congratulations on your new consulting job! In general, you should not stress yourself out before even getting started. You will learn many things on the job and from your teams. Nevertheless, here are some things I consider the most relevant ones for your three stated categories:
Getting (the right) things done
- When you start your first project, you will usually receive guidance on your role and your tasks from your supervisor. Always ask for clear expectations, so that you are able to fully meet them.
- Once your role and tasks are clear, prioritization is key. Focus on the most important & urgent topics first. There are plenty of examples of to-do lists out there, that can help you structure your daily activities in a sufficient way.
- After you have structured your tasks based on priority, you will start with your "real" work. Over time, you will become more and more efficient in conducting tasks by all kinds of using tools (e.g. flip chart & whiteboard in team exercises or PowerPoint & Excel for individual tasks).
Building a network
- Building a network is crucial for every consultant. You want to have a strong internal (colleagues) and external (clients) network. However, relationships are never built in a day and need time to grow. Try to be yourself!
- In particular, use the first weeks in your new firm to get to know other new joiners, your new team members, and experts of their respective practice.
Manage work and private life
In general, there is no clear guiding principle on how to best manage the balance of work and private life. Nevertheless, I am happy to share some personal experiences in the following.
- Usually your week away from home is from Mondays to Thursdays or Fridays. This means time away from your partner, friends, and family. Therefore, you should use the time at home as effectively as possible. Even though you are tired from the week, try to spend time with your friends and plan time together in advance. You will probably be less spontaneous than during your studies, but can make sure to not lose touch with people that are important to you.
- Further, sports are a good way to keep yourself in shape physically and mentally. It is tough to combine it with a stressful consulting week, but you should try at least once per week to go for a run or check out the hotel's gym. Maybe some of your colleagues are ven happy to join.
- In addition, your time in consulting strongly depends on the teams you are working with. I found a lot of great friends during my time in strategy consulting. If you have a team with people you like to spend time with, even an 80 hour week can pass by easier as expected.
I hope my comments are helpful to answer your question. Again, i wish you a great start in consulting and all the best.