3 months ago a good friend moved jobs from consulting into the airline industry. I caught up with him recently.

Me: “So, how’s the new gig?”

Him: “Terrible. At the previous place I used to wear 3-4 hats in my role. Here they have 3-4 people for every hat! I’m so bored.”

In certain industries, competitors have figured out how not to compete, how to work in sync. Moving together, they keep their prices high and margins fat.


/ˌäləˈɡäpəlē/ noun a state of limited competition, in which a market is shared by a small number of producers or sellers.

If oligopolies diverted even 10% of their efforts away from schemes to gouge customers, and towards reducing their operational inefficiency, they’d be swimming in profits and earning better customer karma.

That’s one of the things I like about consulting - it’s a super-competitive business; you can’t rest on your laurels from years ago. It’s all about doing things better, finding the new new thing. As a worker it keeps me sharp.

When you’re young in your career, and if you have the appetite and capacity for it, join a competitive industry. It’ll force you to stay on your toes and hone your skills.