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Clara

100% Recommendation Rate

50 Meetings

11,389 Q&A Upvotes

USD 229 / Coaching

6

Tips for someone questioning the decision to get into consulting after less than a year

I began my role at a boutique firm just under 6 months ago and I'm worried that I might not be as cut out for this line of work as I had hoped. I'm only on my second project and, while I've performed well and have gotten praise from management, I feel as though the excitement and passion I had in the very beginning has all too quickly faded into dread and wondering what the point is anymore. Is it possible that I'm just hitting a burnout wall way earlier than I should be, or is it not normal for that excitement to wane this rapidly after working so hard to get here?

I really enjoy the people I work with and some of the tasks of the job - but the stress of fast and hard deadlines and the weight of client (and firm) expectations has made my anxiety really hard to get over. I'm hoping it's just a phase because I wanted to see myself in consulting long term...but assuming that the likelihood of that is pretty low if I'm already dreading my to do lists after such a short tenure. Thoughts, opinions and comisery are appreciated.

I began my role at a boutique firm just under 6 months ago and I'm worried that I might not be as cut out for this line of work as I had hoped. I'm only on my second project and, while I've performed well and have gotten praise from management, I feel as though the excitement and passion I had in the very beginning has all too quickly faded into dread and wondering what the point is anymore. Is it possible that I'm just hitting a burnout wall way earlier than I should be, or is it not normal for that excitement to wane this rapidly after working so hard to get here?

I really enjoy the people I work with and some of the tasks of the job - but the stress of fast and hard deadlines and the weight of client (and firm) expectations has made my anxiety really hard to get over. I'm hoping it's just a phase because I wanted to see myself in consulting long term...but assuming that the likelihood of that is pretty low if I'm already dreading my to do lists after such a short tenure. Thoughts, opinions and comisery are appreciated.

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Book a coaching with Clara

100% Recommendation Rate

50 Meetings

11,389 Q&A Upvotes

USD 229 / Coaching

Hello!

Don´t worry, that is very normal. We have all been there, and it´s a pitty that people are not more open about it.

My advise would be to give it some time, at least a year, to see the picture clearly. Before you give it that time, it would be an "unfair" decision tbh.

I would try to focus on how to handle the stress that you are feeling -I know it´s easier said than done-.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

Don´t worry, that is very normal. We have all been there, and it´s a pitty that people are not more open about it.

My advise would be to give it some time, at least a year, to see the picture clearly. Before you give it that time, it would be an "unfair" decision tbh.

I would try to focus on how to handle the stress that you are feeling -I know it´s easier said than done-.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Book a coaching with Gaurav

100% Recommendation Rate

194 Meetings

4,310 Q&A Upvotes

USD 189 / Coaching

Hi there,

I'm sorry that you feel that way, and I don't know if that's gonna console you or make it worse - every consultant has experienced the same as you do. We understand.

It is hard but the key to getting out lies in time management & right prioritization. What I mean by that is that your free time - you need to plan it! and stick to the routine that helps you be productive, stay in the present moment, relaxed and concentrated.

If you just start by getting enough sleep and doing easy exercises, reducing info trash, and planning your free time, I guarantee you'll see the results.

Hope that helps!
Cheers, GB

Hi there,

I'm sorry that you feel that way, and I don't know if that's gonna console you or make it worse - every consultant has experienced the same as you do. We understand.

It is hard but the key to getting out lies in time management & right prioritization. What I mean by that is that your free time - you need to plan it! and stick to the routine that helps you be productive, stay in the present moment, relaxed and concentrated.

If you just start by getting enough sleep and doing easy exercises, reducing info trash, and planning your free time, I guarantee you'll see the results.

Hope that helps!
Cheers, GB

Book a coaching with Florian

100% Recommendation Rate

36 Meetings

1,987 Q&A Upvotes

USD 149 / Coaching

Hey there,

The stress is pretty common and natural given the types of engagements, expectations, and work hours. However, before quitting I'd try to find other ways to improve your lifestyle to extend your employment up to 2 years.

