Why Should I Move Consulting Firms?

Bethany Mahler 29.09.2017

When considering a career change, it is important to determine what your push factors are when it comes to looking at moving from your current organisation compared with the pull factors in terms of organisations that are offering opportunities.

In the consulting market, we are currently seeing consulting firms taking a range of different approaches - some are looking to expand and grow their strategy function, others are looking to increase their skill set within certain sector areas, while others are aiming to gain keen consultants that wish to work for them and extend their skill set. 

Due to each consultant having different push and pull factors, and consulting firms looking for different skillsets, it is clear that there are a number of different positive possibilities available when moving consulting firms. 

Some of the benefits that are on offer, for moving or returning to consulting are:

1. Quicker path to Partner 

In boutique firms there may be fewer applicants for senior positions, which allows a clearer shot at Partner when compared to the larger firms that have greater internal pools. 

Alternatively, in larger organisations there are clear structures at play which allow smooth processes for individuals wishing to move up the ranks and land a partner role. We advise discussing what the path to partner can look like in the organisation during your first interview, to get a better understanding of potential progression.

2. Chance to work in a team that is rapidly growing 

Many consulting firms in the SME space are experiencing rapid growth in team size and reach. This allows consultants to work in a fast paced, upbeat and productive workplace that is striving for excellent results.  

3. Growth in knowledge or ability to work in new/unfamiliar sector areas

Some consulting firms tend to focus more heavily on some sector areas than others, so moving consulting firms can allow an individual to attain new skills and knowledge in other sectors or allow them to develop this sector for a consulting firm, which allows team development and growth. This is a fantastic opportunity for those consultants that enjoy mentoring others and being known as an expert in their field. 

4. Work/life balance 

Most consultants will know that with management consulting, there tends to be long hours and extensive travel. This business model is ever changing, and many consulting firms are attempting to change this culture, cutting down on travel and allowing more flexibility in hours (even options around working from home and provision of study leave). 

If the current pace of the consulting firm you are working for is taking it’s toll, perhaps think about other options which will provide variety, high impact project based work - while not working yourself into the ground. 
5. Opportunities at all levels 

If you left the world of consulting at a fairly junior level, returning to a major firm will allow you to gain further exposure to different sectors and be in an environment that provides expert mentors. This allows you to avoid being pigeon holed before you have been able to determine which industry path you think meets your interests best. 
Choosing a consulting firm is like choosing a school for your child or which university to go to - it is an important decision and making sure you find the one that suits your interests and skill set best is essential. It is also important to remember that there are many boutique consulting firms that offer a range of benefits for management consultants - the possibilities are endless!

If you would appreciate a confidential conversation regarding the current market and consulting opportunities that may be applicable to you at this point, reach out to me on (02) 8986 3113 or at bmahler@morganmckinley.com.au

Bethany Mahler's picture
Associate Consultant | Strategy & Innovation