Thought Consulting Was My Dream...Now I Hate it

analyst2012's picture
Rank: Monkey | banana points 63

After fighting long and hard to secure a grad-level offer at a consulting firm, I've been there for a few months now and have realized I hate it. While I think a lot has to do with my current manager, who is something else, I find it extremely stressful every single day, on top of spending 4-5 days in the "field" each week. I enjoyed what I did before but made half as much; even so, I've considered trading back (my living expenses left plenty of room for savings even then, and I'm happy in a cheap apartment, where I still live).

At the same time, I know that a year or two of consulting opens doors to jobs that are more my pace--10-12 hour days, and very little travel, with pay not far off where I am now. I suppose I didn't realize that, despite being an "overachiever", there are limits to what I really care to accomplish, particularly as they take me away from the things I truly cherish (family, friends, sleeping in my own bed and having a bit of time to unwind). The other stuff--money, prestige--don't seem nearly as important.

Any thoughts? Do I stick it out? Start dusting off the resume? Try some tips that will make my life easier while I hold on for dear life for another year? Has anyone else gotten cold feet in the first few months and bailed, or am I just spoiled?

Thanks!

Quitting a high paying consulting job

the following was originally posted as a response by @Hugo Bentley and has been formatted for this post

A few years ago I was in a similar position to you: I had a pretty well paid + somewhat respectable job in finance, but for various reasons I became desperate to leave.

Incidentally, I also posted on forums seeking opinion; received over 30k views in all - so I knew I wasn't the only person out there thinking this way.

After sticking it out in finance for a total of 2 years I finally took the leap and fell out of the rat-race. One week later and I had become a barman, while simultaneously pursuing my own business venture of sorts on the side.

That was 2 years ago.

I am now unemployed, my business venture has not panned out as I had hoped, and my net worth is heading to zero. Unsurprisingly I find myself dwelling on the PSPSPS / position I might have been in, if only I had "stuck it out" in my old career beyond the 2 year mark. But in an alternate universe somewhere, is there a version of me who DID "stick it out" and is still grinding away in the rat-race wondering 'what could have been' if he had only taken the leap of faith (as I , in reality, did)?

Lesson #1 : the grass is often greener on the other side. If you leave now, you may well find yourself, at times, regretting that you gave up the prestige/money/security/world-travelling-prospects. My brother often says he would love to quit his job because he hates it - but he takes one look at my situation and that stops him from doing so. My life has become a warning to others... lol.

You mention you have been at this for a few months. I have two thoughts on that:

  1. To be honest, it wouldn't look great to have only several months of experience in a job on your resume, so unless it is truly unbearable (and as you read this you will probably be nodding yourself saying, 'oh but it is unbearable' --- BUT IS IT REALLY?), that is something to consider. You fought hard to get in, don't give up lightly!
  2. As hard/impossible as it is to imagine at this moment, the constant daily stress level WILL subside over time, you will start to feel more at ease in the position. Eventually you may be picking up an ever-increasing pay cheque and wondering why your employer is paying you so much. I strongly sense that your manager is one of the big issues, even though he/she received only a brief mention in your opening post. I also felt uncomfortable/stressed out by my manager, back in the day. You never know what hand fate will deal - he/she could quit out of the blue, get fired for sexual harassment, either of you get moved.

So bear in mind two classic movie scenes (I seem to be including a lot of lists and numbers in this post):

  1. Tom Hanks in Castaway. He wanted to kill himself after being on that island for too long, but instead he makes the decision to keep breathing, to stay alive, because you never know what the tide will bring in.
  2. Edward Norton in Fightclub. After engaging in his hardcore underground fighting, all the other stresses in his life become insignificant. So much so that when his boss is moaning at him, Norton hardly registers it. Make the decision to not allow your manager to piss you off so much. As you said yourself, you don't even want the freaking job right now anyway!

- Not sure what country you are in, but regardless, the economy is pretty crap right now. So despite what I said about not having any clear cut answers, I am going to make a clear cut call for you anyway: Stick with it. Just power on, you are already at the bottom of the trough, do not sell out now at the worst price... it's recovery-to-boom from here on out!