  • Take extra vacation days/ weeks between projects (McKinsey has 'Take-Time', I guess others have similar programs,...)
  • Change your perspective. If you do not plan to build a long-term career with your firm, there is NO need to sweat the smaller stuff. Based on what you say about your performance, you are already well-established. That gives you a lot of room to build your own regiment compared to low-performers. How? (Push back unreasonable requests, block 'me' time during the week, manage lifestyle expectations from the beginning of an engagement,...)
  • Use the weekends to recharge (friends, family, short getaways,...); block all weekend work if there even is any
  • Optimize the projects you are working on (look for projects that are long-running, a client that has been a long-term client of your firm, work with people you enjoy working with from leadership to project management,...)
  • Minimize travel, which always creates extra stress (unless you are a fan of separating work and leisure time)
  • Learn how to become more resilient (sports, mindfulness,...)
  • Stretch the duration between projects by doing classic beach work (proposals, research stuff,...
  • ....

As you see, there are many ways to improve your lifestyle that have control over. It might take a while but if you manage to implement some of these tips you might reduce your perceived stress considerably AND get the benefit of staying with an MBB for 2 years.

Remember, it is all a game and the short-term stressors (short-term changes, f*ck-ups, etc.) are often overblown to a comical extent when looking at them now in hindsight.

All the best with your decision!

Cheers,

Florian

Hey there,

The stress is pretty common and natural given the types of engagements, expectations, and work hours. However, before quitting I'd try to find other ways to improve your lifestyle to extend your employment up to 2 years.

  • Take extra vacation days/ weeks between projects (McKinsey has 'Take-Time', I guess others have similar programs,...)
  • Change your perspective. If you do not plan to build a long-term career with your firm, there is NO need to sweat the smaller stuff. Based on what you say about your performance, you are already well-established. That gives you a lot of room to build your own regiment compared to low-performers. How? (Push back unreasonable requests, block 'me' time during the week, manage lifestyle expectations from the beginning of an engagement,...)
  • Use the weekends to recharge (friends, family, short getaways,...); block all weekend work if there even is any
  • Optimize the projects you are working on (look for projects that are long-running, a client that has been a long-term client of your firm, work with people you enjoy working with from leadership to project management,...)
  • Minimize travel, which always creates extra stress (unless you are a fan of separating work and leisure time)
  • Learn how to become more resilient (sports, mindfulness,...)
  • Stretch the duration between projects by doing classic beach work (proposals, research stuff,...
  • ....

As you see, there are many ways to improve your lifestyle that have control over. It might take a while but if you manage to implement some of these tips you might reduce your perceived stress considerably AND get the benefit of staying with an MBB for 2 years.

Remember, it is all a game and the short-term stressors (short-term changes, f*ck-ups, etc.) are often overblown to a comical extent when looking at them now in hindsight.

All the best with your decision!

Cheers,

Florian

Book a coaching with Ian

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14,912 Q&A Upvotes

USD 289 / Coaching

Hi there,

First, I completely understand. I struggled a lot as well - almost everyone does! Know that no-one can perfectly prepare for this job and it's incredibly demanding on everyone. Excitment/novelty absolutely wanes after the first few months.

Second, read the 25 tips in my consulting handbook here (it seriously helps): https://www.spencertom.com/2018/01/14/consulting-survival-guide/

Another Helpful Q&A: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/leaving-mbb-after-1-year-9238

My General Experience/Advice

The first year is absolutely the hardest. I remember my first project
(10 months long actually). It was HARD. But, things did get easier afterwards as I worked more efficiently, learned boundaries, etc. (i.e. what actually has to be done vs what doesn't).

Second, think about your long-term goals. 5 years from now will you be totally fine with having quit (and be in a good position both career and life-wise)? Or, would you be happier if you gritted it out for another 6-12 months?

If you can, I highly advise trying to get to the 1.5 year mark. Set a goal and work towards that.

Furthermore, take advantage of leave and other office programs to extend your time there.

Feel free to reach out. Happy to talk about this further...there's a lot you can do to make the going easier!

