I joined as a Transactions Services grad in one of the Big Four about four years ago. Just over a year ago, I made the move to Consulting.
There are a couple observations I have noticed that I wanted to share.
Whereas in TS, you more or less are constantly moving up and up, progression in Consulting seems really odd. The age range per consulting grade seems really wide.
Yes, some people at my Senior Consultant grade are around my age (mid twenties) but there are some others that are much older than me (40s).
Granted, a few came from industry, so have to step down slightly before they can move up again, however even at Manager level, I see some who are in their early thirties...and others who are Manager but in their late thirties, early forties and it makes me wonder...?
I am not actually sure what knowledge you pick up in consulting at times...some senior people I have worked with are VERY knowledgable in their particular specialism. They know the subject matter inside out. It's great. It's inspiring.
Whereas some other senior people I have been on projects with...I'm not sure if they actually know anything? They know the sector...but that seems to be it.
Many times, it often feels like they are just making it up as they go along, nodding at the right times at client meetings or saying 'yes that's an excellent idea' with passion, but with no substance in the work that takes place in the project room?
I know this sounds judgemental...I really don't intend for it to be. It's just when I contrast against my experience in TS, there, you get shot down quite quickly if you don't know your stuff, whereas in Consulting it feels like everyone is just blagging it?
Consequently, I wonder what their skill set actually is? I'm really not sure...?
Sometimes, I feel I might have even picked up more knowledge than the senior person I am working with because I have actually spent time researching the issue and methodologies, speaking with colleagues to understand best practice, thinking it through etc.
I was wondering if anyone has made moves from one service line to another and made similar observations?
I don't feel I'm at the point where I can confide confidently about this with anyone in my team, so it's really interesting to hear what you all think of this.