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Comments (59)

Jun 3, 2013

I would at least stick it out for a year. When you get closer to that time then start reaching out to headhunters and applying places. The year duration will go a lot farther than any time less than a year. Keep your head up and think of how you can benefit from the current situation.

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Jun 3, 2013

Stick it out for at least two years, IMO. It should pay off in the long term. It may be difficult at times but it will pay off in the long term. Employers want people who are tough and don't just sign up for the good days; not implying anything.

Jun 3, 2013

It's a lot easier to understand why a lot of people leave consulting firms after two years after you have the first year under your belt... I'm at 18 months' tenure and I think net-net while it opened a lot of doors for me I don't know that it has made me happy. We'll see what happens at promotion time.

Jun 3, 2013

Agreed. 2-3 years of your career is relatively short, so unless you're absolutely sure you won't regret leaving, I think I'd try to stick it out.

Jun 3, 2013

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Jun 11, 2013

This made my day

"Dont compromise yourself; you're all you've got" - Janis Joplin

Jun 22, 2013

This may be anecdotal but a friend graduated and did 2 years at a boutique shop before transitioning to F500 biz dev. I definitely think it's worth sticking it out, reaching out to a recruiter now wouldn't hurt and maybe even try a headhunter as your stint winds down.

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Jun 4, 2013

Thanks everyone. I can probably emotionally prepare myself for a year, but two years are not happening unless things dramatically change. In light of that, is there any benefit to staying just a year or should I bail now? I made a similar decision to this earlier in my life in which i gave up prestige to have time with family and never really regretted it.

Jun 4, 2013

Thanks for posting OP. Great subject.

From what I've heard, making it to the manager level (one level above post-MBA) is best before exiting.

Difference between one year and 6 months? No idea. I'd update my resume and linkedin, and start trolling for jobs now. It can't hurt.

Jun 4, 2013

I'm glad that you've reached enlightenment which almost every person still in school on this site does not have. They're really rushing into stuff blind into something highly overglorified.

That said, in your current position I would DEFINITELY stick it out for two years (if possible, and if not then a year). It sucks but it opens a lot of doors and helps with the savings.

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Jun 4, 2013

I would stick out for these 2 years. It will open many doors for you plus you might get into a good MBA program as well.

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Best Response
Jun 4, 2013

Tough call - I have my thoughts to share, and they are relevant, but perhaps no clear cut answer at the end of it either.

A few years ago I was in a similar position to you: I had a pretty well paid + somewhat respectable job in finance, but for various reasons I became desperate to leave.

Incidentally, I also posted on forums seeking opinion; received over 30k views in all - so I knew I wasn't the only person out there thinking this way.

After sticking it out in finance for a total of 2 years I finally took the leap and fell out of the rat-race. One week later and I had become a barman, while simultaneously pursuing my own business venture of sorts on the side.

That was 2 years ago.

I am now unemployed, my business venture has not panned out as I had hoped, and my net worth is heading to zero. Unsurprisingly I find myself dwelling on the PSPSPS / position I might have been in, if only I had "stuck it out" in my old career beyond the 2 year mark. But in an alternate universe somewhere, is there a version of me who DID "stick it out" and is still grinding away in the rat-race wondering 'what could have been' if he had only taken the leap of faith (as I , in reality, did)?

Lesson #1 : the grass is often greener on the other side. If you leave now, you may well find yourself, at times, regretting that you gave up the prestige/money/security/world-travelling-prospects. My brother often says he would love to quit his job because he hates it - but he takes one look at my situation and that stops him from doing so. My life has become a warning to others... lol.

You mention you have been at this for a few months. I have two thoughts on that:
1. To be honest, it wouldn't look great to have only several months of experience in a job on your resume, so unless it is truly unbearable (and as you read this you will probably be nodding yourself saying, 'oh but it is unbearable' --- BUT IS IT REALLY?), that is something to consider. You fought hard to get in, don't give up lightly!

