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Management Consultant Wants to Change Careers

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Making a career change can be difficult. Learn how to make a change here.

Question: I’m a 31-year-old management consultant for a very small firm that specializes in dealership development for industrial manufacturers. It’s the first position I’ve held after earning my MBA, and I’ve been here for five years. I’d like to move to a larger firm, either in consulting or in another field. The partners of my firm (a married couple) are moving the company away from strategic consulting, and I have some ethical problems with how they do business. My MBA is in finance, and I enjoy financial analysis, but I’ve sent resumes to the top consulting firms with those types of positions and gotten no response. What are major firms looking for in new recruits, and what other employers could I target? Most of my current clients are in the Midwest, and I’m not prepared to relocate there.

Answer: While many of the top consulting firms are hiring aggressively, they typically look for strong technical expertise, even for financial-analyst positions. And to qualify for a financial-planning role, you’d need to add a CPA to your credentials. Remember, too, that both types of positions would demand lots of travel. Of course, these requirements often are lowered if you’re willing to relocate abroad. Financial-consulting positions with the major firms abound in Eastern and Western Europe, Russia and several Far Eastern countries despite regional economic uncertainties. Your other option is to look beyond consulting to the corporate world. Start by identifying manufacturers in the Boston area that are similar to those for which you’ve consulted. Then use traditional networking to identify hiring managers at those firms who you can contact for more info.

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Authored by: Andrew Ostler

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