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Iman

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Leaving management consulting for internal consulting?

Hi All,

I am currently working as a management consultant for Accenture and was offered internal consultant role in a medium size FMCG company with >+50% salary gain and quite generous bonus, which sounds like no brainer at first. On the other hand with 95% certainty I will be promoted to Manager at Accenture within next 2-6 months and my salary will be on par with this offer (yet no such generous bonuses in Accenture).

In a long term perspective it seems to me that staying in Accenture or moving to Tier 1 or tier 2 consultancy and going up the ladder to more senior positions in consultancy should benefit the career better then internal consulting for niche FMCG producer (although a leader in its niche and really rich company). At the end of the day as an internal consultant it may be bit harder to find next growth opportunities as for recruiters I will be "just" a consultant and working for a say e.g. a dairy producer (does not sound sexy at all right).

On the other hand I observe quite a huge demand for internal consultants in many industries (e.g. food producers, fashion, energy sector, etc) and some of these companies manage to lure even ex MBBs for their internal consulting departments, as they can probably afford to offer more generous salaries then MBBs (still much cheaper then paying for MBB service), so it also resonates in me that internal consulting may not be the worst career opportunity.

What are your opinions on that?

Hi All,

I am currently working as a management consultant for Accenture and was offered internal consultant role in a medium size FMCG company with >+50% salary gain and quite generous bonus, which sounds like no brainer at first. On the other hand with 95% certainty I will be promoted to Manager at Accenture within next 2-6 months and my salary will be on par with this offer (yet no such generous bonuses in Accenture).

In a long term perspective it seems to me that staying in Accenture or moving to Tier 1 or tier 2 consultancy and going up the ladder to more senior positions in consultancy should benefit the career better then internal consulting for niche FMCG producer (although a leader in its niche and really rich company). At the end of the day as an internal consultant it may be bit harder to find next growth opportunities as for recruiters I will be "just" a consultant and working for a say e.g. a dairy producer (does not sound sexy at all right).

On the other hand I observe quite a huge demand for internal consultants in many industries (e.g. food producers, fashion, energy sector, etc) and some of these companies manage to lure even ex MBBs for their internal consulting departments, as they can probably afford to offer more generous salaries then MBBs (still much cheaper then paying for MBB service), so it also resonates in me that internal consulting may not be the worst career opportunity.

What are your opinions on that?

(edited)

7 answers

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Book a coaching with Iman

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Hi,

It really is depends on what your long term career goal.

Moving to internal consulting in corporate can sometimes slow things down compared to stay in consulting firm.

However, you could also get into senior position in the company quite fast (relative to other corporate role) as you will have wider exposure of the company compared to your colleagues. This could also in the end benefit your career progression.

If your long term goal is to become partner then the no brainer move is to stay on in consulting but moving to corporate could also benefit you as consultants by having better empathy with the client's challenges.

In the end there is no one correct way to progress and everyone should choose their own path to achieve their goal.

Hi,

It really is depends on what your long term career goal.

Moving to internal consulting in corporate can sometimes slow things down compared to stay in consulting firm.

However, you could also get into senior position in the company quite fast (relative to other corporate role) as you will have wider exposure of the company compared to your colleagues. This could also in the end benefit your career progression.

If your long term goal is to become partner then the no brainer move is to stay on in consulting but moving to corporate could also benefit you as consultants by having better empathy with the client's challenges.

In the end there is no one correct way to progress and everyone should choose their own path to achieve their goal.

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Hi there,

I agree with Vlad - we would ideally know what this FMCG company and role is to better advise.

That being said, I can give you this general rule: You will advance your career and work much harder in consulting. Move into internal consulting when you're ready for a bit of a break, want to earn a higher hourly rate, and ok with rising up less rapidly.

The choice is yours!

Hi there,

I agree with Vlad - we would ideally know what this FMCG company and role is to better advise.

That being said, I can give you this general rule: You will advance your career and work much harder in consulting. Move into internal consulting when you're ready for a bit of a break, want to earn a higher hourly rate, and ok with rising up less rapidly.

The choice is yours!

Hi Ian, it is a mid-size German food producer (I do not want to mention the name of the company as anyway it is not widely known brand outside of Germany and maybe a few markets in Europe where they export). They are investing a lot in digital transformation and my role would be a digital transformation consultant reporting directly to the CIO and the board (a very independent role). My concern is however that my role title will be only Consultant not a Manager or Lead and it can negatively imply my future career opportunities. — Anonymous A on Dec 22, 2020

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Hi,

That's a very broad question:

  • Is it MBB or some other MC company?
  • Which role? How many years spent in a role?
  • Which company? Which role in a company?
  • Reasons for leaving other than this offer?

