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Career Decision - Move into Consulting?

 
#1 Career Decision - Move into Consulting?
03/02/2013 10:53

jay

Hi All

I was hoping to get some advice/recommendations if possible. I'm considering making the plunge and aiming to secure a role with the big 4 in consulting (areas such as operations/strategy/change). I'm currently working in property consulting - providing strategic property advise to clients / project management work. I have 2-3 years project management experience and 2 bachelors. My salary at the moment is around £35k and I am hoping to reach £40k in the next role.

Firstly - is the experience I have enough to be considered an 'experienced hire'? Or would I have to endure a grad program?

Are my salary expectations reasonable?

Would you agree it's best to gain the big 4 experience and have that on the CV and in the longer term move to smaller / boutique firms with less bureaucracy?

I appreciate any thoughts / comments as I seem to be at a cross roads with my career and this seems to be the most logical next step for myself..

Thanks!

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#2 RE: Career Decision - Move into Consulting?
04/02/2013 14:58

marsday to jay (#1)

What is 'strategic property advice'?

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#3 RE: Career Decision - Move into Consulting?
04/02/2013 20:02

jay to marsday (#2)

Advising clients on their commercial property portfolio. Everything from optimisation, consolidations, transformation programmes in the workplace etc....

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#4 RE: Career Decision - Move into Consulting?
04/02/2013 20:46

Arby the Manager to jay (#3)

A bit like a posh estate agent - Foxtons?

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#5 RE: Career Decision - Move into Consulting?
04/02/2013 21:23

jay to Arby the Manager (#4)

Not at all - not agency by any means. More commercial property / corporate real estate / project management / work place strategy.

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#6 RE: Career Decision - Move into Consulting?
04/02/2013 21:32

Mr Cool to jay (#5)

You'd only be considered an experienced hire if you joined an MC firm that also did that sort of work. But sadly, you're too old/experienced to go in as a grad.

Your best chance is to re-write you CV as a Project Manager for infrastructure projects - but to be honest I don;t know of many MC firms that would be looking for someone with our background.

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#7 RE: Career Decision - Move into Consulting?
05/02/2013 10:06

DCF to Mr Cool (#6)

Most (all?) of the Big 4 have teams that do this sort of work and would recruit people from your background. You would go in at consultant level.

You are not qualified to work as a project manager on infrastructure projects, as I trust you know.

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#8 RE: Career Decision - Move into Consulting?
05/02/2013 13:35

marsday to jay (#3)

Advising clients on their commercial property portfolio. Everything from optimisation, consolidations, transformation programmes in the workplace etc....

Unless this really is commercial estate agency or dressing up facilities management I am none the wiser as to what you actually DO.

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#9 RE: Career Decision - Move into Consulting?
05/02/2013 13:54

DCF to marsday (#8)

Estate agency is the actual buying and selling.

Before you go to an agent you need to know what you want. You can make this decision yourself when it comes to your own house (generally...) It's a bit more complex when it comes to a large organisation's property portfolio. They will have other offices that came along through mergers and acquisitions; they will outgrow space but still be on the hook for the cost, etc etc.

Property is usually the second or third largest cost in the P&L, after people. Technology is the other. Just as IT is fertile ground for consulting work, so can be property, although it tends to get left to the property firms like CBRE, JLL etc. However the Big 4 and a few boutiques come at it from the other angle.

DCF

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#10 RE: Career Decision - Move into Consulting?
05/02/2013 14:39

Mr Cool to DCF (#9)

Well I never - I live and learn.

Can't disagree with any if the above in terms of property importance/cost. All my banking clients have immense property portfolios.

Just never come across a big4 doing this work before. Sounds like you should just be able to apply as a direct experienced hire.

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#11 RE: Career Decision - Move into Consulting?
05/02/2013 15:38

marsday to DCF (#9)

Interesting - useful stuff, thanks DCF.

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#12 RE: Career Decision - Move into Consulting?
05/02/2013 19:58

jay to DCF (#9)

Thank you DCF for the explanation to all.

It seems my sector isn't as well known as I thought.

I am not necessarily wanting to do similar type of work with big 4 - more hoping that the skills / experience I have picked up in the last few years are transferable somewhat.

Only one way to find out - consultant applications here I come :S

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#13 RE: Career Decision - Move into Consulting?
06/02/2013 09:47

DCF to jay (#12)

I would only caution "one step at a time" and to consider what might be your best route in, after an honest evaluation of your own skills and experience. The Big 4 consultants and teams who among those firms many specialities do something that looks like a bit like what you do are much more like management consultants than surveyors - yet they would not necessarily wish or be able to simply switch into "mainstream" consulting. Hence I would have some reservations about how realistic your plan is.

I always think for any "horizontal" or "diagonal" career move that is into something a bit different but without going backwards or starting again, there has to be a fairly strong common thread. That's not to say you can't start in one career and end up in something completely different but it's usually done in more than one move, each of which had its logic.

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