2. As hard/impossible as it is to imagine at this moment, the constant daily stress level WILL subside over time, you will start to feel more at ease in the position. Eventually you may be picking up an ever-increasing pay cheque and wondering why your employer is paying you so much. I strongly sense that your manager is one of the big issues, even though he/she received only a brief mention in your opening post. I also felt uncomfortable/stressed out by my manager, back in the day. You never know what hand fate will deal - he/she could quit out of the blue, get fired for sexual harassment, either of you get moved.

So bear in mind two classic movie scenes (I seem to be including a lot of lists and numbers in this post):

1. Tom Hanks in Castaway. He wanted to kill himself after being on that island for too long, but instead he makes the decision to keep breathing, to stay alive, because you never know what the tide will bring in.

2. Edward Norton in Fightclub. After engaging in his hardcore underground fighting, all the other stresses in his life become insignificant. So much so that when his boss is moaning at him, Norton hardly registers it. Make the decision to not allow your manager to piss you off so much. As you said yourself, you don't even want the freaking job right now anyway!

- Not sure what country you are in, but regardless, the economy is pretty crap right now. So despite what I said about not having any clear cut answers, I am going to make a clear cut call for you anyway: Stick with it. Just power on, you are already at the bottom of the trough, do not sell out now at the worst price... it's recovery-to-boom from here on out!

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Jun 4, 2013
Hugo Bentley:

Tough call - I have my thoughts to share, and they are relevant, but perhaps no clear cut answer at the end of it either.

A few years ago I was in a similar position to you: I had a pretty well paid + somewhat respectable job in finance, but for various reasons I became desperate to leave.

Incidentally, I also posted on forums seeking opinion; received over 30k views in all - so I knew I wasn't the only person out there thinking this way.

After sticking it out in finance for a total of 2 years I finally took the leap and fell out of the rat-race. One week later and I had become a barman, while simultaneously pursuing my own business venture of sorts on the side.

That was 2 years ago.

I am now unemployed, my business venture has not panned out as I had hoped, and my net worth is heading to zero. Unsurprisingly I find myself dwelling on the PSPSPS / position I might have been in, if only I had "stuck it out" in my old career beyond the 2 year mark. But in an alternate universe somewhere, is there a version of me who DID "stick it out" and is still grinding away in the rat-race wondering 'what could have been' if he had only taken the leap of faith (as I , in reality, did)?

Lesson #1 : the grass is often greener on the other side. If you leave now, you may well find yourself, at times, regretting that you gave up the prestige/money/security/world-travelling-prospects. My brother often says he would love to quit his job because he hates it - but he takes one look at my situation and that stops him from doing so. My life has become a warning to others... lol.

You mention you have been at this for a few months. I have two thoughts on that:
1. To be honest, it wouldn't look great to have only several months of experience in a job on your resume, so unless it is truly unbearable (and as you read this you will probably be nodding yourself saying, 'oh but it is unbearable' --- BUT IS IT REALLY?), that is something to consider. You fought hard to get in, don't give up lightly!

2. As hard/impossible as it is to imagine at this moment, the constant daily stress level WILL subside over time, you will start to feel more at ease in the position. Eventually you may be picking up an ever-increasing pay cheque and wondering why your employer is paying you so much. I strongly sense that your manager is one of the big issues, even though he/she received only a brief mention in your opening post. I also felt uncomfortable/stressed out by my manager, back in the day. You never know what hand fate will deal - he/she could quit out of the blue, get fired for sexual harassment, either of you get moved.

So bear in mind two classic movie scenes (I seem to be including a lot of lists and numbers in this post):

1. Tom Hanks in Castaway. He wanted to kill himself after being on that island for too long, but instead he makes the decision to keep breathing, to stay alive, because you never know what the tide will bring in.

2. Edward Norton in Fightclub. After engaging in his hardcore underground fighting, all the other stresses in his life become insignificant. So much so that when his boss is moaning at him, Norton hardly registers it. Make the decision to not allow your manager to piss you off so much. As you said yourself, you don't even want the freaking job right now anyway!

- Not sure what country you are in, but regardless, the economy is pretty crap right now. So despite what I said about not having any clear cut answers, I am going to make a clear cut call for you anyway: Stick with it. Just power on, you are already at the bottom of the trough, do not sell out now at the worst price... it's recovery-to-boom from here on out!

