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It’s been 4 months since I accepted graduate MBB offer

consulting covid19 FIT MBB stress
Edited on May 26, 2020
9 Answers
1.9 k Views
Anonymous A asked on May 02, 2020

But I’m quite shocked: COVID-19, 90-hour work weeks, toxic colleagues, vague feedback and tons of boring work. Shall I quit?

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Anonymous updated the answer on May 02, 2020

Hi,

We all have been there. It is tough. First of all, I suggest that you should stay connected to your core values and use them to navigate difficult situations. You have invested tons of energy into getting this offer and had motivation to do that. Before making the decision to quit, try the following approach:

Step 1. Limit your emotional exposure and fix the basics

The first thing you should do to limit your emotional exposure is to act.

Colleagues: stop engaging in doomsday conversations with toxic colleagues

Feedback: make it clear to your project leader that you will be better able to manage your stream when you have a clearer view into your performance

Productivity: add time blocks to your to-do-list, make temptations hard to reach (e.g. turn off social media alerts), start small

Step 2. Reframe

Step outside of your own perspective and consider the larger context of your situation. Remind yourself that the disruption you are facing, although unpleasant, is normal in the context of COVID, first year MBB experience, etc. And that everything related to the COVID has become a universal experience. When you remind yourself, that you are the one of many people going through such turmoil, it will be felt less personal.

Step 3. Refuel

Your network: renew your connections with your university network to overcome the fear of being alone after you quit

Your hobbies: even though COVID is limiting a lot of activities, you can start a new hobby on the weekend (e.g. digital drawing)

Sports: another way to boost your energy is to start with Nike Training Club home workouts

Food: my simple advice is to think about your diet: what you eat and when

Hope this helps!

(edited)

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Anonymous updated the answer on May 02, 2020

Hi there,

Consulting is tough work. It is common for a new joiner to feel a bit overwhelmed. 4-month is too short and you are probably still adjusting to the work. Plus, the COVID situation probably make it worse than usual, as the support might seem further away. I would say hang in there, be patient, and try for at least a year before jumping into a conclusion whether the job is for you or not.

On the specifics you mentioned:

1) COVID - Note that this is not the norm, this is an outlier situation. It would get better once COVID is over. Meanwhile, everyone is in this together.

2) 90-hour week - There could be 2 reason why the hours are super long:

(a) You are still new to the job so it takes time for you to learn how to be more effective and prioritise better. It takes practice and time, but it gets better as you get more familiar with the work. Have regular check in with your manager to make sure you have the right priority and don't spend too much time on things that are not critical.

(b) You are staffed in one of the tougher cases. Once in a while, every consultant would have tough case with super long hours. But this is not forever, and that's a good thing about consulting. The case will end and you will move on to do some other cases that could be much better.

3) Colleague and feedback - Do note that due to COVID it is harder to build relationship virtually and sometimes the communication is not as effective. Again, this is not forever and it would get better after COVID. Meanwhile, try to reach out to your peers or people 1-2 years earlier than you, to seek advice. They have been your place before.

4) Boring work - As a new and junior joiner, chances are you would get more of the data work and some not so sexy stuff to do. This is a time for you to build credibility, even through these "boring" stuff. You need to prove yourself first before people would hand you more important work. It is earned, not granted.

Hope it helps,

Emily

(edited)

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Anonymous replied on May 02, 2020

Dear A,

Are you sure that this is the right thing for you to do? Do you have any other alternatives? Maybe you can change an employer?

Best,

André

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Anonymous replied on May 02, 2020

Hi,

You are starting a very tough job in the potentially the biggest crisis in living memory so things will not be easy. It even will not be easy without Covid-19 crisis.

Emily has given a very comprehensive answer and I just wanted to add that this is not a good time to quit a job, in fact it is the perfect time to add your credentials and skills for job opportunities when the crisis ends and you still don't like consultng work.

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 03, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

We have all been there... I would suggest you to keep it up to at least make 6 months, this will give you a better perspective.

On the other hand, do you have other options? Is not the best time to let a job go.

Hope it helps.

