Deciding to leave mgmt consulting - help

cvsdjs's picture
Rank: Baboon | 133

I'm struggling with a career path decision and was hoping for some input from other consultants who have left for Industry or some other position outside of consulting after just a couple years at a firm.

I've been in Consulting now for 5 years. I spent 3 years at a healthcare consultancy, focused on Obamacare and employee benefits, before switching firms to a management consultancy. When I got the job in mgmt consulting, I thought I "made it", but I've been staffed on pretty boring projects for two years. Networking is huge at my firm to get on projects you want, and I've done a lot of it. Almost everyone I've networked with has been very receptive and have wanted to staff me, but timing never worked out. I've probably only enjoyed the work I'm doing for 25% of the time here.

On the other hand, my old firm was highly specialized and I enjoyed the work I did probably 75% of the time. I loved my coworkers, I was recognized as a top performer and had great relationships with Senior Partners. I left because I wanted to broaden my skills and industry exposure, and I also enjoyed the bump in compensation to management consulting. My old firm has called me and offered to create a new role for me, where I can spend 50% of my time rolling out new strategies in the market with a Partner, and the other 50% of my time doing traditional client work. The position sounds ideal to me, but I'm torn.

I've come to the realization that I'm never going to love every aspect of any job I have. But, if I stay at my current firm and continue to push to do more interesting work and continue working hard, there's a possibility down the line that I make partner and make a lot of money (at least it's a lot of money in my opinion). I feel like my current firm has a lot more opportunity to do different things, like work internationally, conduct research and publish whitepapers, etc., but I haven't yet realized any of those benefits. My old firm offers lower comp than management consulting, but probably still enough to live comfortably in the NYC area, also all work is US-focused.

If I choose to go back to my other firm, am I giving up on management consulting too quickly? Is there as much opportunity in it as I think there is or should I call it quits for a more enjoyable job and never look back? I'm curious if anyone has left after only a couple years and have since regretted it, or if they're happy they left.