As you can see - too many variables. On average, be ready that your career growth will slow down significantly, but the work hours will be probably better

Best

Hi,

That's a very broad question:

  • Is it MBB or some other MC company?
  • Which role? How many years spent in a role?
  • Which company? Which role in a company?
  • Reasons for leaving other than this offer?

As you can see - too many variables. On average, be ready that your career growth will slow down significantly, but the work hours will be probably better

Best

Hi Vlad, sorry when I was editing the response content was deleted, so I updated missing information after you replied. To sum up currently senior management consultant at Acc (5 years), offered digital transformation consultant role at a mid-size German food producer. Main reason for leaving Acc: slow career progress, a lot of internal politics, growing demand yet no pay increase. Yet now as I told them that I was about to leave Acc offered me almost immediate promotion to Manager, so that is my main concern whether in a long term it is better to keep pushing as a Manager in Acc and wait for more prestigious exit opportunities in 2-3 years or leave now for internal consulting, which however lack prestige and may slow down my career in a long term (specifically due to role title which would be digital transformation consultant not a manager or lead) — Anonymous A on Dec 22, 2020 (edited)

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Hi there,

It really depends on your goals:

  1. If you want to target MBB and/or stay in a formal strategy consulting position, you should stick to Accenture. This means more career growth but also worst work-life balance
  2. If you want to specialize in the sector of the company who made the offer, then moving there makes sense. This means probably better work-life balance, but fewer opportunities to grow

Overall, there is no right or wrong answer per se. Think where you really want to be in 5-10 years, then reverse engineer the best route to get there – that should provide the answer to which option is the best.

Best,
Francesco

Hi there,

It really depends on your goals:

  1. If you want to target MBB and/or stay in a formal strategy consulting position, you should stick to Accenture. This means more career growth but also worst work-life balance
  2. If you want to specialize in the sector of the company who made the offer, then moving there makes sense. This means probably better work-life balance, but fewer opportunities to grow

Overall, there is no right or wrong answer per se. Think where you really want to be in 5-10 years, then reverse engineer the best route to get there – that should provide the answer to which option is the best.

Best,
Francesco

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Hello there!

The key here is to decide on the speed you want to grow, as moving to internal consulting would slow the process down. For further opinions we need some more details.

Besides you have mentioned that in several months the difference in salaries would not be so significant, so money is less of importance when making the decision, right?

Hope it helps.

GB

Hello there!

The key here is to decide on the speed you want to grow, as moving to internal consulting would slow the process down. For further opinions we need some more details.

Besides you have mentioned that in several months the difference in salaries would not be so significant, so money is less of importance when making the decision, right?

Hope it helps.

GB

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Hey there, reading your question, sounds like you have some mileage left at Accenture and in consulting in general. Stick it out (spcially given COVID situation now) and only leave when you genuinly feel you have accelerated enough and are ready to coast in industry roles. Accenture is a tough place and teaches you a lot. If you are feeling a bit jittery, take a short sabbatical (3 months) and reset. I did that twice during my Accenture stint which helped immensely.

Internal consulting roles are good but you want to enter at a senior (ish) position or else growth will be very slow. Do your research on industry and your geography outlook on post COVID before making that move.

Hey there, reading your question, sounds like you have some mileage left at Accenture and in consulting in general. Stick it out (spcially given COVID situation now) and only leave when you genuinly feel you have accelerated enough and are ready to coast in industry roles. Accenture is a tough place and teaches you a lot. If you are feeling a bit jittery, take a short sabbatical (3 months) and reset. I did that twice during my Accenture stint which helped immensely.

Internal consulting roles are good but you want to enter at a senior (ish) position or else growth will be very slow. Do your research on industry and your geography outlook on post COVID before making that move.

(edited)

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Hello!

I would advise you to look more into the mid-long term vs. the short term, since, as you say, the money thing can level in just some months.

If you like ocnsulting and you would like a carreer and progression to MBB, I would for sure stay with Accenture. However, moving to the industry is something many people do and it´s also a great exit. In that case, worth considering.

In your shoes, I would make a table comparing the most important KPIs, both for now and in some years:

  • Projection and carreer plan
  • Salary
  • Exit opportunities
  • Work-life balance
  • etc.

Hope it helps! Best,

Clara

Hello!

I would advise you to look more into the mid-long term vs. the short term, since, as you say, the money thing can level in just some months.

If you like ocnsulting and you would like a carreer and progression to MBB, I would for sure stay with Accenture. However, moving to the industry is something many people do and it´s also a great exit. In that case, worth considering.

In your shoes, I would make a table comparing the most important KPIs, both for now and in some years:

  • Projection and carreer plan
  • Salary
  • Exit opportunities
  • Work-life balance
  • etc.

Hope it helps! Best,

Clara