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First Consultancy Career Move - A Leap of Faith?

FreshMinds recently hosted a thought-provoking career insight event for those of our candidates considering making that all important move from their first consulting role. We understand that taking the decision to make this career move involves a myriad of considerations and questions. Candidates need to ensure they have clarity on what to expect from the move, what their options are and whether it is the right choice for them – both in the short term and when considering longer term career progression.

FreshMinds recognised an opportunity to hold a relevant event to help those of our candidates who find themselves in this position in their career. As an area of expertise for us, we were well-placed to run an event focusing on this theme, giving candidates the opportunity to see the move from the perspective of those who have already made it.

The event:   Consulting vs industry?  Start up vs blue chip?

In order to provide our candidates with useful, experience-based insight, FreshMinds presented an expert panel of speakers who discussed the move from their first consulting role. The speakers were all 5-12 years into their careers and the areas they currently work in span a variety of industries – from a tech start-up and an international retailer to a leading Telco provider and a boutique Financial Services consultancy.

Speaking from a place of understanding and experience, our speakers shared insights into the move from their first consulting role. The talks and subsequent open discussion covered a wide variety of themes, of which a few prevalent ones were:

Drivers
There are a few commonly occurring reasons for making the move from your first consulting role. Those who move from consulting to industry are often looking for a better work-life balance and the chance to put into action the strategies they recommend. For those moving from a large to a smaller consulting company, key drivers include wanting to specialise and become an expert in a particular space, and also a desire for greater visibility.

Using your key skills to mitigate the culture shock
Whilst consultants are used to adapting quickly to new work situations, it is important to anticipate the culture shock you may experience on moving from your first consultancy role. Carrying out thorough due diligence is always an effective way to mitigate this and ensure you understand what is expected of you from the outset. This will enable you to adapt your style and pace of work to your new environment. If you are moving into industry, your consultancy experience and knowledge is highly valuable and will place you in a good position to embrace your new role. Whilst you may be taking on challenges that are new to you, in areas beyond your current expertise, your current skill set will enable you to tackle these effectively and efficiently.

Maintaining your network
It may seem an obvious point, but it’s important to keep in mind that whilst you are moving to a new role - potentially in an entirely different industry - it’s important to maintain your network and keep your advice channels for the future open. Each career move you make will only expand and build upon your existing network and this will be invaluable throughout your career.

The event provided an engaging and interactive debate with plenty of opportunity for questions, as well as time to network with our speakers and like-minded peers. Our next similar event is planned for early September - if you would like to hear about this then please do let us know.

Also, if you are currently in management or strategy consulting and are considering a career move, please do contact us for expert advice.