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Big 4 Advisory exit opportunities after 3 years

 
#1 Big 4 Advisory exit opportunities after 3 years
11/11/2017 14:04

ChronicConsultant

Hi All,

I've been at one of the Big 4 doing consultancy for 3 years - started off on the graduate programme and got promoted last year (i'm 26). Personally, i have 0 interest in making Manager here as I feel once you're at that level, it's very hard to get out of consulting and into industry for a number of reasons. My main aim was to do it for 3-5 years anyway...

I know it's quite a broad question, but does anyone know what some of the exit opportunities are out of consulting having had only 3 years worth of experience in Performance Improvement? I had an interview for a Commercial Manager role at a FTSE 250 company, but was unsuccessful - more due to interview rustiness than anything.

Your help/advice would be hugely appreciated

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#2 RE: Big 4 Advisory exit opportunities after 3 years
13/11/2017 14:12

Anonosaurous to ChronicConsultant (#1)

Many large companies now have in-house consulting functions. This is a common move for people with three years experience. If not as part of an official in-house consulting team, there are other project roles for someone in your position.

In these roles experience in the industry is normally valued highly - so some consistency of industry experience over your three years would benefit you, plus help you to narrow the field.

That said, don't be constrained by the 'in house change' types of roles. The world's your oyster at this point in your career. Also don't worry about the money (too much), some of the jobs with the best long term prospects for money/happiness pay nothing at the bottom end. Plus, almost all jobs outside of consulting will see slower pay growth over the next 3-4 years. You may even need to take a pay cut if you change direction. But if you're clear with what you want to do you'll catch up again soon enough.

Commercial manager typically means performance management accountant. In case you weren't aware. An obtainable job but probably results in a career in the finance function.

If you're set on leaving consulting, then I think you're doing the right thing leaving after 3 years.

If I may add from your admittedly brief post, it sounds like you need a bit of direction and clarity on what you're after. By all means find some recruiters on linkedin and sit down with them. But they'll probably only tell you the jobs they have. You may need to think a bit more about the type of career you want first for those conversations to be useful.

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#3 RE: Big 4 Advisory exit opportunities after 3 years
14/11/2017 08:20

reccer to ChronicConsultant (#1)

Personally I think your options are considerably expanded as a Manager when looking to move into industry. I've worked in both and plenty of people in industry in good roles were ex Manager/Senior Manager level. It gives you grater credibility & experience and I don't think it becomes 'harder' to leave consulting. Now I left as a C, worked in industry, returned as M and leaving back to industry so my experience may not be typical but my 2 cents worth. Sounds like you want to leave regardless but don't rule out staying to Manager.

Would echo Anonosauraus - money is important but really focus on what you want both in the next role and ina few years time.

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#4 RE: Big 4 Advisory exit opportunities after 3 years
17/11/2017 12:48

rajregional to ChronicConsultant (#1)

Why do you want to leave a Big 4? If the intention is to get into a Corporate job then better wait a few more years when you are at AD/Director level. You will get a far better Corporate job with far better pay and perks. If you're passionate about an industry then there is really no better place than a Big 4 to learn more about it. 10 years of Consulting experience in an industry is actually considered far better and meaningful than 20 years of industry experience (working in a Corporate role). If you're already in the practice area of your choice, I suggest you wait for a few more years - or switch only to another Big 4 - before you go into the industry.

And who told you about it becoming harder to leave Consulting after a few more years? You can leave Consulting any time you want and will have multiple choices. It's the other route (Industry into Consulting) which becomes tough once you leave the firm.

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#5 RE: Big 4 Advisory exit opportunities after 3 years
26/11/2017 20:43

ChronicConsultant to Anonosaurous (#2)

Many large companies now have in-house consulting functions. This is a common move for people with three years experience. If not as part of an official in-house consulting team, there are other project roles for someone in your position.

In these roles experience in the industry is normally valued highly - so some consistency of industry experience over your three years would benefit you, plus help you to narrow the field.

That said, don't be constrained by the 'in house change' types of roles. The world's your oyster at this point in your career. Also don't worry about the money (too much), some of the jobs with the best long term prospects for money/happiness pay nothing at the bottom end. Plus, almost all jobs outside of consulting will see slower pay growth over the next 3-4 years. You may even need to take a pay cut if you change direction. But if you're clear with what you want to do you'll catch up again soon enough.

Commercial manager typically means performance management accountant. In case you weren't aware. An obtainable job but probably results in a career in the finance function.

If you're set on leaving consulting, then I think you're doing the right thing leaving after 3 years.

If I may add from your admittedly brief post, it sounds like you need a bit of direction and clarity on what you're after. By all means find some recruiters on linkedin and sit down with them. But they'll probably only tell you the jobs they have. You may need to think a bit more about the type of career you want first for those conversations to be useful.

Hi,

Thank you for taking the time out to respond. I think this is it really - I just need a bit of guidance and career advice. Unfortunately, I don't have that in any of my informal circles and to be honest, I find it hard to have these types of conversations where I work.

As you rightly pointed out, money isn't really a big thing for me at the moment. I'm a lot more interested in gaining useful experience that will hold me in good stead 10+ years from now.

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#6 RE: Big 4 Advisory exit opportunities after 3 years
26/11/2017 20:47

ChronicConsultant to rajregional (#4)

Why do you want to leave a Big 4? If the intention is to get into a Corporate job then better wait a few more years when you are at AD/Director level. You will get a far better Corporate job with far better pay and perks. If you're passionate about an industry then there is really no better place than a Big 4 to learn more about it. 10 years of Consulting experience in an industry is actually considered far better and meaningful than 20 years of industry experience (working in a Corporate role). If you're already in the practice area of your choice, I suggest you wait for a few more years - or switch only to another Big 4 - before you go into the industry.

And who told you about it becoming harder to leave Consulting after a few more years? You can leave Consulting any time you want and will have multiple choices. It's the other route (Industry into Consulting) which becomes tough once you leave the firm.

I think the biggest thing for me is that I feel as a consultant (rightly or wrongly), you don't really learn the ins and outs of industry. I'm also getting tired of the constant travelling (yes, you have to accept this when you first start - which i did).

Re. your last point. I think I phrased it wrong...it's not necessarily harder to leave, but I think you can't necessarily command the same wage simply because you don't have the experience yet vs your peers going for those same industry roles. This is on the assumption you've been at a Big 4 for 5 years as an M, starting out from the grad programme.

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#7 RE: Big 4 Advisory exit opportunities after 3 years
08/12/2017 21:17

Richthekeeper to ChronicConsultant (#6)

Exit options are much greater at Manager.

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