For the consultants in the middle east, do you find time to excersise and maintain a somehow healthy lifestyle?

MBB Middle East tier2
New answer on Nov 13, 2020
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 12, 2020

Hi,

Just wondering for the consultants who work in the middle east, which is known for its terrible work-life balance, do you find time to workout/exercise? I've heard BCG has something called PTO but what about other firms? S&, Kearney, Mckinsey, etc...?

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Ian
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Content Creator
replied on Nov 12, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Careful with the alure of PTO! If tends to end up being "My personal KPI this week is to be able to tuck in my kids 2 nights...but of course I'll sign on to work after".

How do you maintain a better worklife balance?

First: Assume that you won't

Second: Set expectations so low, that anything is a "plus"

Ok, now that we have that out of the way, here are a few things you can do:

  1. Figure out what work matters and what doesn't - Oftentimes, what you're doing can wait until the next day.
  2. Iterate and use 80/20 rule - Don't spend forever on making something look perfect before it has been reviewed. Gaurenteed the Principal/Partner will tear it up regardless, you may as well get feedback early on initial thoughts!
  3. Be efficient - Work efficiently to have more free time, multi-task your chores so as to have more free time, play sports with a friend as a catchup (duals as exercise AND social), etc. etc.
  4. Pay for things - You're earning a lot of money...so pay for time! Pay for drycleaners, home cleaners, babysitters, prepared food, etc. Especially, use your food budget during the week to eat healthy but without prep

Let me take a few excerpts from a Surival Guide I wrote here: https://www.spencertom.com/2018/01/14/consulting-survival-guide/

  • This job is inherently stressful, and you are not going to be the first person to struggle with stress. Consulting firms have mechanisms in place to try to keep consultants from burning out. If you are struggling, reach out early.
  • There will always be pressure, but not every task will make or break the bank. If the success or failure of the project relies solely on the one slide you’re making, there are bigger issues going on.
  • Having a life you are happy with is more important than being the perfect consultant. Figure out not just what is critical at work, but also at home. Knowing what is most important and when will help you strike the right balance.
  • If you find you’re working until 1am every night, take a look at your balance. Unless you’re working on a “make or break” task, try to leave early enough that you can pause, get a decent night’s sleep, and come in fresh the next morning.
  • You will do your best work once you are okay with being fired.
  • Your Project Lead/Principal is not inside your head. Learn how to communicate and guide their attention to what they need to know. Work to their style and your life will be easier.
  • You have to stand up for yourself. And people will respect you for it (98% of the time).
  • People’s perception of your performance is just as important as your performance.
  • Once you hit 12-18 months tenure, you have more power to say “no” than you think you do.
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Jamie replied on Nov 12, 2020
Former Tier 2, now MBB in Dubai. Here to chill :)

Hi there,

I'm actual a BCG consultant in the ME and also PTO champion for a few cases now so will share my experience.

To be honest with WFH can be extremely dificil to do anything but work.

Me, as a PTO champion (btw, PTO doesnt mean personal time off at bcg lol), implemented several initiatives to ensure health lifestyle:

1. every day we have 1 hour of protected time (you can do whatever you want during this time)

2. every week we have one evening protected (after 930pm we are supposed to stop working)

...

Also, as part of the PTO role you work on your working norms (maybe I'm a morning person versus a night person; 1 have a few commitments i want to protected, etc)

Now, working at MBB in ME is definitely quite intense (i work 75h+ a week, usually around 90h depending on the case) therefore having time for exercise, going out etc i leave it more for the weekend.

Hopefully this helps (and doesnt scare you away from applying ahah)

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Adi
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 12, 2020
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hey there,

Regardless of which country/office you are in, if you are working for a global consulting and specially MBB, work-life balance will a rather dreaded issue. This subject has been much talked about over the years and sadly companies are using this as a marketing gimmick.

Based on my personal experience and everything I have seen in consulting, work-life balance is something you take control of and use the people/process/tools around you to make it happen. Its in human nature to go one up against the person next to you and this is rampant in consulting- so they slog or at least pretend to slog. Check out this thread for more insights on work-life balance: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/does-work-life-balance-improve-with-time-8445

You dont get into consuting to be loved but to acelerate your career, learn a lot and perhaps move out in a few years. Its like using the escalator vs taking the stairs.

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Clara
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Content Creator
replied on Nov 13, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

For McK for example, ME were not the worst office: Madrid, Milano and some of the German ones were more feared.

Cheers,

Clara

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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