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Managing Startups: Best Blog Posts by Thomas Eisenmann

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Chapter 75. Why I Left Consulting and Joined a Startup

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Whether you’re a technology consultant or you’re in a startup, there’s a good chance we have something in common. I call it career commitment avoidance.

The #1 reason I chose consulting as my first job after graduation was that I didn’t want to decide where I would work, in what industry I would work, or even what I would really do on a day-to-day basis. I wanted to do a lot of things, and picking a single one of them just seemed too limiting.

With new projects, new clients, and the expectation that employees will “grow into” whatever role they get next, consultants never really have to decide who they’re going to be in life, and that can be very liberating.

Like many others entering this profession, I figured after a couple of years I would gain the perspective I needed to hone in on my dream job. Years later, that still hadn’t happened.

I started revising my notion of a dream job. I realized the right job for me isn’t one job. It’s a career that changes a lot, where I get to learn new things all the time. I began to wonder if consulting was the dream job. Maybe the reason I’d stuck around for so long was that consulting is the combination of so many things I want in a career:

  1. Learning a lot, fast. When your clients are paying $XXX/hr for you to be there, they expect you to know stuff. A lot of stuff. On top of absorbing ...

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