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Consulting + good work life balance?

big four Big Four - Strategy consulting firms work life balance working conditions working hours
New answer on Jun 16, 2020
4 Answers
8.5 k Views
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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Anonymous B replied on Mar 31, 2017


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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Anonymous replied on Mar 28, 2017

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,

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replied on Mar 23, 2017
MBB consultant (Mckinsey & BCG) 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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