Quitting a job due to preparation for consulting

Bain BCG Mck
New answer on Nov 04, 2020
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 16, 2020

Hi there,

Im planning to quit my job (Im working in Big4 advisory firm right now) to focus on case interview preparations. My plan is to resign from my job and limit myself for around 3 months preparation, if it didnt work, at least I've try and I think I also learn new things (communications and structure thinking). Is it a good option?

Some notes and considerations from my side:

1) I have around ~1.5 years of professional experience (1 year with this company - just graduated last year), so I thought it will be worth to try during my early years because right now im still single, with no dependents, so I can say my financial still can cover for up like 6months.

2) I can't fully prepare for the case interview due to my workload. I am working around 60-70h per week.

3) I want to learn specific for case interview because I want to enter consulting firms, or startup (idk about other country, but in my country most of the startup companies are using case interview)

4) I've already ask for unpaid leaves for around 2 months, but my partner refused due to limited resources for the projects.

Happy to hear some advise for all the professionals in here! :)

(edited)

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Henning
Expert
replied on Sep 16, 2020
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

Hi Anonymous!

Bold move! May I ask about your application status? Since preparing the application is much less work intensive than the interview prep process, you might also do this in parallel to your job. Once you have the interviews scheduled, you could still quit your job. This sounds like a less risky alternative.

And the consulting firms are fine with scheduling an interview a few months out, so you won't be under time pressure once they receive your documents.

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Anonymous B updated the answer on Sep 16, 2020

This might be the worst idea I have heard in a long time. Pull it together and prepare it on the weekends like everybody else. It will take three weeks longer to be prepared but you will have a job in the backhand. You don't have a girlfriend and its corona times. The chance of being invited is already extremely low and still if you get invited nothing is certain.

If you actually decide to take this seriously not-smart move, do it after you got three out of three invitations. Just on a side note, if you are qualified enough to actually pass the screening in corona times, your interview date will be in February anyway.

Sorry for the harsh words but I want to be very clear. Don't do it. You will regret it!

(edited)

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Mehdi
Expert
replied on Sep 17, 2020
BCG | Received offers from all MBB & Tier 1Firms | Supporting you secure your top tier consulting offer

Hi there,

I would advise you to think twice before making such decision. I think you can find some other alternatives to minimie the risk (taking upaid leave, make arrangements to work 60-80% of the time, prepare on the weekends & days-off, practice a case during your lunch break & dinner, etc.)

In these uncertain times, it's smarter to hold on your position, while you are looking for a better oppotunity.

Finally, and before spending so much time in case cracking, you might want to devote 1h per day to read about your firm or interest and to network with people working there. This can lead to a referral, which would motivate you more to practice cases and also reduce the risk of not getting any offer from your company of interest.

I hope this helps, do not hesitate to reach out to me should you want to discuss this further!
Mehdi

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Anonymous replied on Sep 16, 2020

Hi A,

There was a similar question yesterday, here on PrepLounge.

I have to agree with colleagues and tell that quitting a job right now without any alternative might be quite risky and unreasonable until you have your application prepared and interview invitation received. Although you do work really much time you could start preparing everything for applying already.

Another issue is the preparation for the case interview itself but it would not be reasonable enough until you get invited to the interview. This can take a while and, besides, they usually plan interviews in advance, so there's no need in rush.

Last but not least I would say 3 months that you are going to spend solely on preparing is much time, indeed. There is a risk you spend them not working anywhere and without 100% certainty of even getting an invitation to the interview.

Preparing intensively and hiring an experienced coach, in addition, would really maximize your chances to secure an invite.

Hope this helps.

Best,

André

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Gaurav
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Nov 04, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi Anonymous,

I totally understand your engagement in the preparation process and excitement about the potential desired job offer. But I would not advise quitting a job due to this.

  1. You tell that your finances can cover for up 6 months. But there is also an opportunity that you will not succeed in getting an offer so quickly.
  2. Assuming that you work 70 hours per week and we have 168 hours in a week. 8 hours you need for good sleep every day. 42 hours are still left. Isn't there any chance you can't crop out a couple of hours a day to prepare? And spend more time on preparation at the weekend.
  3. You don't have to leave your job to prepare. Another good option would be preparing with an experienced coach.

Think 10 times before making such a decision. Did you consider the option of applying in a year and saving your job during this time? There's no need to rush.

Do you need any further help?

GB

(edited)

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Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 17, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

I've done the same and it was a huge mistake. Don't do this please. Rather take an unpaid leave and prepare, but always keep the options opened

Best

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Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 16, 2020
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

The reason your move is dangerous is because unlike say an examination, studying for case studies in no way guarantees a job. You can put in all the hours you want but it does not always result in a job at a consulting company at the end of it, so you may be left with nothing to show for it.

Having read your question it is clear that your current job is making you unhappy. Is it okay to leave a job you dont like? Yes absolutely, but do it for the right reasons and also invest in understanding what motivates you so you can ensure the next job you have is more in line with what you are looking for.

Best,

Udayan

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 16, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

This does sound like a very risky (crazy) option. Is there any chance you can take any remaining leave and go into leave debt instead? I don't even think you need 3 months. If you can take off 4-6 weeks and fully dedicate yourself to preparation, you can do it. I know many companies allow you to go 2 weeks into debt.

If not, and you truly do want to quit, do you have a backup plan? What if you don't get the consulting offer? You absolutely need something to fall back on! 6 months is not a lot of savings in a world of covid. I'm very scared about your decision.

More importantly: Do you have interviews lined up? 100% don't do anything unless you already have invitations to interview at MULTIPLE firms.

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That being said, given you're working 60-70 hours per week, you do absolutely need to have dedicated time to prepare. You won't be able to absorb the information required.

What's the best way you maximize your time? Hire a coach. Genuinely. Coaches are essentially your "time leverage". Not only do they obviously ensure you're the best you can be, but they guide you down the right path, cut out the noise, stop bad habits before they begin, and provide you hours of value within 1 hour of time.

--------------------------------------------

In general how can you prepare?

1) An initial planning session with a coach: 1 hour with a coach now will have a productivity multiplier effect on all your efforts moving forward. They will figure out what materials are best for you, guide you towards the best ways to learn, and come up with a preparation plan with you.

2) Leverage free resources first: PrepLounge Q&A and case library, Poets and Quants, SpencerTom, Google, etc.). Leverage these options, read-up, and build that casingknowledge

Importantly, read The Economist, the Financial Times, McKinsey Insights, and BCG Insights daily to build up your business knowledge.

3) Case with other PrepLoungers: Casing with other PrepLoungers is free. Not only do you get to practice casing, but you get direct feedback. Additionally, you learn a lot just from casing others. Finally, from other PrepLoungers you'll learn which materials/coaches are helpful.

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Henning gave the best answer

Henning

Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate
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