Taking a step down from manager at big 4 to associate consultant at zs, big pay increase ~30 (100k ->130k) but also a double decrease in title. Help me think through this. How much would the title change impact future exit ops considering I already have manager experience? Think I could ask for consultant title or no dice? Reason for leaving is more consistent exposure to strategy work at zs, higher comp and what seems like higher annual comp growth.

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Many of our ACs are project managers. If you are an experienced AC, you are not even staffed with another consultant (next level). You will have a manager but manager at ZS is equivalent of director. ACs run the day to day of the project. I would encourage you to look beyond title and actually compare responsibilities. ZS isn’t stupid to give you a premium to trick you into a lower role. The responsibilities will match the pay you are being offered. Compare the postings and requirements of the next level (consultant) to see if your experience matches. We are not a title oriented company so simply asking for title bump because you were “manager” at a different firm wouldn’t fly. We know our titles are likely deflated (or some companies have inflated titles) so I would really look at the responsibilities, number of titles to progress through, average number of years at each tenure to make an informed decision.

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Have experiences at big 4 risk advisory and now at ZS. I can definitely say that the expectations for each role are worlds apart. For example at big 4 risk advisory it was usually the M who was the project manager. At ZS though it’s almost always the Consultant or the senior AC who is the “project manager” and leading most communications with the client. We have PhDs join at AC so it’s not uncommon to have someone with more knowledge who is junior to you on your teams. I will add that I’ve rarely ever heard people complain about instances where a team member with a junior title was bringing more to the table than expected. I’m currently working with a very strong A right out of undergrad whom I’ve put in front of the client multiple times because it’s clear to me they are ready for it and our team will be making a case for a quick promotion for them.

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Never had a title that paid any bills!

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It’s a one level difference- not CEO to senior analyst.

Why in the world were you paid only 100k as an M at Big 4? Are you home grown??

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Im a C2, 3 yoe in consulting S&A, 105k base, no raise, 6k bonus+1.5k firmwide bonus. For frame of reference. I’m HCOL area based though.

30% is the threshold for me, I think this is a no brainer. ZS is giving you higher pay and higher growth rate per year. Leave and don’t look back.

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Yea, doesn’t sound like a good move. Unless your being asked to leave. Exit ops as B4 manager should be much better than ZS AC. Can you push for more money in current role?

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An AC is one role above what we hire out of undergrad and what PhDs come in. I wouldn’t mind the title decrease if you plan to stay here for a while. With enough experience and skills leading a team and executing on the analysis you can get promoted to consultant in 18 months and then you’ll be at par with manager in some other big 4s. Unrelated to titles, ZS is a great place to work during covid. The pay is nice and the company is doing really well, I’m an AC who has been at ZS for 3 years right out of undergrad, took home a 20k bonus this week on top of a 20% raise this summer.

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Run. Title >> Pay.

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Title is < and pay is <...

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If you rise quickly through AC to C, the C role at ZS acts as a project manager. Senior C’s are even evaluated on business development (i.e. selling business). I’m not sure if you can negotiate to come in at a “senior” AC level, or if you come in at AC it has to be from the lowest starting point.

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How are you only making $100k as a manager at B4?

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At Deloitte, advsiroy is not the same as consulting (which is a different vertical, technically). In Canada especially, Deloitte (and the big 4 in general) severely underpay. Even in consulting (formerly S&O) I believe manager salaries are ~$125k base.

Negotiate for a better title with even more money. It's hard to climb back up.

Why climb back up if you’re getting a 30% premium?

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Don’t do it , try at least a lateral move.

Are you in Audit? Take it to cross over to consulting.

You should look at the lower title as a positive. There's more upside to your new role because if you have solid M chops then you will get promoted faster than you would if they brought you over as an M, and thus get raises and bonuses faster as well.

Asking for a higher title can't hurt, but be prepared to justify it. Also ask about their reasoning. You could find a better exit opportunity, imo, unless: this is your chance to switch into strategy consulting, or you are trying to leave Canada for the USA and they are willing to sponsor US work authorization.

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