Cheers,

Clara

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 02, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

thanks for being open on this.

Consulting is definitely though. Almost all the people who join are star achievers – still you will find a very high bar, probably higher than you have faced in any previous challenge.

So, first thing, be assured the feeling of being overwhelmed is quite typical.

As mentioned by Emily, even if you realize your current MBB job is definitely not for you, I would not recommend leaving now, unless you are at serious health or mental risk for the following reasons:

  1. If you manage to stick to approximately 1 year, you will have a strong experience to sell for your next job
  2. 4 months means you basically cannot put your experience in your CV
  3. The market is definitely not good to find alternatives now
  4. You may just have an initial adaptation issue

In terms of your points:

  • COVID – not sure what you mean as an issue here in terms of your job as this is an external issue – may affect other jobs as well
  • Long hours – your hours are not the standard ones in consulting – seem more IB hours. Unless you are on a though project (unusual though that’s the case as many due diligences are few weeks only), this probably means you are in the process of learning and not at full speed in terms of productivity. Which means hours should become better soon once you learn the basics better. Feel free to provide more details on that
  • Toxic colleagues – this is difficult to elaborate without further details. In general, I would stay away from anyone gossiping or putting negativity in your life or limit to the mere essential for the project. Also, create a morning routine to start your day in the best possible way and create motivation
  • Vague feedback – try to ask your managers more often for it. Show you care, be humble on what they say as criticism. Try to see things from their point of view even if you believe it’s nonsense. Show you appreciate they are open and little by little they may help you to understand better possible issues and be more specific
  • Boring work – as an entrepreneur I do tons of boring work and believe that’s the same for many people, in particular at the beginning of a career. It’s not the boring job that matters, but why you do it. So, what’s the reason you are doing that job and working in consulting? What do you want to achieve? With the right why you can go through the boring stuff as well. Also, try to do what you like least first thing in the morning. As Mark Twain said, “eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day”.

Best,

Francesco

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on May 26, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

There's no denying it's an incredibly challenging job, even more so in these times, and especially when just starting out.

To be honest, there were many times I almost quit. Here are some things that helped me through:

1) Set a goal, an end date and stick to it. When you get to it, see if you can stick it out a bit longer.

2) Remember it gets easier. The first 5 months were the hardest for me. It does it better. You learn how to be more efficient. You know how to set boundaries better. Your expectations change. You know more and your brain gets less taxed.

3) Connect with people. Reach out to anyone you trust and share your struggle. Commiserate with people in your cohort or on the same level onnyour team. Realising you're not alone really helps

4) Leverage the established support networks. MBB all support your mental health in a number of ways (subsidising health services, having designated people you can talk to, etc. etc.)

5) Remember why you're doing this. Nothing big ever came easy. Yes it's challenging, but it's worth it. Like climbing a tall mountain. When you get to the top, you'll feel great. You'll feel a sense of accomplishment, and you'll be fitter and tougher for the next climb. Hey, you might even want to climb the same mountain again.

Good luck!

By the way, if anyone iinterested in trying out cases that deal with other impacts of COVID-19, check out these two cases:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/brain-teaser/beginner/coronavirus-times-194

https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/candidate-led-usual-style/intermediate/chinese-chess-191

(edited)

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Thomas
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 02, 2020
150+ interviews | 6+ years experience | Bain, Kearney & Accenture | Exited startup| London Business School

Some excellent answers have been given, but I just want to second that it does get easier. Secondly, and maybe more important, is that projects are short-lived. This means there is generally an end in sight and your experience might completely flip on the other projects. Based on my experience so far, I would recommend to not quit until you have seen 3-4 ish projects as the project specifics (client, manager, topic, etc.) have a massive effect on your experience.

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Anonymous updated the answer on May 02, 2020

Hi,

Definitely not ! It's a very strange period, nothing is normal currently. It takes more time to get well on-boarded due to physical distancing between people. I would recommand to wait until everything goes back to normal (at least until end of lockdown in your location) before taking this kind of decision.

Anyway, you can still investigate plan B, but hiring market is not liquid currently ...

Good luck and take care !

David

(edited)

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