A few months in consulting, I don't find a fit and I want to quit...What should I do

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New answer on Jun 29, 2021
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Anonymous A asked on Apr 27, 2021

A few months in consulting after MBA, I don't find a fit...What should I do?

Everyday from 9 to 11+...way too intense for me. I underestimated the load.

(edited)

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Adi
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replied on Apr 27, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hey,

What you are feeling & experiencing is normal, specially if you are new to Consulting.

Check out these threads for plenty of discussion on the exact same question:

  • https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/a-month-into-new-job-and-feeling-overwhelmed-and-insecurehow-do-i-get-past-this-and-perform-to-my-full-potential-8224
  • https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/tips-for-someone-questioning-the-decision-to-get-into-consulting-after-less-than-a-year-9355
  • https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/leaving-mbb-after-1-year-9238

All the best.

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Francesco
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replied on Apr 28, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

I would recommend the following:

Best,

Francesco

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Anonymous A on Apr 28, 2021

wont they find out if you don't put in on CV? they might ask what have you been doing at the gap

Francesco on Apr 28, 2021

Hi there, I was actually referring to not keeping the experience on your CV in the future, not for the current new application. For what concern the current one, the fact that you keep it or not depends on your CV and how big would be the gap without it. If you have not joined immediately after the MBA and not adding the experience would create a gap too big, you should probably keep it. Plus, applying with a strong consulting brand may help to pass the screening, even if they will ask you why you are leaving so early (for which you will need a good story). Hope this helps

Anonymous B replied on Apr 27, 2021

A former gf of mine joined one of the MBBs straight out of undergrad and quit after 4 months on the job. She eventually managed to get a "chief of staff" position on a startup and was much happier after quitting mck.

I think you should have a candid conversation with your manager, your staffing manager and other stakeholders about this. Depending on your geography, 9-11+ could be the reality of the next 2+ years.

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Anonymous A on Apr 27, 2021

The trick is how she landed the Chief of Staff job. When I chat with companies, I sense that they doubt if I am getting fired or not capable of doing my job. But I am just simply NOT happy.

Anonymous on Apr 29, 2021

trust me, its hard to get fired at an mbb 3 months down the job... sometimes people realize they made an unwise decision after they made it, it happens

(edited)

Ian
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replied on Apr 28, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

I'm so sorry to hear - it's absolutely an intense job and not for everyone. I seriously struggled in my first few months. I have a few options for you.

  1. Don't be afraid to quit. Your life doesn't end after consulting. There will be other opportunities. If you do quit, aim to have a backup plan (i.e. another job lined up), but if you have to quit for your mental health, then do it.
  2. Ask for extended leave. Ask for a break. Maybe you need some time to absorb everything you've been learning and catchup.
  3. Stop being afraid of being fired and work smarter not harder. Set time boundaries. Say "I don't work past x hour". Get the work done that's needed, but no more. If you're ready to quit anyway, why not see if you can set some boundaries now that make this more sustainable?

Finally, read my 25 consulting survival guide tips here:

The essentials

1. You need comrades – your people for the really good and the really garbage days. Find them and stick to them.

2. There’s almost no such thing as a rule. Whatever it is, you can find an exception.

3. This job is inherently stressful, and you are not going to be the first person to struggle with stress. Consulting firms have mechanisms in place to try to keep consultants from burning out. If you are struggling, reach out early.

4. There will always be pressure, but not every task will make or break the bank. If the success or failure of the project relies solely on the one slide you’re making, there are bigger issues going on.

5. Having a life you are happy with is more important than being the perfect consultant. Figure out not just what is critical at work, but also at home. Knowing what is most important and when will help you strike the right balance.

The practical stuff

6. Keep a one-page version of the case story up-to-date every couple of days.

7. Group emails get poor responses.

8. Be careful about adding Partners and Principals to Facebook.

9. Always bring solutions, not problems.

10. It can help to share your recent review form in your regular feedback sessions.

11. You learn so much more when you are fully transparent about what you don’t understand.

12. If work expands to fill the time available in which to do it, then limit the time available.

13. Remember number 4 and number 5? If you find you’re working until 1am every night, take a look at your balance. Unless you’re working on a “make or break” task, try to leave early enough that you can pause, get a decent night’s sleep, and come in fresh the next morning.

The unspoken truths

14. You will do your best work once you are okay with being fired.

15. Your Project Lead/Principal is not inside your head. Learn how to communicate and guide their attention to what they need to know. Work to their style and your life will be easier.

16. Reputation is extremely important – over-indexing to achieve good first impressions at the start of a project (and your tenure as a consultant) can create a lot of goodwill you can cash in later.

17. You have to stand up for yourself. And people will respect you for it (98% of the time).

18. People’s perception of your performance is just as important as your performance.

19. Over time you will develop a reputation amongst the upper cohort – they talk to each other about consultants (just like we talk about Principals and Partners amongst ourselves).

20. Communication is as important as content. Communication isn’t what you say, it’s what they hear.

21. Being good at the qualitative aspects of consulting (presentation, communication etc.) is significantly more important than being good at the analysis/excel/quantitative side of consulting.

22. Your career development advisor is not a purely objective mentor; what you tell them will impact their perception of you.

23. Success is 80% work, 20% timing. Opportunities can be random, but you also need to know how to place yourself.

24. Consulting is a confidence game. Always have a strong opinion, lightly held.

25. Once you hit 12-18 months tenure, you have more power to say “no” than you think you do.

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Marco-Alexander
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updated an answer on Dec 01, 2021
Former BCG | Case author for efellows book | Experience in 6 consultancies (Stern Stewart, Capgemini, KPMG, VW Con., Hor

.

(edited)

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Clara
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replied on Apr 30, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

If it´s of any consolation, everyone feels like that at the begginig, but we all tend not to talk about it... which is stupid and makes everyone feel lonely and behind.

Feel free to PM me about it.

Cheers,

Clara

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Raj
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replied on Apr 30, 2021
Strategy&| ex-interviewer | 170+ coached over career |95% success @ MBB, S&, RB, LEK, OW, Big4 [SUCCESS STORIES BELOW]

Rest assured this period of malaise is totally normal especially in the first 6-12 months of starting, and many including myself went through this. The truth is if you stick it out beyond the 6month mark, you will learn how to balance things better, upwardly manage, establish your reputation, win more latitude from your stakeholders and set clearer boundaries.

However, if it is having a detrimental effect than that is a very personal decision to make

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Antonello
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replied on Apr 29, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, it happens, but I recommend giving it the last chance of waiting for another project. Maybe changing the setting, the team and the client will be different

Best,
Antonello

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Adi gave the best answer

Adi

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Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience
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