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Family-Life-Balance (Husband/Wife and Kids)

Anonymous A

Team! Wondering if anyone with a husband/wife and kids can share tangible experiences of family-life (not just work life) balance of having kids and being married? Lookng for two areas:

1) How did you navigate adjusting to the lifestyle if you entered your career married with children, and what are your top feelings/experiences/tips towards navigating that lifestyle of consulting with a family?

2) Looking to hopefully (granted I pass a last interview) start in consulting very soon but have a new babygirl entering the the world soon! How do these consulting companies, coworkers, and clients tend to treat maternity or paternity leave?

You may be thinking "well wait until after your daughter is born to start working" but in this circumstance, my goal aside of working with this new company will be to first relocate my familly so we can get settled in the area before having our daughter for reasons to make sure: - My spouse can find good work in her industry (this move is not dependent on this me receiving an offer)

-Regardless, we are moving either way to be closer to family

-Once we move, and if I am able to gain an offer, I would want to start working right away at least a handful of months (to gain some experience) before having to take leave

Any thoughts from any family-women/family men?

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Amir
Expert
replied on 01/16/2018
McKinsey & Company / Harvard Business School / +200 real life MBB cases / Focusing on Case+FIT+interviewer psychology

Wow. I totaly know what you mean.

So I'm married and have a 1.5 year old son.

It is not easy, not by a long shot. That's not to say you should be deterred at all.

There isn't a simple way to write a magic formula that will ensure a perfect family/work balance but a few things to set expectations / tips:

- Setting your expectaitons and preparing yourself and family: Your first project / 2 will be super hard to balance. This is a fact sadly. You will be a new consultant trying to swim with the other, prove himself etc. Honestly - I think just by expecting this and preparing the family and home accordingly, this will help a bit.

That's not at all to say you can't already start taking the lead on balancing family/work. But I promise you will become exponentially better at this by your 4/5/6 study.

- Setting expectations with your direct manager, EM. This isnt easy, but you should be as honest as you can in your priorities both at work and home. Most new consultants do not do this even though it sounds 100% trivial and straightforwrad. Most times you'll be surprised by how receptive the EM is to your priorites. This is for 3 main reasons:

1) They have been doing this for a while - and like I said in my first point - they have also become much better at balancing their work/life balance - they need it too!

2) Don't forget managers and especially EMs depend on great constructive feedback to do their job well, not to mention to get good ratings and eventually get promoted. It is their goal and priority to do the study well and deliver impact to the client but to also, and just as importantly, deliver a great experience to their team.

3) They are probably good people :)

Hope this short answer helps, I could go on for hours talking about this. A happy consultant is a great consultant and honestly it is a helpful life skill to become better at managing this delicate balance.

Good luck!

:)

Mitchell
Expert
replied on 01/11/2018
BCG Consultant |Consulting Case Coach at London Business School

Hi anon,
Managing a family and a career at a top tier consulting firm can be challenging, but not impossible.
The answers to your questions will be highly dependent on the geography in which you are applying. Across geographies, working hours vary drastically, as does the approach towards maternity/paternity leave and special programs for consultants with families (e.g. part-time work).
Your best bet is to talk directly with consultants at the firm your applying to.
Hope this helps, and best of luck with the interviews.

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