Changing careers to the world of management consulting is not uncommon, even among people between 30 and 40 years old. So if you're one of the many people thinking about making a career change at 40, you're in luck. Entering major consulting firms directly from the ranks of middle management, in most cases, is next to impossible. I left more money on the table on the tax form than I'd like to think of, but as a result, I've learned every possible tactic for saving money on taxes as an independent consultant.
Consultants almost always work with the executive team and, therefore, gain exposure and knowledge of decision-making processes at the highest level. In addition, consultants are given leadership tasks in their projects right from the start (usually two years after joining). Those who remain in the consulting sector for a longer time will leave their position in a higher-level position within corporate strategy or at a similar level within their area of expertise. For mid-career professionals, it's important to keep in mind that starting out as a consultant (individual collaborator in strategy consulting) will most likely feel like a step backwards in their career.
Study the industry, network with consultants, and find a company that focuses on something you have the skills to do. Management consulting is often seen as the way to unlock the most important tasks for the organization or to move in a new direction. Joining management consulting, along with investment banking, is one of the most common options for MBA graduates. Consulting is simple: if a company can sell your skills, you fit the profile and personality of your colleagues, and you're passionate about the job, there's no reason not to hire you.
If you want to consult investment banks, there is a very specific set of schools you should go to. Professionals who start their professional careers (usually university students or immediately after studying a master's degree in Europe) are often motivated to dedicate themselves to management consulting because of the possibility of learning and rapidly advancing their careers. The consulting lifestyle often requires long hours and even late at night, from which young people can recover more easily. Even if they decide to leave after a few years, management consulting will give them the opportunity to explore many different industries and functions as they think about their next move.