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

Here are some other helpful Q&As on performing well

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/what-makes-a-good-consultant-how-to-get-a-good-review-6790

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-hard-is-it-to-excel-in-top-consulting-firms-6762

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-become-an-engagement-manager-and-partner-quickly-6722

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/need-to-learn-skills-in-the-ample-free-time-before-starting-at-an-mbb-what-should-i-do-6774

Hi there,

First, I completely understand. I struggled a lot as well - almost everyone does! Know that no-one can perfectly prepare for this job and it's incredibly demanding on everyone. Excitment/novelty absolutely wanes after the first few months.

Second, read the 25 tips in my consulting handbook here (it seriously helps): https://www.spencertom.com/2018/01/14/consulting-survival-guide/

Another Helpful Q&A: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/leaving-mbb-after-1-year-9238

My General Experience/Advice

The first year is absolutely the hardest. I remember my first project
(10 months long actually). It was HARD. But, things did get easier afterwards as I worked more efficiently, learned boundaries, etc. (i.e. what actually has to be done vs what doesn't).

Second, think about your long-term goals. 5 years from now will you be totally fine with having quit (and be in a good position both career and life-wise)? Or, would you be happier if you gritted it out for another 6-12 months?

If you can, I highly advise trying to get to the 1.5 year mark. Set a goal and work towards that.

Furthermore, take advantage of leave and other office programs to extend your time there.

Feel free to reach out. Happy to talk about this further...there's a lot you can do to make the going easier!

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

Here are some other helpful Q&As on performing well

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/what-makes-a-good-consultant-how-to-get-a-good-review-6790

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-hard-is-it-to-excel-in-top-consulting-firms-6762

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-become-an-engagement-manager-and-partner-quickly-6722

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/need-to-learn-skills-in-the-ample-free-time-before-starting-at-an-mbb-what-should-i-do-6774

Book a coaching with Francesco

100% Recommendation Rate

3,259 Meetings

11,328 Q&A Upvotes

USD 429 / Coaching

Hi there,

It seems your issues are:

  1. Stress of deadlines and
  2. Client (and firm) expectations

These are not going away in consulting. However, there may be ways for you to create routines and increase productivity, so that they become manageable.

A few tips that may help:

  1. Take time when you get a request. Never answer yes immediately. Use as first answer “I would be willing to support you if I can. Let me check if I can do so given what my manager wants me to do today, if so I will let you know shortly”. After the chat, reflect if you can really dedicate the time and if not politely decline
  2. Define 3 goals every day and give priority to them. If you get requests outside that range while work in progress, kindly decline. If you get requests after doing them, feel free to accept
  3. Use the Pomodoro technique to quantify the time spent. It is very easy to be distracted. Once you master this technique your productivity will skyrocket and you will have more time to help others

Hope this helps,
Francesco

Hi there,

It seems your issues are:

  1. Stress of deadlines and
  2. Client (and firm) expectations

These are not going away in consulting. However, there may be ways for you to create routines and increase productivity, so that they become manageable.

A few tips that may help:

  1. Take time when you get a request. Never answer yes immediately. Use as first answer “I would be willing to support you if I can. Let me check if I can do so given what my manager wants me to do today, if so I will let you know shortly”. After the chat, reflect if you can really dedicate the time and if not politely decline
  2. Define 3 goals every day and give priority to them. If you get requests outside that range while work in progress, kindly decline. If you get requests after doing them, feel free to accept
  3. Use the Pomodoro technique to quantify the time spent. It is very easy to be distracted. Once you master this technique your productivity will skyrocket and you will have more time to help others

Hope this helps,
Francesco

Book a coaching with Adi

100% Recommendation Rate

43 Meetings

3,669 Q&A Upvotes

USD 149 / Coaching

Hey,

Sorry you feel this way! Its hard I know but does take a bit of time & effort to get used to and start thriving. Your wellbeing must be in your hands and not on outside situations. Do your best to fix the situations outside of you but call it a day if situations dont improve. Life is short and not worth the suffering.

Have a look at these threads for a very similar question-

Dont give up easily. Hope it gets better.

Hey,

Sorry you feel this way! Its hard I know but does take a bit of time & effort to get used to and start thriving. Your wellbeing must be in your hands and not on outside situations. Do your best to fix the situations outside of you but call it a day if situations dont improve. Life is short and not worth the suffering.

Have a look at these threads for a very similar question-

Dont give up easily. Hope it gets better.