29yr Big 4 Tech Consultant Pursuing Higher Earning Potential

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
MrProcess
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:05 pm

29yr Big 4 Tech Consultant Pursuing Higher Earning Potential

Post by MrProcess » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:20 pm

I'm currently working at a Big 4 consulting company (since Jan '19) as a tech consultant with FAANG level companies. I'm considering leaving and leveraging the new brand names on my resume for more earning potential.

Current package base salary of 115k plus ~10% bonus. I would like the same or higher package but with equity and commission potential.
[*]The reason to have equity and commission is to have the potential to earn more than just a salary.
[*]Goal for increasing earnings is to expedite my saving and investment goals.

More details about my current situation:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=285110

Employment History:
[*]Bachelors in Economics
[*]Intern @ Financial Institution (<1 yr.)
[*]Financial Analyst w/unknown mid-size company (1 yr.) - $46k + bonus
[*]Product Manager w/unknown mid-size company (3 yrs.) - $95k + bonus
[*]Tech Consultant w/big 4 firm (<1 yr) - $115k + bonus

Questions:
[*]Is leaving with less than 2 year experience at a big 4 a bad sign in order to pursue more income?
[*]Any recommendations on moving up in a structured big 4 environment to reach my package goals?
[*]Any tips on increasing my earning potential?

-MrProcess

PaunchyPirate
Posts: 124
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:58 pm

Re: 29yr Big 4 Tech Consultant Pursuing Higher Earning Potential

Post by PaunchyPirate » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:07 pm

It sounds like you might want to consider what is called a "pre-sales" consultant at a software company. They are sometimes called Sales Engineers or Sales Consultants. With you background/experience, you probably won't start in that role at much of a higher base salary. But there will be a quarterly bonus that would likely exceed what yours currently is. Bonus formulas differ from company to company, but are usually at least half based on sales of your assigned group and possibly based directly on deals that you personally work on. Usually, part of the bonus is based on meeting goals and objectives and other factors. The downside of the bonus is that it varies from quarter to quarter. But if you're good at what you do and if your group and/company are doing well, bonuses can be lucrative. When you are going through a hiring process, they will tell you "target bonus" levels. But there is no guarantee that you will get that bonus. But you may also exceed that bonus. The role of a Sales Engineer is to be the technical sales guy. You are the one who knows how the software works and how to show, via product demonstrations and documents, that it will give buyers value for their money spent. Softwares sold to businesses such as ERP, CRM, etc. are what I'm referring to. Transactions for these types of software can be multi-million dollar deals. So a Sales Engineer who is heavily involved in these transactions can earn a lot of money. There is usually, but not always, stock option equity offered to new hires. Sometimes, companies will offer additional options now and then (yearly, sometimes). However, not all companies do this.

A HUGE part of this job is doing presentations in front of audiences of all sizes. You need to be a technical salesperson -- technically competent and also understand you are in a sales situation. If you are a showman who can prove they are credible with what they say about the product you are selling, you will go far.

I do think you're in slight danger of appearing to be moving around too much between jobs. But, if you find the right company who needs to hire people, you should be able to explain why you're looking again.

User avatar
geerhardusvos
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:20 pm
Location: WA

Re: 29yr Big 4 Tech Consultant Pursuing Higher Earning Potential

Post by geerhardusvos » Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:51 pm

Become an expert in a vertical or discipline, and that’s when the money is really made. I am in cyber security and I am an expert in the number of compliance frameworks and tools. I’m also an expert in SDLC, which makes me knowledgeable of the latest tech and trends. If you are building or implementing something that a lot of people can’t, you’re hitting your stride. Hopping around can get you plenty of money, but have a couple anchor lasting experiences to draw from, and work to become a team lead or have direct reports. I’m 29 years old and I make 180 K in the Seattle market, which because of taxes is a lot more than you make. I will likely have five direct reports next year. Don’t stop networking and always leave a good impression. You’re doing well, but the market you live in and the state taxes are going to eat you alive and less you can make 300 K, so you might consider moving elsewhere

edge
Posts: 3441
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:44 pm
Location: NY

Re: 29yr Big 4 Tech Consultant Pursuing Higher Earning Potential

Post by edge » Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:44 pm

It isn’t clear what your actual skills / value proposition is worth.

