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Ian

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Why did you leave consulting despite high compensation?

Why did you leave consulting despite high compensation? Does corporate or tech pay more despite the way shorter work hours?

Why did you leave consulting despite high compensation? Does corporate or tech pay more despite the way shorter work hours?

6 answers

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I think your question is very very narrow my friend.

Life is not all about compensation.

I find it interesting that this seems to be your central focus, and, from a internal peace sort of perspective it's worth reflecting a bit!

People leave consulting for all kinds of reasons...and I'll also tell you, that, after you make money, you realize very little of happiness has anything to do with money.

Some of the reasons for leaving are:

  1. Work-life balance...want to work fewer hours and spend time with people who matter...life is short
  2. Exciting opportunities...an invitation to a new start-up, being an executive at a firm, etc. etc.
  3. Less travel...it can be tiring
  4. Desire to do something different...I enjoy coaching and doing strategy analytics projects much more
  5. Etc. etc.

I think your question is very very narrow my friend.

Life is not all about compensation.

I find it interesting that this seems to be your central focus, and, from a internal peace sort of perspective it's worth reflecting a bit!

People leave consulting for all kinds of reasons...and I'll also tell you, that, after you make money, you realize very little of happiness has anything to do with money.

Some of the reasons for leaving are:

  1. Work-life balance...want to work fewer hours and spend time with people who matter...life is short
  2. Exciting opportunities...an invitation to a new start-up, being an executive at a firm, etc. etc.
  3. Less travel...it can be tiring
  4. Desire to do something different...I enjoy coaching and doing strategy analytics projects much more
  5. Etc. etc.
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Hi,

Agree with most of the points Clara stated. Would add a few more points from my experience. I quit when I was a Practice Lead in Accenture leading a team of 45 consultants. The reasons were as follows

1. Professionally - I was the only Manager leading a practice, where-as normally a Senior Manager leads a practice in Accenture Strategy. I was already operating at a Senior Manager level and also close to a compensation of a Senior Manager. So a promotion to SM didnt make any sense to me professionally. Moreover I loved being on the ground, which is delivering projects full time. As you move up the hierarchy, you are expected to move away more to selling work than full-time project delivery.

I had already made up my mind to work as an Independent Consultant since I had enough learning by that time to lead complex projects independently. So I typically do " Interim Head of Transformation Role" which is really challenging and satisfying both in terms of learning as well as compensation.

2. Personal Challenges - Was travelling crazy for almost 5 years, hardly spending 10 days in the country and rest outside the country in a month. Schedules were crazy and I wanted to be with my daughter more since she was getting ready to go to school.

The variables at play can be different for different individuals. And trust me when you have made up your mind to leave, the thought of missing out on high compensation doesnt really stop you.

Thanks

Hi,

Agree with most of the points Clara stated. Would add a few more points from my experience. I quit when I was a Practice Lead in Accenture leading a team of 45 consultants. The reasons were as follows

1. Professionally - I was the only Manager leading a practice, where-as normally a Senior Manager leads a practice in Accenture Strategy. I was already operating at a Senior Manager level and also close to a compensation of a Senior Manager. So a promotion to SM didnt make any sense to me professionally. Moreover I loved being on the ground, which is delivering projects full time. As you move up the hierarchy, you are expected to move away more to selling work than full-time project delivery.

I had already made up my mind to work as an Independent Consultant since I had enough learning by that time to lead complex projects independently. So I typically do " Interim Head of Transformation Role" which is really challenging and satisfying both in terms of learning as well as compensation.

2. Personal Challenges - Was travelling crazy for almost 5 years, hardly spending 10 days in the country and rest outside the country in a month. Schedules were crazy and I wanted to be with my daughter more since she was getting ready to go to school.

The variables at play can be different for different individuals. And trust me when you have made up your mind to leave, the thought of missing out on high compensation doesnt really stop you.

Thanks

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In my experience, you reach a certain compensation level as a consultant (i.e., junior partner) where your exit options do start to narrow quite significantly if you want to maintain the same level. In other words, the compensation may be attractive but other aspects outside consulting become more attractive (e.g., accountability, industry, lifestyle, etc.)

In my experience, you reach a certain compensation level as a consultant (i.e., junior partner) where your exit options do start to narrow quite significantly if you want to maintain the same level. In other words, the compensation may be attractive but other aspects outside consulting become more attractive (e.g., accountability, industry, lifestyle, etc.)

Hi Anonymous,

If your primary reason for becoming a consultant is money, consulting won't be a good fit for you as the job itself is quite demanding and you will burn out pretty soon. Consulting is a wonderful opportunity to acquire a good skillset in a relatively short period of time and to build an excellent network for your career. People leave high paid jobs all the time and not always for a better pay, as you navigate through professional/personal life some things become more important. Life/work balance perception when you're 22 and when you're nearing 40 is not the same, believe me.

Hi Anonymous,

If your primary reason for becoming a consultant is money, consulting won't be a good fit for you as the job itself is quite demanding and you will burn out pretty soon. Consulting is a wonderful opportunity to acquire a good skillset in a relatively short period of time and to build an excellent network for your career. People leave high paid jobs all the time and not always for a better pay, as you navigate through professional/personal life some things become more important. Life/work balance perception when you're 22 and when you're nearing 40 is not the same, believe me.

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Hello!

Few things here:

  • First of all, consulting is not what so ever special for high compensation. For instance, Tech pais much better, and IB muuuuch more
  • Secondly, if you look at the salary/hour, it´s pretty horrible
  • Most important, people don´t usually go to Consulting for the pay, but for:
    • Career accelation
    • Network
    • Building a strong and highly valued skillset
    • Long-lasting brand in the CV
    • etc

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

Few things here:

  • First of all, consulting is not what so ever special for high compensation. For instance, Tech pais much better, and IB muuuuch more
  • Secondly, if you look at the salary/hour, it´s pretty horrible
  • Most important, people don´t usually go to Consulting for the pay, but for:
    • Career accelation
    • Network
    • Building a strong and highly valued skillset
    • Long-lasting brand in the CV
    • etc

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Quite surprised that tech pays more, probably only in the US as in Europe and Asia, tech pays little except FANNG — Anonymous A on Oct 30, 2020

It’s also highly dependent on the level you leave consulting. The longer you stay in consulting will not necessarily lead to a more senior role in tech. — Anonymous C on Nov 02, 2020

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Hi anonymous,

Personally, I haven't left consulting , but I have some friends who have.

Most of them leave because they do not see themselves becoming Managers or Partners in the long run. This can have various reasons: having different passions, wanting a better work-life balance, wanting to be more of an "owner" versus an "advisor". Some of them also just want something else, as they find find out that consulting is not something for them.

I would say that compensation is rarely a real reason for people to stay or to leave.

I hope this helps,

Cheers,

Pascal

Hi anonymous,

Personally, I haven't left consulting , but I have some friends who have.

Most of them leave because they do not see themselves becoming Managers or Partners in the long run. This can have various reasons: having different passions, wanting a better work-life balance, wanting to be more of an "owner" versus an "advisor". Some of them also just want something else, as they find find out that consulting is not something for them.

I would say that compensation is rarely a real reason for people to stay or to leave.

I hope this helps,

Cheers,

Pascal

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