Great post.

Jun 4, 2013
Hugo Bentley:

Tough call - I have my thoughts to share, and they are relevant, but perhaps no clear cut answer at the end of it either.

A few years ago I was in a similar position to you: I had a pretty well paid + somewhat respectable job in finance, but for various reasons I became desperate to leave.

Incidentally, I also posted on forums seeking opinion; received over 30k views in all - so I knew I wasn't the only person out there thinking this way.

After sticking it out in finance for a total of 2 years I finally took the leap and fell out of the rat-race. One week later and I had become a barman, while simultaneously pursuing my own business venture of sorts on the side.

That was 2 years ago.

I am now unemployed, my business venture has not panned out as I had hoped, and my net worth is heading to zero. Unsurprisingly I find myself dwelling on the PSPSPS / position I might have been in, if only I had "stuck it out" in my old career beyond the 2 year mark. But in an alternate universe somewhere, is there a version of me who DID "stick it out" and is still grinding away in the rat-race wondering 'what could have been' if he had only taken the leap of faith (as I , in reality, did)?

Lesson #1 : the grass is often greener on the other side. If you leave now, you may well find yourself, at times, regretting that you gave up the prestige/money/security/world-travelling-prospects. My brother often says he would love to quit his job because he hates it - but he takes one look at my situation and that stops him from doing so. My life has become a warning to others... lol.

You mention you have been at this for a few months. I have two thoughts on that:
1. To be honest, it wouldn't look great to have only several months of experience in a job on your resume, so unless it is truly unbearable (and as you read this you will probably be nodding yourself saying, 'oh but it is unbearable' --- BUT IS IT REALLY?), that is something to consider. You fought hard to get in, don't give up lightly!

2. As hard/impossible as it is to imagine at this moment, the constant daily stress level WILL subside over time, you will start to feel more at ease in the position. Eventually you may be picking up an ever-increasing pay cheque and wondering why your employer is paying you so much. I strongly sense that your manager is one of the big issues, even though he/she received only a brief mention in your opening post. I also felt uncomfortable/stressed out by my manager, back in the day. You never know what hand fate will deal - he/she could quit out of the blue, get fired for sexual harassment, either of you get moved.

So bear in mind two classic movie scenes (I seem to be including a lot of lists and numbers in this post):

1. Tom Hanks in Castaway. He wanted to kill himself after being on that island for too long, but instead he makes the decision to keep breathing, to stay alive, because you never know what the tide will bring in.

2. Edward Norton in Fightclub. After engaging in his hardcore underground fighting, all the other stresses in his life become insignificant. So much so that when his boss is moaning at him, Norton hardly registers it. Make the decision to not allow your manager to piss you off so much. As you said yourself, you don't even want the freaking job right now anyway!

- Not sure what country you are in, but regardless, the economy is pretty crap right now. So despite what I said about not having any clear cut answers, I am going to make a clear cut call for you anyway: Stick with it. Just power on, you are already at the bottom of the trough, do not sell out now at the worst price... it's recovery-to-boom from here on out!

Christmas trees are beautiful without presents under them.

Jun 4, 2013

Try some tips that will make my life easier while I hold on for dear life for another year?

- Yes. Your cost of living is too low. Mine was the same when I had a proper job and plenty of money. Spend exponentially more. My savings became too big so that I was free to actually ditch the job. Spend it on chasing girls - that is what you should orient your free time around. Work will then just become some BS waste of time to get out of the way monday - friday (assuming you dont work fri / sat night. If so, you have my permission to quit tomorrow lol).

QFT /\

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Jun 4, 2013

stick it out, pussy. i know so many people who have graduate degrees who are working retail/bar tending jobs and you're sad because you have to do a little work?

alpha currency trader wanna-be

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Jun 5, 2013
watersign:

stick it out, pussy. i know so many people who have graduate degrees who are working retail/bar tending jobs and you're sad because you have to do a little work?

