The rise & rise of start-ups
Start-up is the overwhelming winner when analysing where consultants want to go. 46% of the 25k+ candidates on movemeon.com would like to work in a growth-stage startup, and 32% in an early-stage one. This is not surprising. Start-ups give consultants an opportunity to finally see the impact of their work and fast. In fact, start-ups are now so popular that it can be hard to remember that this is a trend that emerged only over the last 5 years. (The popularity of the industry rose as the number of start-ups and the ease of starting a business increased, all thanks to the explosion of digital.)
Equally unsurprising is the popularity of Private Equity & Venture Capital, watched by 41% of candidates. Why? PE & VC requires a skill set similar to that of consultants. But, and this is a big but, as an investor, you are much closer to the final impact, so you have real ‘skin in the game’. (And then there’s the fact that it’s very well paid.)
Strategy vs. start-up reality
While most consultants would like to work in start-ups, most (64%) would also like to work in strategy. This calls for a reality check: most start-ups simply do not have strategic positions until they get past the stage where they have, say, 100+ people. In the growth stage, execution is infinitely more important than strategising, and overall strategy is set by the founders. So those consultants looking to move from consulting to start-up should consider operational and growth (which is basically business development) roles. These positions will still suit consulting skills, and they can be a good experience for a second (third, fourth, etc…) move to a strategy role.
What is most interesting to those of us behind the scenes at Movemeon is that mainstream industries no longer attract consultants. After the top 5 shown above, only E-commerce, Online/Internet services, Media & Telecommunications, Retail, and Consumer goods are attractive to more than 20% of our members. In other words, consultants want new, innovating and consumer-facing industries.
Interested in joining a start-up? Find out what happens to your salary when you leave consulting
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