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How do you respond to "What do you want to do?", asked asked by a partner? I joined consulting as part of an acquisition, never really wanted this career. I honestly just want to make money and get promoted for the experience. I've really enjoyed my time at a B4 and have learned a ton but am not partner track. Is it bad to admit I'm not looking to make partner? Will that hurt my promotion to manager chances? Do I need to tell him something more specific than "I want to make manager?"

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Maybe think about the question and answer with what you actually want to be doing

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C1, I am, which is why I'm asking here for advice. I don't want to do consulting forever but don't know I'll get blackballed for honesty in that area. I also have just focused on job security and income to this point, and haven't really thought about those kind of questions until recently.

Honestly while you figure it out I would just say what they want to hear to help your career progress and promo potentisl

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I want to work in a field makes me happy / satisfied. At this point in my career, I’m not sure if it’s in the professional services industry, private industry, or gov/non profit space - but I know that my current position sets me up well to discover what I’d like to ultimately pursue.

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I don't think you need to know if you want to be a partner or not to get promoted to manager, it's not really relevant. Only a fraction of managers will get close to partner anyway - in the meantime a company needs managers to just do the work and oversee the junior people.

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Along these lines, OP, does managing people interest you? Can you speak to that?

I have the same mindset but have always been counseled to never “opt myself out”, because it may happen anyway. Find a niche and work you like to do, that will go a long way for you

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Saying that you want to make manager is fine. Partners don't expect you to be shooting for partner before even making manager. Start there, add a deadline or other specific color, and ask for advice to shift the conversation. Example: "I want to get promoted to manager on Jan 1 2021. What do you think I should do over the next 9 months to make that a reality?" If you get pushed for details, mention an industry and/or function you might like. If you get pushed on track, say you are aiming toward partner, but need to make manager first. The partner will not hunt you down in 10 years if it turns out you left consulting or you're not a partner. Just say what you need to say.

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I've been working with multiple teams and building experience, but don't have a subject area locked down. Do I need to pick one? Is that what I should respond to?

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