Choosing between two jobs


  • FCAS
  • Work at a subsidiary of a very large company, mostly in pricing speciality/commercial lines. Very underwriter focused business.
  • Recently promoted in this role to a pricing manager, overseeing about 4 juniors (hard work!); promotion was in name & salary only; been doing job for past 2 years.
  • Been in the company 4 years
  • c. 5 years experience

I interviewed at a large consultancy (non big 4) a few weeks ago and have got an offer to join on at a senior manager level ; focusing on commercial/speciality lines pricing & consulting. Offer is better in most ways to my current role, larger salary, bonus etc.

I’m having troubles choosing between the two roles. Part of me wants to try something new (hence why I applied in the first place), and it will be a step up in a new industry that I haven’t tried before. I find myself relatively bored in my current role, I’ve learnt a lot in the time I’ve been here but the work is now relatively mundane (doing the same old pricing large accounts, model reviews etc.) and the only challenge now is with training the junior members of the team, which is rewarding but is exhausting to do all the time. In theory, once they’re trained up it should free up some more of my time for interesting projects; but I am not sure.

Pros of new place:

  • Variety of work
  • Relatively new department in the consultancy, could work out nicely if they gain traction
  • Bonus somewhat under my control, which I like - current bonus structure is such that my performance has no impact on what im paid
  • Generally has very smart people in the team which I think will push me a bit further as I’m still relatively young in my career
  • Heavily involved in data analytics etc. which I have limited experience in. Thinking this may be a big sell if I then want to move back into industry
  • Sales aspect of the role could be rewarding

Cons of new place:

  • Could be giving up something good for something which sucks e.g. may have terrible work life balance at the consultancy
  • The variety of work may not be as varied as I think: e.g. if all the work is building pricing models for clients and that’s it - that would get boring after a year or so max. I have asked them this and they said no, and a third of the job will be portfolio management & portfolio reviews, but I am not sure until i get there.
  • Not being able to work with underwriters; I really enjoy this aspect of my job and underwriting is something I could get into later in my career; moreso from a technical/portfolio management point of view.

Ultimately I do see myself in a company long term, but I am just wondering if having a stint in consulting/something different could be worthwhile. Any opinions/experiences?

Sounds a lot like the job I just left, happy to PM if you like.

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Sure, pm’d

I’m FSA not FCAS, so not directly comparable. I started at a carrier for a few years and switched to consultant shop and then later switched back to carrier. In my mind I gained a lot of valuable experience at the consultant place - especially in softer skills like networking, giving non-answers to questions in meetings / steering questions towards things I can answer during calls (an important but overlooked skill imo), presentations, and overall relationship management. If the shop is smaller you are less likely to be stuck doing the same thing a million times than if it is a giant place, but YMMV.

Cons were definitely work hours - even if they weren’t always long you are often on call or had to do a random night. Laptop came on vacations. I also disliked the billable hours aspect and sales. Hated going to conferences to try and sell my services.

I think overall it was very valuable experience and I am glad I did it, it has really helped after going back to a carrier. But not something I could be at long term. To each their own though.

Being a manager sucks.

I’ve been in the industry 10+ years and never managed anyone. And don’t really want to unless forced to do so.

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I notice that all of your pros and cons are work focused. This makes sense but the thing I’ve found to be most important in my job changes is the impact that the new job has on my non-work life. I recommend thinking about how this change might impact your home life, family time, hobbies, etc.

Otherwise, you’ve thought the work portion through pretty well and it seems like the job change would be good for you. The one caveat I put on that is trust your gut. I’ve taking a few positions that were very logical and looked good on paper but my gut was telling me something wasn’t right. I was miserable in those roles so now I listen to my gut.


I’ll mention that one trick I use to identify what my gut is telling me is to toss a coin.

If I’m indifferent / if the pros-and-cons are perfectly balanced, I can abide by the coin toss. If that’s not the case, I’ll feel pressured to overrule the coin.

I agree with Snake’s comment about considering the non-work element.

I’d also add that you should try to look one step beyond the potential new job. What do you imagine your move might be after this potential new job? Does it seem likely to get you on a path you want to walk down? Can you say the same about your current job? Going through such an exercise might describe what you want in a new job, even if that new job is neither the one you have today nor the offer you’re considering.