking for work a couple of months ago (no shame in that) but his attitude was that the world owed him a favour and a job. Just pity the poor crew who have to work with him.

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#16 RE: sincere advice needed from Mr Cool and other experienced people on this forum "what are my options"
07/02/2011 09:59

wowser to anon (#15)

They won't have to work with him for long....

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#17 RE: sincere advice needed from Mr Cool and other experienced people on this forum "what are my options"
07/02/2011 15:36

someguy to wowser (#16)

Definitely sounds like the same guy who was boasting about pulling in 120k and a "view of the thames" as a contractor. (#67129) Also the job history fits.

Welcome back OP, I guess. So it took you 5 years to get from the bottom manager band to the top manager band (with a 2 year contracting break)? I respectfully suggest you go back to your contracting job as SM seems a distant dream.

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#18 RE: sincere advice needed from Mr Cool and other experienced people on this forum "what are my options"
08/02/2011 09:35

anon to someguy (#17)

He was the guy that did not understand the difference between company revenue and personal income (kept saying he was “earning” whatever his company revenue was, which ignores the small inconvenience of running costs, corporation tax and VAT!).

Perhaps he’s disappointed with BIG4 for the same reason? Have they not been paying him all their turnover?

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