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Need Advice - Big4 or Industry or Contracting

#1 Need Advice - Big4 or Industry or Contracting
07/06/2011 17:14



After 6 years of Industry experience and an MBA. I joined consulting about 2.5 years ago, first with Accenture as SC (1 year) and subsequently with one of the Big 4 as a manager. Moved to Big 4 to get more industry focus. (which I did get)

My mentor changed midway through this year and to cut a long story short, I'm not making SM this year. Really crushed. Worse still, peers who have joined with me have fared better. Am quite sure I will make SM next year but that is at least 12 months away.

Feeling really low and hence considering quitting and moving to contracting or industry. (My wife agrees !) Getting promoted in the Big 4 seems more like leading a visibility campaign than doing good work for clients. Am also thinking if its so hard at this level, how much more will be required for more senior levels.

I currently make £80K (not incl bonus) and keen on roles with greater responsibility. What type of roles within the industry should I target ? Any comments/advice for me ?


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#2 RE: Need Advice - Big4 or Industry or Contracting
07/06/2011 17:37

Mr Cool to monkold (#1)

What is your industry foucs and functional specialism. It makes avery big differenec to the roles you can target and to your employability as a contractor.

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#3 RE: Need Advice - Big4 or Industry or Contracting
08/06/2011 09:43

monkold to Mr Cool (#2)

Mr Cool

My focus has been banking and capital market operations, asset management ops, business process improvement (lean/six sigma, cost reduction , target operating model), shared services and outsourcing and some regulatory projects.

Have never contracted before and not entirely sure if this is the right step forward either. Overall I enjoy consulting and the challenges that come with it but beginning to wonder if I will fare better in contracting(in terms of money) or industry(in terms of growth) . Thinking banks, change management teams or sales functions in non-banking companies and such like.

Any advice will be most appreciated

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#4 RE: Need Advice - Big4 or Industry or Contracting
08/06/2011 10:03

Tony Restell ( to monkold (#3)

I saw this go live on the site in the last 24 hours and given your focus thought it sounded potentially of interest...

On the train with limited connection so apologies for brevity of response!

Tony Restell

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#5 RE: Need Advice - Big4 or Industry or Contracting
08/06/2011 14:39

Mr Cool to monkold (#3)

Monkold – I’ve drafted a redrafted a response to you three times and deleted it each time! Your situation is complex, and ironically is going to motivate me to post my own question later today – on something I’ve been mulling over for a week or so.

The simple facts are as follows...

Yes your skill set is excellent for contracting.

Yes you could earn more in the short term

Yes you could also move to another firm, but it would take a lot of fortune to get in at SM, having missed it at you own firm, while moving at M would simply require starting your promotion campaign from scratch.

I have nagging question as to why your mentor changed half way through the year and the way you managed that? You have also realised that presentation is 80% of the case for promotion at most consultancy firms – yup, it’s a campaign.

On the face of it your CV is perfect for senior progression within a big4. It would be a shame to lose out just because of a tactical set-back. Frankly a lot depends on whether you feel you have what it takes to make it to the top, or thereabouts.

One thing you should do is recognise that this is an excellent time to assess your options and a terrible time to make any irrevocable decisions. WRITE down a page or two about how you feel. Get those close to you to provide some of the input. It will make an interesting read in 90 days and whichever route you look to go down is likely to take at least that long to put into place. If you still feel as “crushed” then, it will strengthen your resolve. If it all looks like a storm in a teacup, it will ingrain a different lesson.

I’m sorry I can’t be more prescriptive, but your situation deserves more than generic platitudes. One thing I will say is cheer up. Regroup, move sideways, got to industry or contracting? All excellent well-paid options – and you’re in a fantastic position to choose from any of the four. Don't confuse having to make a decision with being in a bad place.

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