Consulting + good work life balance?

Accenture bearing point big four Big Four - Strategy consulting firms PwC small consultancy switch tier2 work life balance working conditions working hours
New answer on Jun 16, 2020
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Mar 22, 2017

Hi! I'm really fascinated by management consulting as I like the skills and variety (different projects, clients) it involves. While I would like to work for a prestigous company, I'm willing to trade that off for an actual (!) work-life-balance which is more important to me. So my question is, which would you say are the best companies that ensure a good work-life-balance, but still interesting projects and clients? Perhaps Big4 consulting?

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Anas
Expert
updated an answer on Jun 26, 2017
Ex Accenture Strategy, passed 100+ case interviews. Let's get you that job offer!

Dear Anonymous,

I'm sure you already now that, but the thing about consulting is that :

From one assignment to another working hours can change widely. That is explained by the fact that with different clients, teams, projects content, your workload can be highly variable.

Now for the French market, you can expect an average of 60 hours a week within the strategy practice of a Tier Two consulting firm with regular peaks to 65/70 hours.

Again, this is only an average from discussions with tens of consultants from these companies to give you an idea of what it is going to look like.

Best of luck for your next move.

Cheers,

Anas

(edited)

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Anonymous B replied on Mar 31, 2017

Hi!

From my personal experience, I agree with Chris and Matteo’s answer. There’s always a trade off. At big 4, The working hours may be better, but you may also get bored at times. At MBB you have more demanding tasks, super interesting projects and a strong learning curve.

I don't know where you're based, but for Germany, I can tell you the following working hours from my own or friend’s experience:

  • KPMG: from 8-9am to 6-7 pm, 30-45mins lunch break
  • EY Advisory: 8-9am to 6-7pm, sometimes longer like 8pm, 45mins lunch break
  • Simon Kucher: from 8-9am to 8pm, 30-45mins lunch break

Those are the approximate average working hours. Of course sometimes depending on the project, e.g. if you have the client presentation the next day, you will have to stay longer (+ 1-3hours)

Hope I could help you

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Chris
Expert
replied on Mar 28, 2017
Ex-BCG Consultant / Interviewed 100+ applicants at BCG / Received offers from McK (US) and BCG (DE)

Hi anonymous,

while I agree with Matteo, the actual working hours will be somewhat higher at MBBs as compared to e.g. PWC, Simon Kucher, Accenture (these I know from friends, but assume it's similar at the big4). E.g. my friend who used to work at PWC advisory (basically PWCs consulting branch) was usually done around 7pm, which is not realistic at MBBs.

Hope this helps.

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Anonymous replied on Jun 16, 2020

Hi A,

On the top of what experts said about working hours 60-80 per week, so I'm personally very skeptical about work-life balance in consultant companies and if we speak of such life moments like having family etc,it is just a matter of time when I would leave consultancy.

Hope it helps,
Best,
André

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Anonymous replied on Jun 26, 2017

Hi,

In all honesty it will probably be the same unless you choose Strategy Consulting in which case hours range between 12-16hrs a day.

On average you have your busy periods and down times as I am sure you are aware of, small consultancies work the same way but you should not be doing more hours than what you are used to.

Hope this helps!

Victoria

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Anas on Jun 28, 2017
Dear Victoria, I would respectfully disagree with your first statement. Since the tier 2 consulting firm have lower fees, they tend to appoint bigger teams and tackle longer term projects which usually means less working hours for consultants. However, your second statement is accurate: there will be busy periods and down times.

(edited)

Matteo
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 23, 2017
Former Mckinsey and BCG consultant focused on Digital & Technology applied to Business

Hi, if you are really interested in strategic consulting I would definitely recommend Mckinsey, BCG and Bain. It is true that sometime you might have sctrict deadlines and work late, but I have always had extremely smart managers and partners that in the end have been willing to create a sustainable wor-life balance.

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Anas gave the best answer

Anas

Ex Accenture Strategy, passed 100+ case interviews. Let's get you that job offer!
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