Consulting vs Compliance vs Being Jobless

Qisma's picture
Rank: Chimp | 15

WSO, I need some advice. And sorry, this is long. So I spent a couple of years working in-house at a large investment bank in their compliance department directly supporting their investment banking and capital markets groups. Then I made a jump over to a non-finance company for personal and professional reasons and moved across the country to CA. Now my position has been eliminated because our group got cut from the budget so....I'm out job hunting again. I'd be interested in working in compliance on the asset/investment management side of finance but have virtually no experience there. Trying to get interviews with various investment groups in LA but no go.

Right now, I have 2 offers: one from my current company to stay and work in an area of compliance that has nothing to do with my securities or banking background...and another one from a consulting firm in their banking and capital markets practice. Have no other interviews at the moment and need to make a decision in a few days. I think I am leaning towards consulting, but I am hesitant because the company's projects are very IT-focused and I don't know how my exit opportunities will be afterwards. I'm also worried because I feel my skillset isn't the consulting company's "bread-and-butter" business and if I can't be staffed easily on future projects then I'm going to be laid off again. I feel they are only highly interested in me because of one particular project they need me for (which is back on the east coast and would require temporary relocation...again.)

However, my other option is a bit worse - exit opps are more dismal because its entirely removed from the securities and finance industry. I'd be going down a different path altogether, diving more into the realm of internet privacy and data security compliance. I'd take it pretty much for the salary if the consulting firm lowballs me and it would also allow me to remain in CA with a steady paycheck. But in either case, I do feel I would need to go to business school as I don't want to make either one a long-term career - so then consulting would probably be a better work experience than the other one, right?

Or my third option, which is take the severance package and chill on the beach for awhile until I can land a job that is a 100% fit for me. But given the state of the economy...I don't know how easy that's gonna be. Any thoughts?


United States - West
United States - Northeast

Comments (6)

Apr 26, 2011

I've been in a similar position before. I'll keep it simple...

On average, I am hearing that it is taking people 3 to 6 months to find the right gig once they are unemployed, laid off, looking etc.

Remember that being undercompensated is a temporary problem that can always be remedied to a certain degree. Being in the wrong career field can derail your career, shatter dreams, etc....

First option, consulting company. While you are working, it's all about b-school from that point on.

Second option. Severance package. Take the time and focus on getting the job you want. If firms ask you why you left/are unemployed, tell them that you made the toughest career choice to date; you wanted to move in the right direction for your career.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

"Cut the burger into thirds, place it on the fries, roll one up homey..." - Epic Meal Time

Apr 26, 2011

Ah, you made it. I'm too lazy to copy/paste what I wrote before, sorry haha

Apr 26, 2011

I may be biased, but I'd learn toward consulting. If you prove yourself capable during the project that your skill set is well-suited for, then you shouldn't have too much of a problem getting staffed again. You never know what kind of work is going to sell, but if you impress the right people, you're more than fine.

Apr 26, 2011

haha DM, yeah I saw your post on JDOasis, thanks

Thanks all - I'm gonna wait for the consulting firm to come back with their firm offer package before making a final decision but seems that might be the direction I should head in....and commit to bschool for next year. I should get that MBA even if I went back to working for a financial firm anyway.

Now whether I should do a JD/MBA is probably a WHOLE other post....I'll save that one for later lol

Apr 26, 2011

take the consulting gig if you have the skill set. it took me about 8 months to end up in IB but I can tell you with certainty it was all worth it...I worked in a golf shop prior to in an effort to make money but did not put it on my resume and finally landed a gig after all the effort and it was worth it.

its one way or the other: hate me or admire.

Apr 27, 2011