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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

MMeister

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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