HEDGEFUNDIE
Posts: 3621
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:06 pm

Re: 29yr Big 4 Tech Consultant Pursuing Higher Earning Potential

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:52 pm

Here is your five year plan:

1. Get your MBA from a top school (2 years)
2. Get into MBB
3. Work up to Manager level (3 years)
4. Move into internal Corporate Strategy at Director level

I was just speaking to a recruiter the other day for that exact role. Tech company based in San Jose. $200-225k base, $370-400k all-in.

gathw
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2019 1:20 pm

Re: 29yr Big 4 Tech Consultant Pursuing Higher Earning Potential

Post by gathw » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:24 pm

I’m a Senior Manager in a Big 4 firm.
Why the urgency to get out <1 year after joining?

Here’s my take:
1. On earnings potential: the firms take care of those that are consistent high performers. If you are able to consistently significantly exceed expectations you should expect to see good yearly raises and bonuses. Your service line should have a good performance management framework that allows you to identify how you are performing to those expectations. These frameworks aren’t a guarantee for success but they do help establish a baseline of expectations.

2. On Equity:It doesn’t come until you are at Partner level.

3. On Time of Service: How far are you from a possible promotion? Demonstrating good performance and an ability to get promoted helps you progress towards your goals.

ivk5
Posts: 980
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:05 am

Re: 29yr Big 4 Tech Consultant Pursuing Higher Earning Potential

Post by ivk5 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:31 am

gathw wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:24 pm
I’m a Senior Manager in a Big 4 firm.
Why the urgency to get out <1 year after joining?

Here’s my take:
1. On earnings potential: the firms take care of those that are consistent high performers. If you are able to consistently significantly exceed expectations you should expect to see good yearly raises and bonuses. Your service line should have a good performance management framework that allows you to identify how you are performing to those expectations. These frameworks aren’t a guarantee for success but they do help establish a baseline of expectations.

2. On Equity:It doesn’t come until you are at Partner level.

3. On Time of Service: How far are you from a possible promotion? Demonstrating good performance and an ability to get promoted helps you progress towards your goals.
+1

Also: helps a lot to develop a relationship with someone senior to you (say, a Sr Mgr trusted by key partners), who is passionate about the value you bring to the practice. Someone who can both advocate for you and help you navigate.

Topic Author
MrProcess
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:05 pm

Re: 29yr Big 4 Tech Consultant Pursuing Higher Earning Potential

Post by MrProcess » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:21 pm

PaunchyPirate wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:07 pm
It sounds like you might want to consider what is called a "pre-sales" consultant at a software company.
Thank you PaunchyPirate - I've gotten an offer from a tech company in the past for the role you are describing but the total package was lower than my current base. It may be different if I were to pursue it again.
geerhardusvos wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:51 pm
Become an expert in a vertical or discipline, and that’s when the money is really made.
Thanks geerhardusvos - Salesforce Implementations and CPQ are my specialities. You're right I need to expand on this skillset further in order to progress. Can you elaborate on SDLC and how that allows you to stay ahead of the curve? I thought it stands for Software Development Life Cycle?

I've considered moving out of California for the tax benefits but family, friends, and now rental property is all out here. As of now it's worth me staying.
edge wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:44 pm
It isn’t clear what your actual skills / value proposition is worth.
Thank you edge - Core skills are: Salesforce Implementations specifically in the CPQ space. Furthermore with my product management experience I've done everything from: creating end to end processes, testing, training, prioritization of features, go to market strategies, and some analytics of user behavior.
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:52 pm
Here is your five year plan:

1. Get your MBA from a top school (2 years)
2. Get into MBB
3. Work up to Manager level (3 years)
4. Move into internal Corporate Strategy at Director level
Thanks HEDGEFUNDIE (I'm a fan 😁) - My current company sponsors students to get their MBA each year, thanks for the push to look into this further. My current skillset aligns me with what BCG Digital Ventures is doing, I've begun networking with some people from there over the last couple years.
gathw wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:24 pm
I’m a Senior Manager in a Big 4 firm.
Why the urgency to get out <1 year after joining?

