Switching consulting firms after 2-3 months - red flag?

offer strategy
New answer on Mar 16, 2021
11 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Mar 15, 2021

Hi all, I've been working at a strategy consultancy for 2-3 months but want to switch to another strategy consultancy that focusses on a broader range of industries that are more aligned to my interests. I was just concerned whether switching so soon after joining might be a red flag on my resume for future recruiters, who might think I was dismissed, or didn't pass the probationary period, or am disloyal to employers, etc. Any thoughts would be appreciated - thanks!

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Torben
Expert
replied on Mar 15, 2021
Volkswagen Consulting| Your Automotive and Mobility Expert | Inhouse Consulting | China

Hey there,

the most important thing upfront: in general it does not have to be a red flag, as it always depends on your personal reasoning behind this.

However, looking at the reasoning you provided above I would recommend you to reconsider your desire to switch that early. Why?

  • Broad vs. narrow industry focus is something that should've been clear before joining the firm and as a recruiter it would make me wonder why you didn't have this information clear before deciding to join that firm
  • Since you've only been 2-3 months with the firm, you've probably only done one or max. 2 projects, which could raise doubts on whether the narrow focus of industries is really the case, as the next project could be somewhere else

Therefore, I'd recommend you to give it a try of at least a year. If you are truely unhappy and your mind is already fixed on making the switch: Give it a try and send an application to one firm. My guess is that they will be curious and invite you for a first round. Remember:

Making a decision based on the investment you have done in the past is always a bad one; instead: make the decision based on what you expect in the future.

Let me now if this helps you.

Best

Torben

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 15, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

I agree with the rest of the coaches: anything below 18 months is going to trigger quesitons.

However, this shouldn´t be a deal breaker either. As long as you are able to articulate it in a good way -you would do this during the FIT part-, you should be fine.

In order to help you prep for it, you can find 3 free cases in the PrepL case regarding FIT preparation:

- Intro and CV questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/introduction-and-cv-questions-fit-interview-preparation-200

- Motivational questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/motivational-questions-fit-interview-preparation-201

- Behavioural questions (ENTREPRENEURIAL DRIVE) >https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/behavioral-questions-entrepreneurial-drive-fit-interview-preparation-211

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Henning
Expert
replied on Mar 15, 2021
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

Not really a red flag - it might trigger a question or two, but as long as you have a good explanation that's totally fine. Just don't switch again after 2-3 months. That would look less than ideal.

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Florian
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replied on Mar 16, 2021
#1 rated McKinsey Coach | Top MBB Coach | 5 years @ McKinsey | Author of the 1% | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

Short answer: not at all. If it is not aligned with what you want and you have a better option, then why not go for it?

People are overthinking their careers all the time. Would you stick with a partner that you are not happy with?

Caveat: if it happens all the time and your resume is a collection of 2-6 months full-time work experiences, then it raises a red flag.

All the best with your move!

Cheers,

Florian

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Denis
Expert
replied on Mar 15, 2021
Goldman Sachs Investment Banker NYC | Ex-Bain 5 yrs| MBA Chicago Booth | Passed > 13 MBB > 20 IB interviews

I d try to avoid it - Qs will be triggered on the part of HR and your interviewers. Should you still do it if you really want so? Absolutely. But then accept that they will be cautious and may drill more. And in the end, you cannot present evidence, it is all based on your words, hence it may or may not convince them. There is hardly a positive way to frame it since most ppl would expect you to at least spend some more time at your current firm.

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Ken
Expert
replied on Mar 15, 2021
Ex-McKinsey final round interviewer | Executive Coach

If the other strategy consultancy has not mentioned any concerns where you already have an offer then I personally think there's nothing to worry about. Your rationale is relatively common and assuming you don't make another switch after a few months, future recruiters will really not care.

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Francesco
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replied on Mar 16, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

It won’t necessarily be an issue for future recruiters – you can simply avoid to have the experience in your CV. A 2-3 month experience would not add much anyway and could indeed raise red flags.

Best,

Francesco

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 15, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on you.

It is perfectly fine to do this ONCE!

If you do this, you better stay at this next firm for at least 2 years AND get a promotion. If this happens, employers won't even pay attention to the prior role (you will have confirmed that you can stay at, and thrive in, a company)

Remember, you get one shot here. So, if things don't work out at this second company, and you have to leave after 3 months, 6 months, etc. Then you're definitely in trouble.

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Gaurav
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 15, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hey A!

There definitely might be some questions on your decision, and the HRs can get suspicious that you decided to switch between companies so fast. Unfortunately, 2-3 months is not enough to make sure of your loyalty and could depict you as a not trustworthy candidate.

So, I would consider all of the risks before actually making such a decision.

Otherwise, good luck!

GB

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Raj
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 15, 2021
Strategy&| ex-interviewer | 170+ coached over career |95% success @ MBB, S&, RB, LEK, OW, Big4 [SUCCESS STORIES BELOW]

This isn't a dealbreaker necessarily if your next stint (like others point out) will be 1-2yrs and include a promotion. I would suggest you leave off your 2-3mo stint from your CV if you were to switch.

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Adi
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 15, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hey,

If you have tried all options and dont see a way to carry on in current role/company, then have a good story to explain to recruiters e.g. you took a risk, didnt work, or the culture/values fit just wasnt there etc.

I also know of some people in my network who were in a similar situation as you and decided to just not put that experience on CV. Thats your personal choice.

Overall, my advice would be to not let this impact you and feel pressure to stretch facts/lie on your CV to justify the gap. Be confident and positive..we take risks sometimes and life doesnt work out. Just have a good story to tell and crack on.

Good luck.

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Torben gave the best answer

Torben

Volkswagen Consulting| Your Automotive and Mobility Expert | Inhouse Consulting | China
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