Backstory: I'm a 2nd year associate at a BB, did 2 years of analyst work before b-school, and figured I'd give it another run after MBA.
Two week ago, I secured a job offer from one of the Big 3 consultancies. I have a few more days to make a decision on whether or not to accept. I'm starting to lean in the direction of yes.
In previous years, it would have been a no-brainer that comp @ a BB would rapidly outstrip consulting 3-5 years in, and the upside would be much higher. Now I'm not sure that's true anymore. I think comp and headcount in banking are gonna fall drastically in the next few years. The entire future expected earnings pattern is entirely different from what it was even 3 years ago. Senior guys who used to bank $1-$2 mm+ in bonus a few years ago are now talking about how $500ish is the new normal.
Let's say I stay at the BB. Every year, a bigger and bigger chunk of my comp will be in stock. The longer I stay, the less I will be able to leave, because of unvested stock. If I get canned, I lose my stock. And my skills won't be that transferable the longer I stay.
I'm genuinely unhappy here. Not because of the finance. I love finance and the industry that I cover (TMT). But what I'm seeing is that regulation and all sorts of crazy risk management procedures slammed into place after 2008 are making this job unbearable. Internal memos that were maybe 15 pages long when I was an analyst are now 80+ pages long. I really didn't sign up for this job to be a professional PowerPoint design artist.
All BBs are bloated. What's happening now is that at the mid levels (VPs), those guys are so terrified of being canned (they're expensive, but don't bring in any revenue) that they are desperately doing everything possible to show that they are adding value, even if its making gratuitous edits for no other reason than to show that they are doing something, and in the process, creating work for everyone involved. Their ranks are going to be culled like you won't believe soon, and I don't want to be in that place when it happens.
So I'm thinking of making the jump to consulting. Leaning toward yes. But happy to listen to opinions and attempts to talk me out of this.