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I hate my life at Accenture!

 
#1 I hate my life at Accenture!
25/07/2005 15:29

Confused Graduate

I graduated last year from a top university with a 1st class.

The summer before I interned with a top Investment Bank.

I started working with Accenture a few months after graduating on their Grad programme. I had always wanted to work for them and it was like a dream come true but now I hate it!

I wanted to live and work in London and knew that Consultancy would not offer me that stability but I thought there would be plenty of projects in London so that I could stay in London and would not have to travel. However, all the work right now is outside of London and I am scared to go away. I will miss home too much and feel that I will not have a life outside of work if I am away from home. I feel I made a mistake by taking this job. I know Consultancy is all about being flexible, mobile and working long hours but I took the job anyway and I can’t change that decision I made. I need to think about what to do now.

Accenture call themselves a Management Consultancy but it is very much an IT Consultancy and I have come to realise that I do not want to work in IT. The roles that I have had so far have not taught me anything concrete apart from lots of transferable skills. I want to be able to do a role for a long period of time, build up lots of skills and knowledge so that at least if someone asks me a question on the topic I am confident enough to give them an answer. Right now, I feel as though I do not know anything! I work on one project on one role and learn something about that, 2 months later that role is finished so I move onto the next and so on. I am not building any knowledge or expertise in one area. This is Consultancy, I know, but I do not like it and do not want to do it.

I have to stick it out for a few months and then either move within the company or move to another company. If I move within the company to a much more stable job I will be loosing about a 1/3 of the salary I earn now and be doing a mundane job where I may not even move up. But, if I leave the company I do not know what else I want to do. I do however want a stable job where I can pick up a lot of industry knowledge and skills and not have to work ridiculous hours but which will also pay a decent salary in relation to what I am earning now. But what can I do? Help!

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#2 Re: I hate my life at Accenture!
25/07/2005 15:43

Big Boi

Confused Grad, sorry to hear about your troubles. Its hard to be sympathetic at the same time tho as you did know what/or should have known what you were getting yourself into. Are you stuck on the NHS project in Leeds i believe it to be?

Im a graduate to, doing a masters degree so maybe not the best person for advice but i think you need to re-evaluate your principals and see what you really want out of life. Consulting does equal travel on the whole so if you want to work in the industry you have to be prepared for that.

If your looking to move out of consulting have you thought of industry, or why not put you internship in investment banking to good use and go into that industry. You'll be working in London, pronbably have a higher salary, but you def wont build the same sort of skills you will in consulting.

From what i have read consulting is great as a career starting point. Why not travel around now when your young. If you were older with a family fair enough but your still young i presume! You can also still ave a social life, there are thousands of consultants who manage work and life very well.

Unfortunately i feel that you are seeking what every graduate wants: a high salary, 'reasonable' hours, a firm with a good reputation and more time than you need to spend your wages...the sad truth is that this scenario doesnt exist im sorry to say.

Its easy for me to say from my position but i would suggest that as a clearly bright individual, you role up your sleeves and get stuck in. Try it for a year or two. We all think te grass is greener on the other side, although to be fair from what ive heard, if your working at Accenture and on the NATP it ususally is unless you love programming etc.

Good luck with whatever you decide. Always remember there are hundreds of people that would love to be in your position!

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#3 Re: I hate my life at Accenture!
25/07/2005 18:38

matt

Hey there! Sorry to hear about your situation. As i am about to start with ACN, this makes me somewhat nervous! However, are you in strategy? WHat operating group are you? Ive heard that the strat people travel much less than other natp. WIsh you the best of luck. The only thing i can recommend is to see if you can get transferred to financial services as there you will be always and only in london. good luck

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#4 Re: I hate my life at Accenture!
26/07/2005 10:21

Mungojerry

Sorry to hear you are having a bad time. Why not return to Investment Banking? Or look for a non-client facing role at ACN, e.g. Resource Mgt? You might take a small pay cut, but a great salary is pretty worthless if you hate your job.

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#5 Re: I hate my life at Accenture!
26/07/2005 16:09

AKINOLU OYEGUN

hi dear friend,

i read your letter with a great deal of interest and i sincerely empathize with u.u are obviously an upwardly mobile consultant that is eager to carve a niche for himself in d industry.

i think u need to be patient and appreciate the fact that u are building capacity by being moved from project to project,that would form a good foundation that u can build your specialty.

pls,don't quit,u will make it!

i wish we could swap places!

bye

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#6 Re: I hate my life at Accenture!
27/07/2005 09:23

LP

NOOOOOOOOO! don't anyone wish you could swap places or tell the poor chap to stop moaning about it. moaning is all you have in ACN to keep you sane. that and an alcohol problem.

I resigned in february - now work for another consulting firm but for more money and less hours. don't think ACN is the only way. but you need at least 12-18months time served on your CV to make the transfer. For now talk to your career counsellor and scheduler about the possibility of a long term role. Being out of town ain't so bad (18 months in Newcastle behind me) when its long term so you get a crowd of mates and a flat. plus you can save money being out of london.

