Feeling stuck and dejected

This may be a bit of a longer rant but I’m really looking for some advice on my situation. Here goes..

I’m a Big 4 Manager in Transaction Services (Deals Accounting) in Europe. I wanted to go into banking after my undergrad (in the US) but I got an offer with my current firm in last year of uni which I didn’t want to risk losing as an international student. Fast forward to a year later, I moved to Europe (visa challenges in the US) with my Firm’s support. I never enjoyed or better yet “got” accounting but pushed hard and challenged myself to stay in this role and also pivot more towards the capital markets side of our business (which was basically a lot of audit support rather than corp finance type of work). I realized I was hitting a wall so decided to go back to school for an exec MBA and do a career transition. My MBA uni is popular in the country but not that known globally and moving to a top MBA uni to another country wasn’t an option at the time because I was trying to stay local to meet my residency requirements.

My company supported me through the MBA and after graduation I tried to transfer to the strategy arm of our firm but they thought I was “too senior for a senior consultant role” and “lacked gaps in my skills which will only come with experience” however this was not a bet they were willing to make. It was also culturally unfit (glaring red flags) but I was willing to work very hard to make it work.

After the rejection I moved on and applied to other management consulting roles (mainly private equity/CDD) but I’ve been facing rejections left, right and center. I keep getting the same feedback as what I got before: “unfit for manager” and “too senior for senior consultant.” I also lack fluency of local language in this country which is an issue given it’s already a small market. I am very desperate to move out of my current role.

I’ve tried everything at this point. The career center has been least helpful so I have tried to work with a coach to help me figure out a direction but the job market is extremely tight and I’m afraid I’m only becoming more senior in my role to switch. I brushed up my CV, practised case interviews with experts but I haven’t made it to those stages of the interview rounds yet. I get rejected in fit rounds once interviewers find out I have an accounting background. I have applied to corporate strategy and strategy consulting roles but same feedback. I’ve shown willingness to start at entry-level but no company is willing to invest. I’m willing to roll up my sleeves and work hard but need the opportunity to start somewhere. I have even applied to administrative roles just to get a break from this job but I’ve been rejected there too saying I’m overqualified or lack the language skills.

The rejections have really affected me mentally. I’m feeling dejected and every single time I receive a rejection email, my heart drops. The rejections have started affecting my current performance slightly. I’ve been a high performer in my team through all these years but I think even my team is slightly sensing my lack of motivation.

I’ve started looking internally again into a different team (PMI/carveout team) and they’re willing to have me join on the condition I agree to the finance capabilities subteam which focuses on the finance ops side of PMI/carveout (think finance target op model, KPI benchmarking, finance synergy assessment). On a slightly bright side, I’m able to move countries now so I’ve been networking with consulting firms in the Middle East and other EU countries but things are moving really slow given I don’t have solid alumni connections in those places. I’m feeling very lost and directionless. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’d really appreciate any advice on my situation. Many thanks in advance. 


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