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Career Advice Needed: Management Consultancy v Wealth Management v Financial Regulation

#1 Career Advice Needed: Management Consultancy v Wealth Management v Financial Regulation
23/10/2013 23:44


Hi all,

This is my first time posting here. Just wanted people's advice on my current situation.

I'm 25 and currently working for the financial regulator in London. I've been here for 2 years and its going well but theres a part of me thats thinking about the long term and its been playing on my mind the last few weeks. I think I have to make some hard decsions now on what career path to take.

I have a degree in business and economics from Ireland's top university and an MSc in Management Consultancy from Ireland's top business school. I then did a scholarship and worked/studied abroad in Singapore for a second masters degree. I've also done a consulting internship with IBM and another with a small consultancy.

The way I see it now, there's 3 paths that I would be interested in going down, each with its own advantages and pratfalls.

The first is to simply stay where I am. Finish the grad scheme and then specialise in an area. Advantage: Maybe one day leading to a job in compliance of which a recruiter has assured me I would never be lacking in work opportunites and a comfortable (even somewhat lucrative) existence. Problems: Compliance is quite boring and not something I want to do with the rest of my life.

The second is to stay in the general area of finance but go into industry in a different tack to my regulation experience. I've thought about becoming a private banker or financial advisor. While Im here at the regulator they would sponsor me to do a professional qualification so I would aim to become a Chartered Financial Planner perhaps and go from there. Advantage: More lucrative still than compliance, much more interesting work. Problem: I dont think I have the necessary schmoozing skills to build up a client base at that level/embarrassingly bad at networking...even if I may learn the technical knowledge. Plus, I'd need to probably take a pay cut to get an entry level role into it.

The third option is to go back into consulting. I applied to the usual suspects after my first masters but had no luck and so I figured with the experience in Singapore and now at the regulator I would apply again to them to see what would happen. Obviously I would only look to join MBB at this point as Big 4 and under don't seem to me to much better than what I'm doing now (exception maybe being Oliver Wyman). Advantage: Something I know a bit about already, good exit opportunities if I get bored of it later. Problem: While definitely more interesting than what I'm doing now, a lot of a typical client's business issues are hardly things that would make me want to run to work in the morning. Also the work life balance is a bit bollox from what I've read.

Any ideas guys? What do you think I should do?

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