The short answer - if you are savvy you can have a good work life balance over time otherwise NO :). Plunge in and work hard in the early days (1-2 years) while you are learning and building your reputation.
By savvy I mean the following well executed moves. You will need all of or most of below to make work-life balance work:
- Staying in the firm for at least 3 years and having a good reputation (across levels-analysts all the way upto partner) & high on the job performance
- Being close to key senior managers/directors/partners who are high performing themselves and back you
- Staying on the same one/two clients for multiple projects
- Having key clients back you and wanting you on the projects
- Having a network of poeple to call upon for favours- these are colleagues/peers/seniors you are willing to help you out, share a load, cut you some slack etc etc
Now, here are the life lessons I have learnt on work-life balance:
- You need to have a clear plan for yourself, otherwise work & people will totally consume you. You draw the line on work not intruding your personal space (leisure time, weekends etc). Learn to say NO subtly and tactfully
- Dont follow the crowd- if everyone is or appears to be slogging, you don't have to. Be yourself, believe in yourself and follow points 1-5 above
- Focus on doing your best, enjoy the process and dont worry about the outcome. Things fall into place
- Keep talking to people (specially senior people) on their perceptions of you! People forget easily over time. Be visible a lot!