Here’s my take:
1. On earnings potential: the firms take care of those that are consistent high performers.

2. On Equity:It doesn’t come until you are at Partner level.

3. On Time of Service: How far are you from a possible promotion? Demonstrating good performance and an ability to get promoted helps you progress towards your goals.
Thanks for your response gathw - Why the urgency to leave, higher pay opportunities in the tech space.

I'm working with my coach to receive better performance reviews, do you have any pointers on getting good feedback? I'm asking since when I came from a mid size company feedback was quick. Here since the firm is bigger I feel like it's been harder to navigate and get consistent feedback.

Possible promotion is next year since I came in as an experienced hire. Working consistently with my coach on this.
ivk5 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:31 am

Also: helps a lot to develop a relationship with someone senior to you (say, a Sr Mgr trusted by key partners), who is passionate about the value you bring to the practice. Someone who can both advocate for you and help you navigate.
Thank you ivk5 - Yes, I need an internal mentor/advocate besides my current coach. Something I've been needing to expand on.

Current Summary:
[*] Build my technical skillset further
[*] Network with more Sr. level managers to find a mentor/champion
[*] Pursue MBA
[*] Switch to MBB (such as BCG)
[*] Get promoted to manager

Any other advise on how to improve my skillset to increase my value?

User avatar
geerhardusvos
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:20 pm
Location: WA

Re: 29yr Big 4 Tech Consultant Pursuing Higher Earning Potential

Post by geerhardusvos » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:03 pm

Good to know your specialties. You are already kinda niche (meaning specific tool/brand), so broaden is good. Can your experience translate to any SaaS company? My best advice is be part of the building (if software, this means in the SDLC). My experience is in building and securing applications, and measuring risk. This is a "deep" skill, but also allows me to work in many industries/companies who are building and securing. I could get more specialized by becoming an "identity security" or "data protection" expert, but my knowledge of risk and compliance frameworks and how to translate those into business/functional and technical specifications allows me to be successful. Your Product experience may be on that path, so something more along those lines. Are you just selling and implementing Saleforce? Or actually developing new features and product lines that can be sold to new markets for this application?

Build and Secure = $$$$$$$

HEDGEFUNDIE
Posts: 3621
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:06 pm

Re: 29yr Big 4 Tech Consultant Pursuing Higher Earning Potential

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:02 pm

MrProcess wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:21 pm
Salesforce Implementations and CPQ are my specialities. You're right I need to expand on this skillset further in order to progress.
My team actually has an opening right now that could be a good fit for you. If you are open to moving to the Bay Area, shoot me a PM.

MotoTrojan
Posts: 6770
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:39 pm

Re: 29yr Big 4 Tech Consultant Pursuing Higher Earning Potential

Post by MotoTrojan » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:06 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:02 pm
MrProcess wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:21 pm
Salesforce Implementations and CPQ are my specialities. You're right I need to expand on this skillset further in order to progress.
My team actually has an opening right now that could be a good fit for you. If you are open to moving to the Bay Area, shoot me a PM.
This makes me happy.

fallingeggs
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat May 04, 2019 7:11 am

Re: 29yr Big 4 Tech Consultant Pursuing Higher Earning Potential

Post by fallingeggs » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:48 pm

ivk5 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:31 am
gathw wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:24 pm
I’m a Senior Manager in a Big 4 firm.
Why the urgency to get out <1 year after joining?

Here’s my take:
1. On earnings potential: the firms take care of those that are consistent high performers. If you are able to consistently significantly exceed expectations you should expect to see good yearly raises and bonuses. Your service line should have a good performance management framework that allows you to identify how you are performing to those expectations. These frameworks aren’t a guarantee for success but they do help establish a baseline of expectations.

