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Who here DOESN’T want to make partner or MD? Why?

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Becoming parter is ONE very specific growth path. I love challenge and constant growth, but not just into becoming a better sales man. I love leadership, want to lead and manage larger teams/divisions and still be connected to technical aspects and cutting edge developments. Without selling more and more. This is no growth path of consulting.

In my perception, in (strategy) consulting, partners are frequently bad leaders. They never learn to really lead or manage people. Focus is on selling and dealing with high skill/high motivation people.

If I look into the director/partner ranks, I see hardly anyone I consider a role model for me - that was different up to manager.

Plus the WLB aspect. If it is your firm, it’s much harder to care less about stupid things and make the best of this job.

In addition, the previously amazing salaries are getting less and less great, when compared to industry.

On a side note: have you ever spoken to a newly elected partner? Many to most of them are as scared as they are happy. They are now at the very bottom of an even larger pyramid and get a whole different load of pressure from the top. Furthermore, they are legally responsible for some of the shady stuff that is happening (e.g. gross violation of labor laws in European countries).

That’s why I won’t become a director or partner, but leave for a (for me) more interesting and calmer industry position.


Just want to note that selling work the firm is not prepared for is an issue in all industries. It’s an inherent disconnect between the functions of sales and the function of “production”. (In this case client service)


I just made MD a year ago. Now I am moving towards an industry role. Not because I do not like being an MD, but rather because there is mu h more out there.

Some of the arguments out in this thread resonate with me:
- Fake networking (partially a must...)
- Keeping 2-3 things going at once (for sure a must)
- Strong(er) focus on sales, losing fundamentals and connect to teams (definitely a risk)

However, some other points are (at least in my view) not universally valid:
- WLB for me is actually better than it was before - because in the end, it is my decision what I do and what I do not do (I just quit all the stuff that I did not like). In the end, I became much more flexible
- Pressure: I never felt this actually (though I can understand why some people do). In the end, rarely will a company fire a home grown MD for 1-2 bad years. And if it happens, it happens after 4-5 years. Go to another consultancy and do it again. Keeps you afloat for 15 years when you are through all B4 ;-)
So pressure is just what you allow it to be...
- Akward selling: if you are good, you will sell through relation & reputation. More sustainable and more fun. However, not easy since especially in Strategy people are used to being very transactional. Some internal resistance to overcome...

So overall, I think making MD / Partner is worth it and is definitely an improvement over SM. If it is for you, you have to decide...

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Me because my firm manages to weed out black people way before the MD level.


If you don’t work for Accenture or never have, what are you talking about (for this comment)?


🤦‍♂️🔫 I’m kind of sick of the up or out mentality. I would kind of love to just get comfortable where I am, clock in / clock out for bit without being stretched or continually thrown “growth opportunities.” Stop stretching me dammit


D16 - Do you have a different job titles/category for the specialist role? Or do they follow manager/senior manager titles? I like the concept of a master practitioner but I have seen the equity of title within the firm create more questions than answers.

I like being married


Completely agree - on a related note, while making Partner/Director would allow us to live on one salary, it would place significant constraints on my ability to spend time with our kids. They don’t need us to make $800k to be happy, and for me, giving up being the type of Father that I hope to be isn’t even close to worth it.


I want to live longer than 65.


I make 140k, get about 10k annually as a bonus and work 40 hours. I grew up in a working class family so I’m already making more than I ever imagined and am really content. Promotions and higher roles come with longer work weeks and won’t actually change anything in my day to day other than how much money I can invest and save.

I also make 3k a month doing side work managing digital marketing campaigns that only require a few hours here and there on the weekends.


Are there any particular industries you’ve found it best to find digital marketing clients? (i.e. real estate agents, doctors, dentists, etc)


It seems like current MDs and Partners hate their jobs and are just in it for the money. Also most Partners and MDs are single or old men with young wives and young children. As a woman it makes it hard to see myself there.


The other reason why you see men dating younger women is that on aggregate women tend to prefer older men.


🙋🏻‍♂️ I love tech, I love consulting. I don’t even mind the odd hours sometimes. I don’t love having it consume my life, fake happy hours, fake lunches/dinners... and the pressure of sales. .. too draining.


I do actually still consider myself on the PPMD track right now. But when you talk about fake networking, yes that really speaks to me. It’s exhausting.


I’ve been having this debate and this is my summary so far. Appreciate it’s aimed at B4 and has my slant on it but here goes:


- Comp is still good relative to 99.9% of the world
- Prestige is still there in most people’s eyes
- Prestige still translates into good exit ops in traditional industries
- WLB can be relatively controlled after a while
- Chance to work with some really smart people (usually on your teams rather than your peers but it’s a start...)

- Comp has deteriorated relative to other industry roles
- Legal liability is no joke these days. B4 are too big and there’s no way you can control what 90% of people are doing
- WLB still blows relative to many other jobs
- Many technical skills deteriorate given high degree of generalization required
- Focus in sales and internal BS sucks up a lot of time and energy
- “New economy” (tech, AI etc) doesn’t see the skills and prestige in the same way that traditional firms did 10-20 years ago
- Independence is just a massive pain in the ass
- Most of the work these days is not cutting edge or socially helpful. It’s helping zombie businesses stay alive or PE firms get richer

Conclusion: for me, it’s a no. I believe I can do better elsewhere and enjoy my life more. I may not earn as much immediately or even long term but there’s more to life.


Yea me. Care more about WLB, personal life, making an impact, and variety in my work. I don’t even want to make manager right now. I also am debating if I would do better in a job where “coasting” is more possible. The clock in clock out sounds really appealing honestly when I used to want to be challenged. Getting old I guess lol


I want that too because then I’ll have time to work on a side business


When my Dad made partner years ago at PwC he told me he looked around the table and he was the only person still with his 1st wife (my mom). Everyone was with their 2nd or 3rd spouse. Yeah, no, I like my 1st and only wife right now.


Yeah man. I learned that lesson during the .com boom. Watched my sister and brother n’law get divorced because of the strain his work placed on them. Told myself I would not be like that.


I’m already through the process for partner and have nightmares about making it. I’m under so much pressure to be a good leader for junior people, and sell more work, and deliver great work. I know it’s too much for me to handle. I also know I want kids.


Thanks for the honesty, SM1! It’s helpful to hear others’ paths and what their experience is




Well, let me tell you from experience: You can expect the first but not necessarily the latter.


Meeeee (never ever saw myself staying here beyond 4 years)


If there was a way to coast as a lowly consultant forever, I’d totally do it. I don’t care about making a ton of money or having the PPMD title. It is really refreshing to find that there are others that don’t consider themselves “lifers” in Consulting


Need more details on this..




This thread is proof positive why there are not more women in leadership. It’s just a simple fact that men are more likely to sacrifice everything else in their lives (health, well being, personal relationships) in order to make it to the top and stay there. This is why all gender diversity efforts have failed and will continue to fail.


Amén SA2! So true regarding your original comment. Did you see the article posted in the women’s bowl? Very related

This is a big problem for big firms right now. I spoke to a very senior partner and they expressed the challenge they are having with keeping talent past manger. Younger folks are no longer interested in being a partner.

My response was; why would they be if the comp and pension model has completely shifted? They didn’t have an answer with posting here.


I don’t expect to receive social security either


Me because I want to marry rich and exit the work force


It’s because you stated you had a plan bro - seems like you’ve got someone lined up


I could never live the lifestyle of stepping on everyone below me to make a sale and then making my team work hundreds of unbilled hours for my margin. No thx


Preach SC3!

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