Graduates are normally encouraged to join the apparent safe haven of the branded global consultancies. Certainly there is merit in doing this, but more and more graduates now start their career at a boutique firm. Why is this trend emerging, and what are the boutiques doing to attract top talent?
Boutique firms place a great importance on their working culture. In practice, this usually translates to a friendly and open working environment. The transition from university to the “working world” is never easy, starting your career in a welcoming and non-bureaucratic business can make this transition far easier. Moreover, the culture will often result in a flatter hierarchy, bringing you much closer to the important decision makers in the business. Presenting you with great learning opportunities.
Large clients will often choose to work with boutique firms for reasons including better personal engagement and a more tailored approach. The likelihood of client exposure early in your career is far greater at a boutique firm. In the long run, this can upskill you more quickly and mean far quicker progression!
Many boutique firms will offer greater autonomy over the amount of travel you do and give you more ownership over your work. Even if there is some travel, they are adult in their approach to it and really take into account the personal situation of their employees.
Opportunity to specialise
Boutiques will often focus around certain industries in order to establish a USP. This can provide you with the opportunity to specialise in an industry that you are passionate about. Whether it’s sports, retail or any other industry, the opportunity to specialise in something you are passionate about isn’t something that should be turned down. The skills you develop will always be transferable to other industries if you choose to diversify later on in your career.
Boutique firms are always very transparent about the quicker career path and acceleration. They employ you to set you up for success. You will be promoted on merit, not just on length of service, and this will often mean moving through the ranks quicker than anticipated.
Overall, boutique firms are doing a lot to appeal to graduates’ ambitions and lifestyles, offering more relaxed working environments and a better work-life balance. These offerings are not typically seen at larger brands early on in your consulting career. Couple this with the larger salary packages, it is clear to see why more graduates are starting their careers at boutique firms.