General unhappiness

chron3k's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 350

How do you folks deal with general consulting unhappiness?

You know, when you get staffed on that project... when you feel like you're not getting paid enough, when you want to jump ship. When you're on the road and you hate yourself and generally want to quit.

How do you convince yourself to suck it up and keep truckin'?

Comments (11)

Nov 14, 2010

If you are at an MBB, think of exit ops.

If you are at something CLOSE to MBB, think of exit ops to MBB or somewhere client side.

If you are at somewhere nowhere NEAR MBB, update your resume and hit the job hunt trail.

Since you mentioned money, I assume that is important to you.

Nov 14, 2010

Consulting is all about treating the "race" as a marathon - not a sprint. If you fall in the latter category, you'll be out within 2-3 years, having done yourself a favor. If you are in the former category, you have chosen to take the good with the bad and are likely more risk averse than others who have left. Longevity in consulting has as much to do with endurance as it does with skill. A lot of the best consultants leave because they like their chances with their exit options. Moreover, they see that the race never really ends, it starts anew with each promotion.

All of the aboe not withstanding, it is important for you to have clear lines beyond which you will not go and that you practice saying no. Once folks have succeeded in taking you out of your personal time/space, it is next to impossible to get it back.

@ International pimp - hang in there bro... MD action in China is tight.

Nov 14, 2010

Since exit opps are mentioned so much, I'd love to know really - what kind of exit opps can a McKinsey guy get? I'm sure there are many but a few examples would be terrific.

Nov 14, 2010

The question of exit ops is not that simple...it will be a function of your seniority, specialization and geography..you will have many more options in emerging markets (typically beyond what would be reasonable for your tenure)...on the otherhand in G20 economies you may find your options limited as it is a buyers market now and people can see through a consultant's generalist background. To sum up - be sure you have a "technical" skill to go to market with otherwise stick around long enough until you do and/or have the relationships required to push you through.

Nov 14, 2010

We generally don't work long hours at my firm---- at least compared to a US PE firm. I'd say I work an average of 60-75 hours per week --- so longer than a normal person, but not a lot for high finance. I often don't need to go to the office the whole weekend and a few times per week i'll leave work by 6:00pm.

But to respond to your question - yes, western shops have longer hours than Chinese-run shops, for the most part. My friends that work in places like Blackstone and KKR here in China work 100 hour weeks all the time. While the guys that run the offices here are often Chinese, they've all been trained in the US and many have worked in banking in the US and all that.... so they don't have sympathy for anything soft.

The thing is though, from what I can see, these days most shops are becoming western influenced or run --- that goes for banks and PE firms (other than the really huge places like CICC that are government influenced --- at least i think they are). There are more and more Chinese people with training in the west coming back to capitalize on opportunities in China and setting up their own firms that run w/ western standards, which obviously includes breaking in analysts/associates with long hours.

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Nov 14, 2010

Thanks for the responses / perspectives.

Sorry for whining in OP - but Pymp pretty much hit the nail on the head. On good projects -- things are great and I love my job. On bad projects, there are times I want to die / quit. But at the end of the day, I could see myself climbing the ranks and being a Partner... but the trick, at least for me, is keeping my head up and getting through the troughs where I feel like I am overworked and underappreciated.

Nov 14, 2010

Oh ok I see.

man made the money, money never made the man

Nov 14, 2010

I write poetry.

Nov 16, 2010

Congratulations. Maybe you are finding out for the first time that you don't always get what you what in life, or that you are not all that. Maybe you got too many t-ball or soccer trophies simply for showing up and are discovering that that's not how life rolls.

If so, quit whining.

On the other hand, maybe you are at a firm where management is bat-s**t crazy, the firm lied in a material way about important aspects of the job to get you in the door, etc.. If so, find something better and leave.

You have to figure out which situation applies.

Nov 16, 2010
NYC:

Congratulations. Maybe you are finding out for the first time that you don't always get what you what in life, or that you are not all that. Maybe you got too many t-ball or soccer trophies simply for showing up and are discovering that that's not how life rolls.

If so, quit whining.

On the other hand, maybe you are at a firm where management is bat-s**t crazy, the firm lied in a material way about important aspects of the job to get you in the door, etc.. If so, find something better and leave.

You have to figure out which situation applies.

Truth - I think it's a bit of both.

Nov 18, 2010
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