Strategy Consulting: Should I stay or should I go?
So, you’re in consulting, having been there a few years and thinking…. Should I carry on through the ranks to Partner… or step outside consulting. Nearly all consultants ask themselves this questions at some point in their career and I’m here to take a look at why you may want to make a move out of consulting or not.
Working in consultancy gives you the platform to build your career. You’ll work with and learn from the experts in their field. Partners who have been in the industry for more than 20 years, will be your pillar of knowledge and guidance through your career. They give you the necessary tools to build your foundation of consulting, problem solving and being business savvy. To begin with, you’ll work across a variety of sectors, giving you the best exposure to all industries. This is the best way to find your niche and what you like doing most. Whether your projects are based in Transport, Pharmaceuticals, FMCG, Energy, you’ll have a diverse range of projects to get stuck into.
Your strategic decisions will directly benefit a client. As you progress, you will soon be coaching the clients, influencing decisions with their board and senior executives. A role that can make you feel valued and in the hopes that you can make a difference to their company. Being a ‘hands on’ role, you’ll receive great feedback from clients, with great engagement between the both of you to come to the best conclusions. It is fast paced and great fun to work with so many great businesses and like-minded people.
Now you’ve been there for some time, you have built your repertoire of projects, a number of strong and valuable relationships, and specialised in your chosen industry. Do you want to go for Partner? As you head towards that goal, the less you’ll get stuck into the projects at hand, you’ll be more involved in bringing in new clients and building brand image and relationships with existing clients.
The longer you stay at a consultancy, the larger the cut in base salary you may have to take. This is dependent on what industry you look into as they vary a huge amount. Factors influencing this like budgets, the number of years experience you have and whether you have an MBA. You will also continue to do a large amount of travelling to see clients. Some consultants feel like they don’t have a place to call home with the time each project takes, they’re already moving onto the next place. In a corporate role, this is completely removed, working only in one office to one strategy and direction.
Belonging in a corporate environment allows you more time to get into the nitty gritty, to understand all the details, risks and opportunities to come up with a better, more structured strategy. Some consultants feel like they are rushed with their projects, to get to that deadline and show results. Inhouse, that’s taken away. You’ll have direct oversight of tweaking and growing the project in the long term.
Recruiting for strategy, we find strong candidates who have had a diverse experience in their CV, to reflect the skills you gained in a consulting and in a corporate environment.