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#7 Re: I hate my life at Accenture!
28/07/2005 14:21

John

THAT'S THE JOB YOU APPLIED FOR...

Consulting is never without any travel...

Either do thwe time and change company / career ... or go back to Investment Bankning if you can.

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#8 Re: I hate my life at Accenture!
28/07/2005 17:03

ACN Person

Really sorry to hear you are having a bad time. I've been there but for some reason have stuck at consulting for years (not all at ACN and believe me consultancies are all the same). The only thing I can say is plead the 'family reasons' thing to try and get on a job in London. No need to be specific on this. Then you might get perspective on the job. Also, tell your career counsellor about your concerns. They would much rather hear that you are unhappy than have to deal with your resignation. It's OK to do this (though I wouldn't bother trying to wangle a London role if you are not getting at least a good high sustained/outstanding in your reviews).

Matt. Financial services is not always in London. I am in FS and have just spent a long time a long long way from home. So sorry if you are joining FS with the expectation of London work....

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#9 Re: I hate my life at Accenture!
28/07/2005 22:29

Wise old lady

Hello

Ive read a couple of the other replies and they are pretty silly, so dont take them too much to heart. I have worked in the city for 15 years and am ex andersen. Life is extremely tough and no one can tell you until you are doing it. You sell your sould for those big salaries. The problem as a young graduate is that you can be charged out at quite a high rate and paid a lot less (even though it seems a lot to you) so you get a lot of not great work, with no continuity and all the other issues you identify. Most management consultancy these days is IT. Really, if you want to learn about business and get your hands dirty, the best thing to do is to get inot a real business. Even if you go back into consultancy later, like I did, you are a hell of a lot more credible and really understand what you are talking about - a problem with most consultants, even those at Accenture, is that they don't really get it. They just know the theory. Salary is one thing, but quality of life is far more important. Decide what you want from your life and stick to your principles. There is no point wasting your life being miserable for a few extra pounds. Too many of my friends did this in their 20s and ended up regretting not living for years. Hope this helps you. Dont do things because you think it will impress others. Do them for you.

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#10 RE: I hate my life at Accenture!
09/09/2011 17:15

Anti-Accenture to Confused Graduate (#1)

I agree with “Wise old Lady”.

I used to be an ambitious student who really wanted to get into consulting, then I got into Accenture and it was a horrible experience.

I can appreciate how difficult it is to get out of Accenture, as it drains you from energy. You’re verbally abused, forced to work on projects you have no interest in (so the Senior Executives can reach their chargeability targets), and you have to stay in a hotel in some town far away.

This makes it very difficult to apply for other jobs. You’re dead tired when you get to your hotel at 9/10/11 in the evening. You have no time for a job search. You are not available to interview for other companies Monday to Thursday as you are out of town. And worst of all, you might be less merited for other jobs (than you were before joining Accenture) because you are forced to work on IT projects instead of your field of interest.

So I definitely feel your situation. I have been there but let me tell you it is possible to get out.

Here are my tips:

1. Use your Fridays in your home office for job interviews. If you work at the client location every weekday it is more difficult, but you can always use your vacation days.

2. You need to mentally decide that you are leaving. It is very difficult to get better projects within Accenture once you are in that situation.

3. Make a move within Accenture to a role where you can start searching for a new job more seriously. You need to get something in London, whatever it is. This will make things a lot easier for you. Take the earlier advice in this thread and talk to your Career Counselor. Try to stress your enthusiasm for some other project or opportunity in London rather than complain on your current one.

4. Your next employer does not necessarily know how useless your current role is. “Fake it until you make it” comes to mind. I’m not saying you should lie in your interviews, but act as if it is a great experience. Try to find positive things and focus on those things. Also talk about your university and other experiences. Remember that any work experience is a good thing in the eyes of most employers. And you still have your basic talents and intellect, even though you might not use them right now. Your CV often looks better just being employed compared to when you were looking for a job last time, as a student.

I think it is great that you write about your situation. You ask for help when you need it, and it might also help others.

There is an anti-accenture campaign called ‘Exposing Evil Empire’ that is aimed at informing and helping people like you. They try to gather personal stories like yours in one place rather than scattered on different forums. If you want to help other people even more than you already have by posting this, then you can consider posting your story there, and what you did to solve your problem.

Please let me know how things work out for you!

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#11 RE: I hate my life at Accenture!
09/09/2011 21:44

Geronimo to Anti-Accenture (#10)

You do realise this post was from over SIX years ago? No? Okay

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#12 RE: I hate my life at Accenture!
11/09/2011 22:15

anon1 to Geronimo (#11)

6 or 60 ! A dog's tail can not be straightened even if you keep it burried for a zillion years. Good for Anti-Accenture to have brought up this thread!

This should serve as a tip to all those young grads that feel dazzled by the thought of being a 'Consultant' only to find that they land up from the fire to the frying pan! Trust me - you will have more skills and career prospects (assuming you are smart of course) in 5 yrs. time if you take up a job as a Tesco Clerk than as an Accenture consultant !

