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Strategy manager exit from consulting - feedback on my thinking

Anonymous A asked on Sep 26, 2018 - 3 answers

Hi all,

I have been in consulting for 2 years now and am currently interviewing for exits into industry as a Strategy Manager.

My question is this: I have a couple of opportunities in Group Strategy, and one in a LOB specific strategy team (insurance) for a major Financial Services company whose main business is in insurance.

The insurance gig would be for a great boss and in great working environment where I'd get to work from home for 2 days per week, and is my favourite option because of the culture and work environment, but I am worried that going into a LOB specific strategy team will limit me going forward compared to Group Strategy. I have no real interest in insurance per se, plus it's not a very sexy industry.

My main plan, though, is to start my own company. Therefore, I plan to join a large company that pays well and leaves me significant free time to work on starting my own business on the side, and once it takes off quit and do that instead. Should this fail, I want to be able to move back to Europe (home) from where I currently live and join a Strategy team in industry there (hence why I want to make sure this position doesn't limit that option).

I appreciate your thoughts!

Thank you.

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Alessandro
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replied on Sep 27, 2018
Bain & Company | University of Cambridge | CV/Resume writing | 770 GMAT
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Hey there,

Without you providing details of other opportunities, it is hard to give concrete advice. However:

It seems like the insurance gig fits your long term interests pretty well - 2 days a week from home + you know the boss means you will have more chances of working on your dream of starting your own company.

Now, if your only concern is that it's too specific and that insurance isn't sexy, vs. taking a shot in the dark and going to worse working environments / bad boss, then I would recommend that you go with the Insurance role. However, might be worth you trying to investigate the other roles more - maybe they also offer flex. options, or have a great boss, and you just don't know! Before making a final decision, try build as complete a picture as possible.

Good luck!

Elias
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updated his answer on Sep 26, 2018
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You know this piece of advice that goes around LinkedIn every so often?

"Choose a boss, not a job"

Take it. A great boss from who you can learn, who will root for you and push (and sometimes pull) you further is worth a hundred times what the job description says on paper or the company name on the door.

(edited)

Guennael
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replied on Sep 26, 2018
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Take the long road. You are lucky to have a pretty decent view of where you want to go, so navigate backwards from there:

1. Long term, you want to create a company. Let's take this as your end point for now (ideally we'd know what the underlying assumption here is, but fine)

2. How best can you prepare yourself for this? First, you need a little bit of financial cushion (which you should already have started building since you've been a consultant for a couple of years); second, you want to start this as a side gig so you want some spare time; third, you probably want to develop some specific knowledge and other resources

3. Is the best way really to get another job now, or should you shack up with other cash-strapped founders (or back to mom and dad) and just launch your business today?

4. Insurance has the advantage of not being sexy, so you have comparatively fewer outstanding people going into it -> might be easier to make a name there, and identify opportunities. For example, there's still a lot to do in terms of automatic quotes, removing layers of fees, educating the customer... (I spent 8 years in that industry - trust me, it is still overdue for a change)

5. Finding a job that will leave you with time to spare isn't necessarily industry dependent however. In every company I've worked (besides BCG obviously), I've seen teams doing 40 hours on a long week and others doing closer to 60 as a matter of course. The point is that your team / boss may dictate your schedule more than the company / industry. At the same time, folks who work more often also do cooler stuff or have better long term prospects. Yes, there are exceptions obviously, but you get the idea

At the end of the day, I want to issue a challenge to you: why wait? If you know what you want, do it now. Just like getting married, having kids, buying a house, planting a tree... there will never be a 'perfect time'. Tomorrow, you will wish you had done it today

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