As a result of the Royal Commission, the financial services industry continues to witness significant changes and there has never been a more exciting time for risk, assurance and audit talent to be at the forefront and develop their career.
Due to continued growth of this change in the market, many professionals are making the move from consulting firms into industry. If this is something you are currently considering our Compliance, Risk Management & Audit team at Robert Walters, set out some of the pros and cons of such a move, which might just help you to decide if it’s the right move for you.
When working for one client only, professionals can gain a thorough, more in-depth view of the industry. This not only helps build overall professional understanding but also provides a chance to make a greater impact on business change.
Making Partner in a consulting firm is becoming increasingly challenging and competitive, with senior roles now required to be more sales based. Working within industry can provide more opportunity for career progression as, due to the market growth rate, new roles and positions are frequently being created. This means expertise can be developed by having exposure to both consultancy and industry led business perspectives.
Generally, professionals that have moved from consultancy to industry have seen a positive impact on their overall work-life balance. Hours tend to be shorter compared to that of consultancy firms and deadlines are much more manageable. Most financial services organisations now promote agile and flexi working to help maximise employee productivity, boost motivation and aid attrition.
Whilst it may seem surprising, compensation packages offered within industry can actually be more competitive than what consultancy firms offer – particularly for those at Senior Manager level and below. Extra benefits such as a car, private medical insurance, pension entitlement, bonus schemes, extra days annual leave and short and long-term incentives make packages more attractive and competitive overall.
When working in industry, you will work closely with the business and have the opportunity to see the outcome of your effort. With any luck, you’ll feel part of the decision-making process driving your company. Many professionals speak of the real sense of achievement that comes with contributing to the development and growth of the company and will often receive much higher levels of recognition for their work.
Working for only one client means you won’t have exposure to the same variety of work as compared with working in a consultancy firm. So, if you prefer a diverse range of work and clients, then working in industry may not suit you.
When working in industry-based roles, there tends to be less opportunity for you to increase your technical knowledge through training as it’s more focused around ‘on-the-job’ learning. This may be a concern for junior associates who still need to develop their skillsets, particularly if they plan to transition back into a consultancy practice. Competing against specialists with access to higher levels of training could hinder potential job opportunities in the future.
As teams are less hierarchical and more horizontal when working in industry, there can be less opportunity for promotion. Due to differing levels of expertise between consulting and industry professionals, those moving out of consulting must normally transition into roles at either the same level or one level below due to lack of industry experience.
Ultimately, there are different positives and negatives involved for risk, assurance and audit professionals when moving into an industry specific role. You should consider the impact of each as you progress in your risk and compliance career. Make sure you spend the time to do your research, or alternatively reach out to a specialist recruiter, who will be able to help you understand the benefits and potential disadvantages of an offer to move to industry.
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