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Move from Consulting to Industry role

#1 Move from Consulting to Industry role
08/04/2011 07:52


Hi all,

Am looking to move from a consulting role into an industry one. The roles that I am targeting in industry are at par with the consulting ones and pay fairly close to what I make in consulting. Please can someone share their experience about having gone through such a transition and what challenges they had to live upto? Cheers!

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#2 RE: Move from Consulting to Industry role
08/04/2011 09:14

billum to intelli (#1)

I've done it myself and also hired people into my function in a corporate from consulting (at grades ranging from senior consultant to director). It takes a while to adjust, and that period if not handled well can lead to frustration on the part of the joiner and irritation on the part of those they are working with. A few typical challenges they faced were:

- no 'consultant privilege' - come into firm X as part of a consulting team and you have some kind of mystique that gives your opinions a degree of credibility; join same firm doing same thing with same background but as a perm, and mysteriously that de facto credibility vanishes and has to be earned from scratch

- limited 'toolbox'; in a consulting firm you have access to a massive knowledge base and a vast resource pool; you can generally get hold of the skills / information you need. in industry you need to sweat your immediate assets

- 'start at the very beginning'; when you onboard a consulting project, there's often been several months of internal case building and selling that got things to the point of actually being able to do some work - once inside the tent you'll be needing to do that foundation building yourself

- longer term relationships; you'll be managing your team / boss over a longer timeframe than the course of a project; it substantially changes the dynamic

- less tolerance for gloss; consultants are expected to do the swervy sales routine to a degree, so that is discounted and tolerated in their behaviour; you will simply annoy people by acting like that - focus on direct value add and positioning yourself as directly involved in issues, not as an advisor

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#3 RE: Move from Consulting to Industry role
08/04/2011 14:00

intelli to billum (#2)

Hey billium – thanks for pitching in, some really good ones highlighted there!

You are absolutely spot on with the ‘no consultant privledge’!

I partly agree with the ‘limited toolbox’ one though since I consider there is much more information available through collaborative means these days. Then again, connecting with immediate ones is an option as you have rightly pointed out. Not too stressed out about this one.

Longer term relationships – this is the one I really fret about since this is just different ballgame altogether. Easier to foster relationship in a short-term engagement since there is likely to be less engaging work (and we are experts and they are managers!) but you work for the same boss for a longer time and the expectation levels keep on soaring and the boiling point is quite easily reached. This is the one I would really like to watch out for. Get a butthead to watch you daily and you can so easily get irritated/frustrated.

The last comment is a nice one..will certainly watch for that and NOT behave like an expert too much perhaps.

On a different note, any good ones that I will enjoy :-)


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#4 RE: Move from Consulting to Industry role
08/04/2011 14:10

billum to intelli (#3)

sure, on the plus side if it's an environment witout too many ex-consultants on board, you will find yourself appreciated/distinguished for things which seem like second nature (taking the bigger picture, ability to impose a structure on chaos etc). This varies wildly but in a decent place, I also find the relationships more genuinely collaborative and less competitive - there is typically greater separation of roles witin a corporate, so fewer people competing against identical metrics..

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