Laid off, MBB offer with start date in 6-8 months- accept other offer in mean time?

bluebottles45's picture
Rank: Monkey | 58

Hi everyone,

I'm in a bit of an interesting situation and I couldn't find anything on WSO or elsewhere else about it. Basically I worked for a boutique operations consulting firm for about a year after finishing an undergrad program, and was laid off due to business being slow back in November (along with about 50% of the company). Since then I have interviewed and received an offer for a different boutique that works on PE due diligence. I am currently sitting on this offer with the deadline approaching.

I have also interviewed with one of MBB and just received an offer for an office on the opposite coast. However, the start date wouldn't be for 6-8 months. I am heavily leaning towards accepting it, but since I'm not currently working, this is a bit of a problem from both an income and gap on resume POV.

How bad would it look to accept the other boutique offer, work there for 6-8 months, and then jump ship to the MBB office? I have an interest in transitioning to PE in the future, so this boutique could provide a valuable experience, make it easier to network onto PE projects at MBB and may help with future PE recruiting.

On the other hand, I am wondering if having a 6-8 month stint following a 1-year stint would look bad on my resume, how much risk there is that either the boutique or MBB finds out about the other and then what could happen if they do find out. I would also feel pretty scummy for pulling one over on the boutique.

I'm also thinking of this as a potential opportunity to do something completely different for a few months before starting at MBB, such as working on a political campaign, doing some kind of service trip, etc. I could also try to reach out to small PE firms in the area and try to find some kind of temporary position.

I am interested in hearing your opinions on the best way to handle this. Would it be a bad idea to start by asking MBB if they would be comfortable with me accepting another job in the mean time? I have already explained the situation with the lay-off to the recruiter and I'd imagine they'd understand that I can't sit for 6-8 months with no job.

Thanks.

Comments (8)

Jan 26, 2016

I would go the route of doing something you want to do rather than accepting another offer. Go work for some local politician or something.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Jan 26, 2016

1) Do you need the money?
2) What are your longer term plans?

Some random thoughts:

You'll start at MBB almost 2 years out of undergrad.

Maybe you work there for a year and apply for MBA? If so, I think something interesting will be better for application than another consulting firm.

Maybe you plan to stay at MBB all the way to partner -- in which case who really cares.

Best Response
Jan 26, 2016

If it were me....
1) Take the MBB, no question. If you need the money, ask them if you can push up your start date a month or two
2) Don't do the boutique knowing you'll be gone in 6-8mo. Not fair to them

Then do something you want to do. Travel. Politics. Service. If you need the money, take a job doing something you enjoy to pay the bills. You're, what, 22? Now is the time where you have the flexibility to do crazy, spontaneous stuff and get away with it. Not so much when you have a home to pay for and a SO (like me). Live it up now. You will be better for it. This is a life decision, not a career one.

    • 2
Jan 26, 2016

Agree with Karl here. The best thing about business is that you can learn a lot about it in a wide variety of circumstances (working at a book store, etc.). The worst thing about business is that, once you're in a corporation, you rarely have the freedom to be spontaneous.

Jan 26, 2016

Another option would be to offer the boutique a short term contract. Tell them that you've accepted the MBB offer, and won't start for 6 months. You just tell them that you'd be happy to work for them on a temp or hourly basis until you start your other gig.

Or, what I'd do - take out some debt and travel for a few months. Move to Tahoe or CO and finish out this incredible ski season as a lifty, or go to a beach and bar tend.

Jan 26, 2016
TechBanking:

Another option would be to offer the boutique a short term contract. Tell them that you've accepted the MBB offer, and won't start for 6 months. You just tell them that you'd be happy to work for them on a temp or hourly basis until you start your other gig.

Great idea, I was going to suggest general consulting myself. Frankly, if you're going to MBB they may jump all over the opportunity to have you for a few months until you go there since it speaks volumes about your ability. When else will they be able to say they had an employee leave for an MBB firm?

Jan 26, 2016
TechBanking:

Or, what I'd do - take out some debt and travel for a few months. Move to Tahoe or CO and finish out this incredible ski season as a lifty, or go to a beach and bar tend.

I'd go for this and I'd bet you that nearly every older person would say to do something like this. You're crossing the country anyway so take a stop halfway and spend the winter. If anyone asks with concern say you were working with the endangered snow bunny in Eagle County. If you're not a skier find a warm beach to go to and chill. Explore, learn to surf, read novels that you won't have time for, whatever. If you have the cash go and travel around the world. Screw the money part of it-just do a dumbass job that pays the bills.

Like @karl_pilkington said this is a life decision. The 6 months of possibly working at a consulting firm or 1099'ing it at one won't even be a blip on your radar in 10 years, let alone 20, but you'll appreciate having done something other than work, and you don't even have to explain away an employment gap. I did this earlier in my career and took a 5 month break and traveled between jobs (that I had purposefully set so I could take a break) and while I could have done a dozen resume, skill building or help the world type of things, skiing for a month in Breck and bumming around Europe and SE Asia are some of the coolest memories of my life.

Feb 6, 2016
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I'm making it up as I go along.