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Is 20 months on the job too early to leave consulting?

Someone asked on Aug 29, 2018 - 3 answers

I'm a post-MBA consultant; I kind of hate it to be honest and am pretty miserable. I love the juniors, but the seniors are unreasonable and unfair and the pressure, stress and expectations are just too much. There are only about 3 case leaders and 1 partner that I've enjoyed working with; the rest make life miserable.

(edited)

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Alessandro
Expert
replied on Aug 30, 2018
Bain & Company | University of Cambridge | CV/Resume writing | 770 GMAT

Hi Anonymous,

I definitely don't think 20 months is too early to leave the job. Generally at MBB there tends to be a pretty significant exodus at the ~2 year mark, either to industry, finance, or to work at / start their own start-up.

However, I would echo what others have said - you should consider if what you hate is consulting, or just the firm you are working for. Think about the actual content of your work, the types of problems you work on, and the interactions with clients. If this is something you enjoy, you could look at applying for other consulting firms. If, however, you are simply tired of consulting as a whole, then it is definitely not too early to start taking calls with headhunters and see what is out there!

Good luck!

Kay updated her answer on Aug 29, 2018

Hi Anonymous,

There are more qualified consultants who I'm sure will answer the question, but from a general leaving your job POV which I am more experienced in, here are a few points I would consider.

Firstly, establish whether the issue is your specific company culture or consulting as a whole. Then:

1) If you are looking to leave the industry entirely and permanently, then I would be less concerned about the implications of leaving "too early".

2) If the issue is your company but you would like to stay in consulting, I would change my LinkedIn settings to "open" and continue working while also being open to a move.

I don't think the number of months is too big a concern if you leave for another job. If you leave without another job lined up, I think it may then invite uncomfortable questions at subsequent interviews.

I hope that's helpful, but again look out for expert answers from consultants for industry-specific advice.

(edited)

Guennael replied on Sep 19, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews

50% of MBB consultants leave by/before the 2 years mark. The market will often expect 2 years though. Just look at the job posting, none asks for "6 months to a year" at a top consultancy, but many say "2 years".

If you are truly miserable, start your transition out, and request half pay to extend that period as much as possible; the extra couple of months you gain might make the difference in the eyes of a recruiter (who won't know whether you were staffed or in transition)

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