Got an offer from McKinsey. I want to take it but I'm not sure I'll enjoy the long hours. Advice please?

BCG McKinsey
Edited on Oct 28, 2020
13 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 26, 2020

Is it okay to take the job and then decide if I'll like it?

I want the brand on my resume but I'm worried I'll not enjoy the lifestyle. I'll be able to get a solid job without McKinsey on my resume but I'm sure the McKinsey brand will boost my resume further.

How soon can I exit after joining if I don't like it?

(edited)

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Francesco
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updated an answer on Sep 27, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

I am surprised you managed to clear the fit part given you are not sure the job is for you. For sure you have great sales skills ;)

I don’t think it makes sense to join a company with the idea of exiting as soon as possible. Have you done your research of what a consulting job really implies? I would recommend to spend some time speaking with alumni working in consulting to understand if you may like the experience.

If you understand the job is not for you before you start / you are totally against working long hours and you have a better alternative for your long term goals, I would go for the latter.

Best,

Francesco

(edited)

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Anonymous A on Sep 27, 2020

Thanks for the tip. I always knew that I want the consulting toolkit. I really enjoyed casing. And I want to get into Business Strategy roles in the industry. It is the hours I am scared of after talking to a few ex Consultants who left McKinsey. It seems just as bad as banking now as I learn more.

Robert
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updated an answer on Sep 29, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

In principle you never have all information at hand before joining a new job - so it's definitely legitimate to give it a try and see how it goes.

The brand is definitely extremely strong on your CV - however a rule of thumb is to stay 1.5 years minimum to leverage the brand. Otherwise it will more look like as you were out-counselled and in less than 1.5 years you can also learn only that much as limited by time.

Therefore it's reasonable to exit after minimum 1.5 years or later; however you can exit at any point in time (and usually McKinsey pays your salary until the contractual point in time but most likely you don't need to show up anymore after your notice.

Hope this helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Ian
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replied on Sep 28, 2020
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Hi there,

You need to be careful. Joining an leaving any firm too quickly can look quite bad and can be hard to recover. Not just in terms of your resume, but also in terms of morale, confidence, desire, etc.

So, have a real hard think - do you have what it takes to hunker down and suck it up for 1.5 to 2 years? Are you selling yourself short and letting worries get a hold uncessarily, or are they legitimate concerns?

It will most certainly be as hard/demanding as banking (noting your comment below). So, think hard....it's a marathon!

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Udayan
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replied on Sep 27, 2020
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

Oh man,

If you already want to leave the firm it probably is not the best next step for your career. I can assure you the hours are LONG and the lifestyle is downright miserable if you want time for yourself.

In terms of minimum time spent - 1.5-2 yrs if you are joining as a BA or 2-3 yrs if you are joining as an Associate will be the time at which you will reap the rewards of the brand name.

Best,

Udayan

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Henning
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replied on Sep 28, 2020
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

Go out and try. If you really hate it, you can leave anytime. Just don't mention it in you CV if it doesn't work out in the first few months. If you make it a year or two, awesome! There's your consultant toolkit.

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Anonymous B replied on Sep 27, 2020

I'm in a similar situation! From what I hear, 1 year is the minimum. Technically you can quit anytime, even before you start, but after 1 year it'll be a solid line to have on your resume. Less than 1 year and recruiters might wonder why you quit/were let go so soon.

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Mehdi
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replied on Sep 28, 2020
BCG | Received offers from all MBB & Tier 1Firms | Supporting you secure your top tier consulting offer

Hi there,

I agree with the other coaches who advised that you reconsider your options if you are already thinking about exit, that is not the best way to go forward.

Take sometime to think about your future, your mid and long-term plans (where do you see yourself, what kind of work do you want to do, what skills do you need for that, etc.) and plan backward. This would definitely be helpful!

All the best,

Mehdi

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Natasha replied on Sep 27, 2020

There's no reason to stop yourself from trying it out unless you have a better opportunity. You may or may not like the experience, but I bet you can last in it for at least a year, keep yourself motivated, and go onto whatever you orignally wanted to do. It seems many people do this.

Go outside of your comfort zone. Worst case scenario, you can go back into it.

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Anonymous replied on Sep 27, 2020

Hi A,

Not the best approach to start a job. Why do you think you may not like it? Do you need to get the job only for your future resume?

Anyway, you can always have a try but you will have to spend at least 1.5 years working there.

Best, André

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Clara
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replied on Sep 29, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Fist, congratulations for that offer!

Second, is totally normal that you are thinkig that right now. However, you will cross that bridge when you arrive to it! (if you ever do).

McKinsey is always always going to be a good brand in your CV, even if at the end you decide that the lifestyle is not for you!

Hence, accept! Try! Learn! Enjoy! (or try). And only then, decide!

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Gaurav
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updated an answer on Oct 27, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi A,

I understand your concerns. Working in consulting sometimes considers having very long hours, and some people might find it hard to endure that. On the other hand, the job is very exciting, interesting and last but not least, well paid.

To get your CV brand-boosted, you need to spend at McK about 2 years minimum.

Do you really need to start first, to understand whether you enjoy working in consulting? Are long hours the only reason that makes you doubt?

Anyway, you never know until you try. Go for it to form your own opinion and make a final decision. I hope you'll enjoy it.

GB

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Anonymous C replied on Sep 28, 2020

I don't really like the answers from many coaches here...

I totally understand you. I am joining a MBB firm soon as experienced hire because I learned that I really like strategy work and the conceptual work and the learning curve as well as the people.

However I don't like working every day until midnight and barely being able to do some self care like excercise etc. And I think many people feel the same way. I decided to join anyway because I believe the pros outweigh the cons.

So if you also believe the pros outweigh the cons than go ahead and join. If long working hours are an absolute No-Go for you, it might be a bad place to start.

Best of luck!

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Anonymous D updated the answer on Oct 28, 2020

Don't really like the responses from some of the coaches either. In theory, I would absolutely agree that in order to be successful and 'happy' you should work a job that you absolutely crave and would enjoy every minute of the day performing! In practice, let's get real. The chances of you finding out which career that is, is low (even after a few years experience most people don't have it figured out!)

My advice would be to stick it out for 1.5-2 years at McK until you find out (or have a better idea) where your true passion lies. The hours will be long, although less than corporate law and IBD. But the experience will be worth it (along with the brand name)!

Good luck :)

p.s having MBB on your CV along with the experience you gain can only be seen as positive. I'm talking from experience :)

edit: you should certainly give it your all in the time you are at the firm. People don't want to work with those who are unmotivated, particularly given the stressful environment. So a tip would be to keep your head down, contribute good work towards your teams, and most importantly see this as a learning curve to something greater!

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Francesco

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