But what can start out as a dream job can turn into a nightmare. Yes, life as a consultant can be stressful. And stress can have a lot of negative consequences, both private and health. Consulting isn't a 9-to-5 job.
You might feel like you're “always connected,” as you're expected to spend a lot of time on the road and it can be tiring. If you envision stability and structure, consider a career elsewhere. So, you can design your work to a large extent, Wouter said. To work in consulting, you'll have to create your own work structures and be responsible for your impact.
Consulting is a high-risk profession that involves a lot of work stress. The emphasis is on billable hours and the general culture is to praise employees for the hours they put in. A Quora response from a former Big Four management consultant mentions that a joke in Deloitte said that “partners eat their young”. Their long working hours mean that they leave home when their family is still sleeping and return when the children have already gone to bed.
Their routine is stressful and even when they have arrived home, their mind is still busy at work. Consultants spend so much time in the office that often their co-workers are their only friends. OP, there are several talent search firms that specialize in former (or soon to be) consultants. It's much easier to understand why a lot of people leave consulting firms two years after having had the first year under their belt.
Consultants can also be found at client destinations in the harshest summers in the Middle East, in the harshest winters in Northern Europe and during the monsoons in Asia. Consulting firms also offer employees the opportunity to participate in training, conferences and seminars, which is a great way to network with senior executives and other professionals in this field. And secondly, many consulting firms now offer competitive packages to retain talent by paying them better than the competition. After struggling for a long time to get a postgraduate offer at a consulting firm, I've been there for a few months and I've realised that I hate it.
In consulting positions, your personal efficiency increases tremendously during the first year; it will improve as you become more comfortable using your company's PPT templates, offshore resources, and internal networks. The truth is that no consultant spends a short 40-hour week going straight to a beach resort with their family, only to reappear on Monday. My conversation with him revolved around understanding what young professionals should know if they are looking for a career in consulting. Consultants are also expected to always be “active”, making it difficult to find a clear separation between personal and professional life.
But all the free food (and jokes) aside, is a career in consulting really worth all the effort and money it takes to qualify in the first place? In addition to this, there is a clear hierarchical structure in consulting firms that provides their members with upward mobility. They are deeply impressed and very excited about the high-profile, well-paid careers that most consultants develop. It can be difficult to get out on bail after a few months, but I have met graduate consultants (MBB) who left before the end of the first year to pursue a variety of jobs (finance, law, business development, etc.).