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My consulting career feels like it's finished already - help very much needed!

 
#1 My consulting career feels like it's finished already - help very much needed!
21/09/2012 22:23

hiddenflight

Hi all

I am feeling seriously demoralised and any help/ guidance would be much appreciated at this stage.

I have 8 years’ experience and a couple of years ago moved from a mid-tier consultancy to a Big 4 firm as a Senior consultant (top of level). I now feel this was a huge career mistake.

Since being at the Big 4, it has taken time to really find my feet and work out specifically what type of role and area I enjoy working in. Unfortunately this 'experimenting' and moving around has cost me dearly and although at top of level, I am now no closer to promotion than when I started at the firm. I firmly believe however this has not been due to my ability, but is due to not having built the right network or been in the right role early on.

Although I have now found the right role (which I am really enjoying) and am doing well in, as well as building that network, it could now take me another 18 months-2 years to get promoted and I feel the time and investment to do this at this stage may be too little, too late.

Also since joining the firm, my salary has flat lined and looks unlikely I'll get a rise until I get to the next level. My main fear here is that this puts me in a kind of career purgatory, as I guess current salary defines what level you go at into the next firm. Therefore my current thinking is that it is unlikely (however experienced I am) that a similar firm will take me in at the next level, as it would likely require too much of a salary jump for them to justify (plus the fact they will know what my current grade is based on my salary anyway).

Any help on this would be much appreciated - as stated at the top of this thread, I am feeling very demoralised, trapped and quite a failure at the moment as should now be at least at the next level by now. My career before joining this firm was actually going quite well and I am now wondering why I took this ‘amazing’ opportunity at a Big 4 for hardly any more money in the first place….

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#2 RE: My consulting career feels like it's finished already - help very much needed!
21/09/2012 22:47

Dick Brown to hiddenflight (#1)

I empathise with your situation. However this also provides a rare opportunity to evaluate other options. Have you thought of a career outside of consulting.

Dick.

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#3 RE: My consulting career feels like it's finished already - help very much needed!
02/10/2012 14:38

Onward to hiddenflight (#1)

Welcome to the Big4.

My experience would be to focus on being a specialist, forget all the nonsense about 'adaptability' - clients buy specialist skills, and more often than not in specialist sectors.

1. Specialise - choose your sweet spot.

2. Professionalise - make it your USP, stick to it, even at the cost of a bit of utilisation.

3. Focus - on your client market sector, their challenges and write/support TL on this.

4. Get a mentor - the fact you are discussing this on a forum suggests your support/coaching network is weak and needs augmenting. Trust is key, and also people who sometimes tell you things you don't like/want to hear.

Hope this is in some way useful.

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#4 RE: My consulting career feels like it's finished already - help very much needed!
03/10/2012 13:24

Mr Cool to hiddenflight (#1)

OK – at the risk of sounding harsh, I’m going to give you a slightly different perspective on what you just wrote.

“Hi – I’ve been pottering about for the last few years and have now happily found something I enjoy. My nasty employers feel my period of pottering about does not merit a big salary increase. “

Get real! Be thankful you’ve now found something you enjoy and is (presumably) viable as a vehicle to kickstart your career. Get on with it.

Why do so many people think that a career only ever rises? Look around you at the world. Would you say that every 25 years old with promise and an upward career ends up twice as rich and successful and still upwardly trending at 50? No. That’s ‘cos life is hard. Take the knock and get on with it.

You say the 18-24 month effort may not be worth it. OK - ditch the job.

You're not feeling demoralised; you're feeling sorry for yourself

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