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The first 100 days

 
#1 The first 100 days
14/10/2012 18:20

nowonthejob

Hi everyone,

The initial hurdles have fallen, contract are signed, P45s exchanged...life as a new joiner at one of the Big4 consultancy practices begins.

My question to the guys with more experience therefore is: How do you ensure you get that face-time with the higher-ups everyone talks about in the beginning, build that network and make it work for yourself?

Even after only a few weeks it becomes increasingly clear that the choice of projects my fellow new joiners and I get put on is determined by who you know, rather than what you can do. And lets be honest - we haven't got a lot going for us at the moment other than that we're cheap anyways.

Share your wisdom with a neophyte :D

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#2 RE: The first 100 days
14/10/2012 21:06

DiamondSea to nowonthejob (#1)

Unluckily, you might find out pretty soon that nobody's got anything going for them, even after a couple of years, unless you are studying for ACA or CIMA.

In a Big4, the actual "work" is often sliced so thinly that anybody could do it. What you can do is really irrelevant and the fact that they hire graduates from all backgrounds and universities should really give away that you won't be doing anything that requires "academic" or technical intelligence anytime soon, if not ever.

Look at the organisational structure. It is likely to be some sort of matrix between competences and industries. Pick the ones you like, look up the relevant partners and directors, stalk their CVs from whatever database your company has and try to approach them, possibly through their PA.

The intranet should also have pages for the various offerings and competences, often with newsletters and a schedule of periodic events and gettogethers you should never miss. And good luck in doing all this if you get staffed on a project out of town...

Ah, the fair life of a junior in a Big4's make-pretend management consulting practice. How don't I miss it...

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#3 RE: The first 100 days
15/10/2012 12:15

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to DiamondSea (#2)

My suggestion is that you show no loyalty to your employer whatsoever.

At the first chance you get to take a better job, take it.

From day 1, you should be applying for better jobs elsewhere.

We're living in tough times. If you leave the Big 4, they won't even remember you after half a week. But if they ever make you redundant, the consequences on your lifestyle can be devastating. So to balance that power out a little more evenly, you should start looking for better (higher-paid) jobs straight away. At least bank some cash while you can.

The way to get "face time" with the higher-ups is to move jobs if your current employer doesn't value you enough to give you that face time.

And remember, the long hours culture is a method for getting labour for free. Avoid working extra hours unless you actually HAVE to. After all, only a mug works for nothing, right?

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