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Should You Consider a Move to Consultancy?

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To begin with, it’s worth exploring what Consultancy means to us: a permanent career move into a client facing position where you are directly employed by one of the big four or a smaller, more specialist boutique.

Moving from industry to consultancy is not an easy decision to make and the starting point must always be a consideration of your personal circumstance and long term career aspirations. Consultancy opportunities can undoubtedly act as a vessel to fast track your career however, if work / life balance is high on your agenda it may not be the path for you.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Your first step into consultancy is crucial, therefore it is vital to pinpoint what you want to gain from the move. Are you hoping to launch your career in an environment that will give you a breadth of exposure or, are you stuck at a crossroads, looking to accelerate your development?

 

EARLY CAREER
The benefits of joining a consultancy include: structured development programmes, exposure to different industries and/or categories and the ability to take on a high level of responsibility comparatively to your industry counterparts. You should consider whether a BPO or more traditional strategic opportunity are best suited to your skills set and development plans. The former will require you to specialise in a specific category, whereas the later will typically lead to a ‘dip dive’ position where you will become heavily involved in strategy and transformation. As a result, you a likely to take a step away from core sourcing activities.
THE STEPPING STONE
It is common for procurement professionals to consider consultancies when moving from their first or second job. Typical benefits at this stage are a lucrative salary package and the opportunity to work on high profile programme management or transformation projects. Consultancy roles also provide a strong foundation for those who are considering the option of an interim career. Not only are they a welcome compromise for the more ‘risk adverse’, but they will also maintain the stability of a permanent income whilst enjoying the benefits of continued training and development.
THE EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONAL
It can be more challenging and therefore less common for experienced professionals to move into consultancy. The main barrier of entry at this point is the expectation of applicants to demonstrate a proven track record of revenue generation.
Having said that, there will always be opportunities for individuals with a niche skills set and certain organisations will continue to welcome applicants who can bring a metaphorical ‘little black book’.
The Pros and Cons of a career in Consultancy
The pros and cons of a career in consultancy will vary dependent upon the type of position you select (BPO or Generalist Strategy). The core points to consider are listed below:
PROS
  • Travel opportunities
  • Intellectual working environment
  • Diverse client base
  • Flexible working
  • Ability to become a true specialist
  • Exposure to high profile/ transformation projects
  • Excellent training facilities
  • A stepping stone into the interim world

CONS

  • Lack of impact
  • Unpredictable hours of work
  • Highly pressurized environment
  • Highly competitive
  • Long term career path is likely to include sales

If you are interested in a career in Consultancy, please contact us at procurement@investigo.co.uk to discuss your requirements with our specialist team of recruitment consultants.

Hayley Cole
Posted by Hayley Cole
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