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Want to leave consulting; burned out (up for manager this year). But I fear that industry doesn’t have the same $ trajectory as consulting. Thoughts from those that made the jump?

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I left for industry in Feb as a M. Best decision I ever made. Got a pay bump, have lost 20 lbs, go to the gym everyday, got a puppy, and am enjoying my so, friends and family so much more bc I actually get to spend time with them. At first I was worried about my $ trajectory but since I made the jump I realized that equity really adds up and also that it’s been fairly easy to blow people away with my consulting skill set so I’ll likely rise quickly (am already being asked to apply for jobs at the next level after 5 months). I think I’m going to end up way ahead of consulting $-wise for literally half the hours and I got my life back. I did go into Corporate Strategy into a high visibility role (lots of c-suite exposure), for what it’s worth.

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Ey1: industry taught me flexibility. It's ok to say no sometimes. It taught me how to address laziness and understand not everyone isn't as type A as consultants tend to be (I'm not either). But also taught me just how good we have it. Generally good advancement. Assignments tend to be short (versus industry where once you are good st something they want to keep you there). Flexibility here is absurd compared to industry. Sure we work a ton, but if I don't have as much work on a Friday, I can be done when I want. In industry you literally sit there because that's how it is. Sure travel is hard but we make decisions on what we eat daily. With a corporate card, very little excuse to not eat healthy. Also bosses in industry only want to develop you to make you a strong tea member. In consulting you develop to become a leader. I know I have one industry experience and one consulting experience, but I can see these same trends at each of my clients. Staying here until at least until director. Then it's open my own business or partner 😬

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Right on M1. Learn how to subscribe A1

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If you're only in consulting for the $ you need to be honest with yourself about how much your happiness & health is worth to you in $ terms.

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M1, that’s the realization I came to this year. My health definitely declined, stopped working out and gained weight. Resting HR went from low 50s to mid 70s. Always stressed all the time. No time for family, friends or gf. Apartment is a mess since I don’t have the energy to clean when I’m back home, etc.

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You're going to deal with politics anywhere you go because you will be working with people. There is no escaping the bullshit. The difference between consulting and industry (IMO) is that as a consultant, you don't have to deal with the majority of politics that surround you. You're a tourist in the client's nightmare. You want to go FTE? Slower promotions, weaker salary, weaker bonuses, more HR bullshit, more politics and worst of all, you're stuck - no new projects, no new clients, no new teammates. Same people, same everything, every. single. day.

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I would say, in the longer run, your health and happiness are more important than the $$$ you earn

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Try to tough out one year as manager and then look for exit opportunities.

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^ I left consulting to industry and came back. That clarified things for me. Manager within 1 year.

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I left as a second year manager. I got a pay increase. Work normal hours, have a very short commute, picked up a puppy, have a baby on the way. I see my wife every morning and evening. I haven’t looked back. I did find a role that’s not too different than what I was doing in consulting, so I am constantly working on different efforts and projects at my new company. The best of both worlds. It does exist!

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I'd say focus on your health. Hit the gym and eat better. May help with stress and energy. Tough it out a year. The opportunities will be so much better. You're so close.

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Run after work if you can and do push-ups and ab workouts to help keep yourself lean. Eat healthy too. You'd be amazed what 45min a day can do long term.

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K2 I have no idea. I haven’t been on this app in months but got a notification asking about life after consulting. Figured I’d offer a perspective. If you believe I’m making something up, more power to you!

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P1, curious what it clarified.

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KPMG1 and PwC1, in what way are exit opportunities better at the manager level? I doubt they’re that amazing where I should tough it out for another year.

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Slalom1: I agree as a consultant I don't have to deal with client politics...but what about the politics I have to deal internally within our firms..?

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Following.

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There is so much opportunity in consulting, specifically where and who you're working with. Change projects, practices, cities or firms - get away from the stressful characters. Invest more time in joining cultures that align with your priorities, research before you jump. Do you think you're consulting scenario can't change? ...FTE's have infinitely fewer opportunities for change.

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I have the same question as A1. Also - how is the $$$ better in consulting that industry? I know plenty of folks ages 28-32 that make $250K+ easy at Amazon, McKesson, Microsoft, etc. I don't know very many people in that age range that are making the same in consulting. Also @OP if you're chasing the $$$, head into PE/IB/VC. That's where the real money is at. Or become a lawyer and make partner 😎🤘

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My favorite partner response to people considering exits is to look at your clients and their chaos/problems and understand that is what your joining. But agree, consulting is a way of life and still trying to find a sort of balance as well. Started more agressively cutting work hours and drinking less frequently but still a long way to go

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I highly recommend leaving after M gets confirmed. Typically you're part of the leadership team and driving projects / clients with autonomy as an M (you could as a senior C or Pre-M, but as an M the market can confirm your consulting experience better). Given this, the exit leverage is quite high. However, don't kill yourself to stay, especially if the right opportunity comes across!

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Additional Posts

Can anyone from Cooley’s cap markets group give some details about culture and average billables? Happy to discuss over PM.

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How do I ask to NOT work on a pro bono client that I already volunteered for? I haven't been kicked off on anything. But I've learned troubling info about client and don't feel comfortable helping.

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