2. On Equity:It doesn’t come until you are at Partner level.

3. On Time of Service: How far are you from a possible promotion? Demonstrating good performance and an ability to get promoted helps you progress towards your goals.
+1

Also: helps a lot to develop a relationship with someone senior to you (say, a Sr Mgr trusted by key partners), who is passionate about the value you bring to the practice. Someone who can both advocate for you and help you navigate.
Was going to write a similar response, but also being a senior manager, maybe I've had too much of the kool-aid?

When I started, an old timer always told the associates/seniors that we're all merely apprentices and, more or less, know nothing. Not till you're a senior manager are you truly a professional. Which, I suppose, is my way of saying that you should put your nose down and grind out a few more years. Is this the only path to nirvana? Nope. But you are here, now, so take advantage of the great opportunity.

edge
Posts: 3441
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:44 pm
Location: NY

Re: 29yr Big 4 Tech Consultant Pursuing Higher Earning Potential

Post by edge » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:38 am

Are you actually technical or are you like a ‘business analyst’ type?
MrProcess wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:21 pm
PaunchyPirate wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:07 pm
It sounds like you might want to consider what is called a "pre-sales" consultant at a software company.
Thank you PaunchyPirate - I've gotten an offer from a tech company in the past for the role you are describing but the total package was lower than my current base. It may be different if I were to pursue it again.
geerhardusvos wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:51 pm
Become an expert in a vertical or discipline, and that’s when the money is really made.
Thanks geerhardusvos - Salesforce Implementations and CPQ are my specialities. You're right I need to expand on this skillset further in order to progress. Can you elaborate on SDLC and how that allows you to stay ahead of the curve? I thought it stands for Software Development Life Cycle?

I've considered moving out of California for the tax benefits but family, friends, and now rental property is all out here. As of now it's worth me staying.
edge wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:44 pm
It isn’t clear what your actual skills / value proposition is worth.
Thank you edge - Core skills are: Salesforce Implementations specifically in the CPQ space. Furthermore with my product management experience I've done everything from: creating end to end processes, testing, training, prioritization of features, go to market strategies, and some analytics of user behavior.
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:52 pm
Here is your five year plan:

1. Get your MBA from a top school (2 years)
2. Get into MBB
3. Work up to Manager level (3 years)
4. Move into internal Corporate Strategy at Director level
Thanks HEDGEFUNDIE (I'm a fan 😁) - My current company sponsors students to get their MBA each year, thanks for the push to look into this further. My current skillset aligns me with what BCG Digital Ventures is doing, I've begun networking with some people from there over the last couple years.
gathw wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:24 pm
I’m a Senior Manager in a Big 4 firm.
Why the urgency to get out <1 year after joining?

Here’s my take:
1. On earnings potential: the firms take care of those that are consistent high performers.

2. On Equity:It doesn’t come until you are at Partner level.

3. On Time of Service: How far are you from a possible promotion? Demonstrating good performance and an ability to get promoted helps you progress towards your goals.
Thanks for your response gathw - Why the urgency to leave, higher pay opportunities in the tech space.

I'm working with my coach to receive better performance reviews, do you have any pointers on getting good feedback? I'm asking since when I came from a mid size company feedback was quick. Here since the firm is bigger I feel like it's been harder to navigate and get consistent feedback.

Possible promotion is next year since I came in as an experienced hire. Working consistently with my coach on this.
ivk5 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:31 am

Also: helps a lot to develop a relationship with someone senior to you (say, a Sr Mgr trusted by key partners), who is passionate about the value you bring to the practice. Someone who can both advocate for you and help you navigate.
Thank you ivk5 - Yes, I need an internal mentor/advocate besides my current coach. Something I've been needing to expand on.

Current Summary:
[*] Build my technical skillset further
[*] Network with more Sr. level managers to find a mentor/champion
[*] Pursue MBA
[*] Switch to MBB (such as BCG)
[*] Get promoted to manager

Any other advise on how to improve my skillset to increase my value?

Post Reply