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Adi

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7

Working Hours Tier 2 vs. Big4

Hello together,

I'm currently deciding between a Big4 and a Tier2 consultancy in Germany. At the Big4 firm, when they heard about it, they really advertised their work-life balance and that I should look at where I want to be in my life at 40.
Do you have any insights for me? The topic has really made me waver a bit. From what I hear from the Tier 2 company, we talk about 14-16 hours a day, while the Big 4 company talks about 10-12 hours a day. I'm aware that you work a lot in consulting - I don't have a problem with that at all. I just think that the argument from the Big4 firm is not quite true. If I want to be successful at a Big4 company, then I have to go the extra mile and end up with the same number of hours. Whereas the Tier 2 firm simply appeals to me more in terms of content.

I'm sorry that I might be annoying here with a topic like this, but I would be a bit thrown off by it.

Thank you for your input and Happy Easter!

Hello together,

I'm currently deciding between a Big4 and a Tier2 consultancy in Germany. At the Big4 firm, when they heard about it, they really advertised their work-life balance and that I should look at where I want to be in my life at 40.
Do you have any insights for me? The topic has really made me waver a bit. From what I hear from the Tier 2 company, we talk about 14-16 hours a day, while the Big 4 company talks about 10-12 hours a day. I'm aware that you work a lot in consulting - I don't have a problem with that at all. I just think that the argument from the Big4 firm is not quite true. If I want to be successful at a Big4 company, then I have to go the extra mile and end up with the same number of hours. Whereas the Tier 2 firm simply appeals to me more in terms of content.

I'm sorry that I might be annoying here with a topic like this, but I would be a bit thrown off by it.

Thank you for your input and Happy Easter!

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Book a coaching with Adi

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Germany and Consulting= generally bad work life balance regardless of the consulting company :). Dont base your decision on this factor and its going to be hard initially. Balance will improve over time but even then its something you need to take more control off. Firms will advertise and shout big on this and while balance has indeed improved, its in pockets and dependent on the office/team/partner etc etc.

Have a look at these threads for plenty of discussions & thoughts on this topic:

Germany and Consulting= generally bad work life balance regardless of the consulting company :). Dont base your decision on this factor and its going to be hard initially. Balance will improve over time but even then its something you need to take more control off. Firms will advertise and shout big on this and while balance has indeed improved, its in pockets and dependent on the office/team/partner etc etc.

Have a look at these threads for plenty of discussions & thoughts on this topic:

Book a coaching with Florian

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Hey there,

The best 2 ways to find out the exact working hours.

1. Reach out to your network and ask people that work there. Before I started at McK I talked to roughly 10 people working there and everyone was very transparent (one even shared a data table where he put the hours in for every day over the last couple of months) on the work hours. So was I when being asked about work hours while working there. No benefit in downplaying them...

2. Check Glassdoor reviews. Working hours are often part of the written feedback there.

Two final thoughts:

1. T2 often have better lifestyle programs that allow you to take extra vacations, which makes a big difference. Since you are traveling anyway most of the time and are not at home, 2-3 hours a day don't make that much difference, but taking extended holidays every year does...

2. Working a bit more short-term definitely pays off long-term in my opinion due to exit opps, brand, etc. So if you are already going into consulting, there is no benefit of going to a lower tier...

Cheers,

Florian

Hey there,

The best 2 ways to find out the exact working hours.

1. Reach out to your network and ask people that work there. Before I started at McK I talked to roughly 10 people working there and everyone was very transparent (one even shared a data table where he put the hours in for every day over the last couple of months) on the work hours. So was I when being asked about work hours while working there. No benefit in downplaying them...

2. Check Glassdoor reviews. Working hours are often part of the written feedback there.

Two final thoughts:

1. T2 often have better lifestyle programs that allow you to take extra vacations, which makes a big difference. Since you are traveling anyway most of the time and are not at home, 2-3 hours a day don't make that much difference, but taking extended holidays every year does...

2. Working a bit more short-term definitely pays off long-term in my opinion due to exit opps, brand, etc. So if you are already going into consulting, there is no benefit of going to a lower tier...

Cheers,

Florian

Book a coaching with Francesco

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Hi there,

Congratulations on the offers!