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#13 RE: I hate my life at Accenture!
11/09/2011 23:29

baykus to Anti-Accenture (#10)

Anti-Accenture, cut the drama, will you?

Of course you have to stay in out of town hotels - you signed up for consulting, genius!

And those horrible senior execs make you work on projects you may not want? Oh my god, how dare they make you work? For money? Do they not realise that you signed up for hand-holding classes at your local kindergarten? Who will sing the songs now??

There can be perfectly valid reasons for not wanting to stay in consulting. Sometimes it's not a good fit for what you want in life. Sometimes you can be too inexperienced to realise that going from projects every few months you actually learn an incredible amount. The lifestyle can be hard. The politics can work against you. Often you just may not have the skills to hack it. Like the OP, you may not want to do IT - which makes it questionable why you would join a consultancy's IT consulting division.

HOWEVER - you do not get to pretend that travelling to your client and having to work according to business needs is not par for the course in consulting - even at the likes of MBB. This is what you're paid for. Complaining about this makes you sound incredibly naive.

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#14 RE: I hate my life at Accenture!
12/09/2011 21:31

dinoisout to baykus (#13)

@baykus - what bullocks !

Look at who started this thread - a newbie grad that was literally duped into this role with all the glib talk that 'Management Consultancies' like Accenture etc. give in induction sessions and recruitment fairs. How many recruitment officers clarify at the time of recruitment (especially in MBA recruitment drives) that you will be working like a dog with complete disregard to your career aspirations and long term objectives? That you will be an IT handyman? You say you learn a lot jumping around projects from system rationalization to data migration to (wtf!!) ? yeah right - all you end up being is a muppet that is not good enough to be a coder and make world beating software and certainly not good enough to be a business leader and solve strategic business problems. You enter a body and retire a body filling time sheets for the better part of your life! labor class or what?

Of course, if you are an old hat you have probably learnt to look through the mist and take pitches from these companies at face value. But for young grads, threads like this and people like Anti-Accenture, Anti-Cap etc. do a great service

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#15 RE: I hate my life at Accenture!
12/09/2011 22:47

baykus to dinoisout (#14)

Dino - I made two assertions, and you talk about everything but them. At every consultancy you will travel, and when there is a business need, do stuff you may not want to. It ain't pretty, but it is what it is.

As for the rest of what you say, I'll say that I guess it's a big enough firm that people have vastly different experiences. I knew a good deal of people who were unhappy there. I also knew a lot of people who had a great time and/or used their experience as a great springboard in their career.

When I joined ACN as a fresh-ish faced grad (not so long ago that it's shrouded in fog), I did start by doing mundane coding. I just about dodged data migration, but couldn't dodge testing! I did well, got lucky, pushed my luck myself a bit as well, and moved first to higher level tech tasks, and eventually to more business-oriented roles, interacting with high-level clients, helping introduce products, assessing markets etc. All within a few years.

And you know what, this was all excellent experience that I rely on today, working as a "proper" management consultant. I don't have much to do with hands-on IT any more, but I do know that when I sit down with a company's CxO, I can give informed, multi-functional insight into business problems that can have an IT component (ops, marketing/sales, etc.), better so than colleagues who wouldn't know the difficulties of actually delivering an IT project, what agile can mean for their organisation, etc.

I guess my good experience doesn't invalidate your bad experience, and vice versa. I suspect I got lucky - but I also do think that I worked hard to make the most of the experience I was getting, instead of (just) complaining that I was running a team of testers doing the most inane and boring tests, in the middle of nowhere, on a Sunday. I did of course complain - but you learn a lot more if you stop the complaining long enough to wonder what there might be to learn, and how you can take more responsibility.

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#16 RE: I hate my life at Accenture!
13/09/2011 17:16

dinoisout to baykus (#15)

We are committing logical felonies here aren't we ? let me clarify

1) The tone and content of the thread starter irrevocably suggested that a) he HATES his life at Accenture and b) that he feels duped that he was not given the right picture at the time of recruitment. He sought 'advise'

2) Anti-Accenture replied in the right manner and context - she was apparently another disgruntled ex.

3) You seem to be the odd man out here in that you LIKE what you do. Nothing wrong with that just that it is not to everyone's taste to be working in an IT Services Environment, running around being handymen 'consultants' and then retiring as a no-bloody (professionally). Especially not when the employer creates a facade about 'Management and Business Consulting' which kinda dupes young grads (and sometimes even experienced staff)

The krux of this thread is about exposing the duplicity of the likes of Accenture, and setting expectations for people who don't want to be forced to feel happy doing coding or 'architecture' in the name of Management Consulting. If you feel re-incarnated 'attending meetings with CXOs, talking agile etc. ' then good for you. May you go on to win a Nobel Prize, god bless. It does not mean that Anit-Accenture was wrong in her comment or I was in mine!

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