Thursday, April 14, 2005

There but for the grace of god...

A couple of years ago I looked into management consulting. I went to a couple of information sessions, I almost filled out an application for McKinsey; the career-type counsellor person at the grad school here said that I'd have a good shot at getting a job if I did apply. While I was considering this option, I kept getting messages from the universe that said "DON'T DO IT, GIRL!"--I remember this one newspaper headline, in particular, about how management consultants are destroying the world by replacing story-based local ways of doing things with quantitative analyses. I finally took the hint and threw out the application.

Anyway, this article from Salon is a review of a book written by a former management consultant about what a demoralizing and pointless job it is.

The funny thing is, I still sometimes find myself thinking about it as if it were something I'd consider doing, whereas in reality it's absolutely the opposite of everything I'm looking for in a career...except for the part about the six-figure starting salary. More money is always better than less money; but on the other hand if that's the only attraction of the job there's just no point.

The article makes the comparison with prostitution. I don't think I could actually do thatjob either, but I do think that it would be fun to be a stripper. Think about it--after a couple of years as a stripper, you've got flat abs and some fabulous stories to tell and you know you've brought joy into people's lives, whereas after a couple of years as a management consultant, you've got...a lot of frequent flier points and no self-respect.

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