The difference in hours may not be fully under your control in any firm, so I would not weigh it too much. I would instead consider the following:

  1. Where do you want to be in 5-10 years? Based on that, look for how many alumni are more present in that field. If you still don't know, everything equal the Tier 2 brand should be stronger.
  2. If you consider the average consultant/partner you talked to in each company, which one would you rather be? Quoting Jim Rohn, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And you will spend a lot of time with your colleagues in the next years. Be sure you chose a company where people are close to the person you want to become.
  3. What is your gut feeling telling you? Our gut feeling is able to catch elements we cannot rationalize. You may “feel” a company is better, but don’t know exactly why. Don’t base your decision on that only, but dig deeper on why you feel that way.

If you want to do extra due diligence, contact Alumni (not current consultants) that worked ideally for both. You will learn more in a 30min call with them than with any online research you may do.

Best,

Francesco

Hi there,

Congratulations on the offers!

The difference in hours may not be fully under your control in any firm, so I would not weigh it too much. I would instead consider the following:

  1. Where do you want to be in 5-10 years? Based on that, look for how many alumni are more present in that field. If you still don't know, everything equal the Tier 2 brand should be stronger.
  2. If you consider the average consultant/partner you talked to in each company, which one would you rather be? Quoting Jim Rohn, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And you will spend a lot of time with your colleagues in the next years. Be sure you chose a company where people are close to the person you want to become.
  3. What is your gut feeling telling you? Our gut feeling is able to catch elements we cannot rationalize. You may “feel” a company is better, but don’t know exactly why. Don’t base your decision on that only, but dig deeper on why you feel that way.

If you want to do extra due diligence, contact Alumni (not current consultants) that worked ideally for both. You will learn more in a 30min call with them than with any online research you may do.

Best,

Francesco

Book a coaching with Ian

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Hi there,

This is a totally fair question!

Honestly, I would say all of this depends on circumstance. What project you get put on and who your boss (partner/principal/project lead) is.

It also has to do with how efficient you are at your job and how much you want to push to do a better job.

Ultimately, I would say you should expect to work anywhere from 50-70 hour weeks regardless of the firm. I would also agree that there is a different between what these firms preach and what the practice - a lot depends on the lines you yourself draw.

Hi there,

This is a totally fair question!

Honestly, I would say all of this depends on circumstance. What project you get put on and who your boss (partner/principal/project lead) is.

It also has to do with how efficient you are at your job and how much you want to push to do a better job.

Ultimately, I would say you should expect to work anywhere from 50-70 hour weeks regardless of the firm. I would also agree that there is a different between what these firms preach and what the practice - a lot depends on the lines you yourself draw.

Book a coaching with Henning

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I'd mostly agree with you. Fre points:

  • T2 might have a lifestyle that is more in line with MBB
  • Big4 has the potential to work a bit less, but there is a wider variance. If you want to make a fast career you might still put in many hours
  • I don't buy the argument of thinking about where you want to be at 40. If you're still at the firm (either option) at 40, you'll likely be partner and can plan your lifestyle much more flexible that you can as an analyst or consultant.

I'd mostly agree with you. Fre points:

  • T2 might have a lifestyle that is more in line with MBB
  • Big4 has the potential to work a bit less, but there is a wider variance. If you want to make a fast career you might still put in many hours
  • I don't buy the argument of thinking about where you want to be at 40. If you're still at the firm (either option) at 40, you'll likely be partner and can plan your lifestyle much more flexible that you can as an analyst or consultant.
Book a coaching with Clara

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Hello!

Companies cannot be trusted when it ocmes to their marketing about this topic.

The best thing would be to talk to actual workers -if they are contacts or contacts from your ocntacts that would be very helpful-, and ask them. They will be the real source of truth

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

Companies cannot be trusted when it ocmes to their marketing about this topic.

The best thing would be to talk to actual workers -if they are contacts or contacts from your ocntacts that would be very helpful-, and ask them. They will be the real source of truth

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Book a coaching with Antonello

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Hi, if you are serious about strategy consulting I would prioritize tier2 firms

Best,
Antonello

Hi, if you are serious about strategy consulting I would prioritize tier2 firms

Best,
Antonello

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