How to deal with a counsel to leave?

New answer on Feb 08, 2020
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 28, 2018

Hi experts,

In management consulting, there is a difficult period of preparation, even more difficult period of work, and the unbearable period of having to leave the firm. Very few average people have to ever leave a company. With elite's consulting firms' up or out policy, this experience is inevitable for a majority of consultants. What makes it more difficult is the feeling that this is one of the best places to work and doubts that your bright feature is still ahead of you, the world looks grim.

Do you have suggestions how to deal with this psychologically and in other ways?


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updated an answer on Nov 28, 2018
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi Anonymous,

I'm not sure I agree with your basic premise that "this experience is inevitable for a majority of consultants". Actually, from my 7 years ant McKinsey and BCG, I experienced that only a relatively small fraction of the consultants who leave are actually forced to do so. The yearly attrition rate is roughly 20%, and clearly less than half of these would be "counseled to leave". Assuming that about 1/3 of leaving consultants are forced to do so would mean that the yearly "CTL-rate" stands at about 6.7%. With an average emploayment duration of about 4 years for MBB consultants, this would mean that the statistical probability of getting counseled out at some point in your career is 25-30%. Clearly not a majority! :)

That being said - of course it is a blow if it happens! What helps is to always remind yourself that your worth as an individual AND ALSO AS A PROFESSIONAL is not tied to becoming a partner at MBB. A substantial part of people who leave MBB become much more successful in the long run than their counterparts who remain on the consulting track! MBB consulting is just one path out of many possibilities.

Cheers, Sidi


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replied on Nov 28, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews

Mathematically, I agree with Sidi and Elias that fewer than half are probably counseled out. Remember though that even Principals and Partners are 'kicked out' when they miss the election window => you are in good company :)

How to deal with it? Remember your experience was unique, you have learned a ton, and you will be an alumnus your whole life with all the benefits that come with it (reputation, network, even access to career services). Years after I left, my boss still introduced me as "ex-BCG". People don't care why you left, they mostly just care that you were good enough to get in. And yes, a number of us end up doing just as well outside of MBB as we would have done inside - even if our salary may not always have kept up.

Still feeling down & hurt? just look back to your 'before' and ask yourself if you'd have been happy at the time with the experience you have today (or the salary for that matter).

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Anonymous B replied on Feb 08, 2020

I am not an expert nor have I worked at any MBB. I hope you don't mind me sharing a valuable content I stumbled on with respect to your question. I hope it helps.
Counselled To Leave Mckinsey. What Should I do?

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replied on Nov 28, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


I would disagree with the numbers provided by the other coaches since 4 years seems too high. The average is around 2.5-3

But consulting is not the best job in the world and you just need to get more information about the opportunities / career paths around you.


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Sidi on Nov 28, 2018

Which would decrease the probability of getting CTLed even more. :)

Anonymous updated the answer on Nov 28, 2018
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Sidi gave the best answer


McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers
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