"Should I Change Jobs?"
An age-old question, and on that shouldn't be taken lightly. Traditionally, company loyalty has always been considered a vital part of progressing one’s career, with some people remaining in the same business for over a decade. Of course, company loyalty is still important in the modern workplace (even if not to the same extent)- we consistently see individuals progress up the management consulting hierarchy through their hard work, dedication, performance and loyalty. However, it’s important to consider that there may be greater opportunities elsewhere, to aid the progression of your career and offer other benefits too. So, should you change jobs and move to a new management consulting firm? Here are a few points to consider…
Moving Firm For Promotion & Progression
In many management consultancy firms, particularly large ones, more senior positions are often saturated, and it can take months or even years before the opportunity for promotion is even available. If limited vacancies are restricting your professional development, moving to another management consultancy firm - with greater opportunity or an already available, more senior position – could be the right option to advance your career and leave you feeling more fulfilled in your role.
Get The Salary You Want
If your next major salary review isn’t for a few years and you don’t feel you’re being paid proportionally to the value that you are delivering your firm, then it might be time to move on. Salary increases often go hand in hand with a new role, especially if you are moving diagonally up the hierarchy. Nobody wants to be undervalued, especially when there’s a chance for a more reasonable paycheque elsewhere.
Allow For Specialist Focus
Your strengths and passions can change and develop over the course of a career, and it’s important to recognise this to get the most out of your job and be successful. Switching to another firm might be the right option if your current role doesn’t offer enough specialist focus and/or learning opportunities in the sector or function you’re most interested in. Besides, your best results are often achieved when working on something you really care about.
Better Location & Work/Life Balance
A comfortable work/life balance is something most of us strive for, particularly in the fast-paced world of management consulting, so it’s an important factor to think about when considering your career path. Moving to another firm could reduce your commute or offer the chance to live in a more rural setting, while some consultancies also offer more flexible working hours or even the option to work from home. Work hard, play hard, and enjoy where you live.
Changing Jobs For Other Factors
Sometimes there are other factors that come into a decision about moving. If you’re struggling with toxic company culture, a malicious colleague, or a consistently unreasonable workload, then there’s no shame in looking for a new opportunity- especially if you’ve already tried to resolve the issue. It is not worth compromising your own happiness for a petty office issue, so if you know you could be more fulfilled elsewhere, don't hesitate to look around.
Big vs Small Firms
Both large firms and smaller boutiques have their benefits, but whether you choose to work for a big or small firm will depend on your situation and what you’re looking for in a new role.
The benefits of large firms often go without saying. They can offer some of the best opportunities to learn quickly, as well as many challenges and responsibility. Success at one of the Big 4 can be one of the best way to start of your career in consultancy (including a stamp of approval for your CV), as well as providing world-leading opportunities and access to some of the smartest and most successful people in the industry.
However, the advantages of smaller management consultancy firms shouldn’t be underrated. They can offer accelerated development (particularly in the route to partner) and merit-based promotion opportunities; more collaboration and responsibility within smaller teams; a greater degree of specialism within a specific sector; and (depending on the firm) a more relaxed company culture.
Based on this, it’s important to recognise the differences between big and small firms, so you can get the most out of your next career move.
Loyalty is Still Valuable
While it can be beneficial to move to a new firm, sometimes the right decision is to remain in your current role. Although it can be tempting to move around a lot to get the best offer or escape challenging roles, loyalty can provide numerous benefits in the long run for both your career and personal development. Besides, nobody wants to be “that” person who hasn’t held the same job for more than a year at a time.
Time to Move On?
So, are you considering a move to another management consultancy firm? Before going any further, it’s critical to understand exactly why you want to move and what you’re looking for in a new role- otherwise, you might make a decision that you will regret later on. Take into account all of the factors, then make an informed decision- don't rely completely on gut feel.
At Ascent Professional Services, we focus on moving candidates from big consultancies to small firms or to another big firm. For more advice about changing jobs, just contact us. Or, if you’re ready for your new opportunity, submit your CV. You can also view our latest management consulting jobs and submit an application directly to us.