^^^ Don't be a dick, bro. Just because someone isn't exactly like you (and maybe doesn't enjoy the work as much as yo) doesn't give you the authority to shit on them. OP - don't listen to this guy. People like him are why less and less senior level execs are trusting bankers nowadays anywys. They have no empathy. People without empathy don't care about other people, which means they're only out for themselves, and can't be trusted, be it in personal settings or recommending corporate strategy.

    • 2
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Jun 4, 2013

Hugo Bentley,

one of the best posts i have read in my life (still student)

Thank you

Jun 4, 2013

Fantastic and cogent post Hugo Bentley!

Jun 4, 2013

Tune the shit out and become numb to it.

Jun 4, 2013

How is the traveling portion?

Jun 4, 2013

But I get my bonus this week so I'm sure I'll become super motivated again fairly soon.

Jun 4, 2013

This thread was worth it just for the Drake pic

Jun 4, 2013

Ask your boss if you can get put on projects in places that you enjoy traveling to. This way when you have an hour or two when you aren't meeting clients you can explore cities. Other than that, you def need to stay for at least a year. While it won't kill your resume to have a short stint on it your boss might get really upset and flame about you to everyone he knows. This could be much worse.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Jun 4, 2013
heister:

Ask your boss if you can get put on projects in places that you enjoy traveling to. This way when you have an hour or two when you aren't meeting clients you can explore cities. Other than that, you def need to stay for at least a year. While it won't kill your resume to have a short stint on it your boss might get really upset and flame about you to everyone he knows. This could be much worse.

Everyone massively exaggerates the importance of this 'reputational risk.' It really only matters if you will stay in the same industry and/or need future recommendations. The effect also fades quickly (e.g. in 2 years no one will care about your prior job you had for 6 months. Its a writeoff)

Jun 4, 2013

People should stop jizzing over the Hugo post and realize there's a lot of space between staying at a demanding job you hate and becoming a bartender (i.e. a somewhat less demanding job you like).

Might be tough to bail after a few months, but I've known post-grad consultants (MBB) who left prior to end of 1st year to pursue a variety of jobs (finance, law, business development, etc). I'd say start putting out feelers for a job, and when you get one that meets your requirements, bail. There's no reason to wait unless you feel the extra time would make you substantially more attractive for positions you're pursuing.

By the end of the first year you'll be at peak attractiveness as an associate in any case. To become any more attractive you'd need to reach manager level. Employers are interested in you, not the marginal year you spent making powerpoints.

On a related note, one of the biggest (life) mistakes I've made so far was sticking it out in one of these two-year contract situations.

Jun 4, 2013

How many projects have you been on during these few months? If it's only 1, definitely stick it out.

I've found my experience w/ every project and project manager to be completely different. You may hate your current project, but love the next one. You may learn nothing from your current boss, but a ton from the next. You may be traveling overseas on one project, but staying local for another. Etc.

In my opinion, it takes at least 2 projects at a firm for you to figure out the lay of land and begin to navigate yourself down a desirable path. (This is assuming your firm isn't some boutique w/ like 10 employees.)

If you're hating your life now, try to roll off... but make sure you also find project you want to be on.

Jun 4, 2013

So it's time for you to pick another 'dream' that ultimately wont satisfy you either. When will people realize that employment, for the most part, is a means to an end and not an end in itself? The advise that your 4th grade teacher gave you about 'always following your dreams' is bad advice. Grow up.

Jun 4, 2013
Esuric:

So it's time for you to pick another 'dream' that ultimately wont satisfy you either. When will people realize that employment, for the most part, is a means to an end and not an end in itself? The advise that your 4th grade teacher gave you about 'always following your dreams' is bad advice. Grow up.

Most of us here are intelligent enough such that even the worst possible career moves will not destroy us. To me, regret is a bigger risk than being financially poor. As long as you are realistic with your odds of success or failure and have a direction of what you want out of a profession, then I say go for it.

Jun 4, 2013
dontchaknow:

To me, regret is a bigger risk than being financially poor.

Have you ever tried poverty?

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Jun 5, 2013
Esuric:
dontchaknow:

To me, regret is a bigger risk than being financially poor.

Have you ever tried poverty?

In my experience, people like Esuric are sufficiently afraid at taking risk that they would likely not leave a decent paying job for the majority of their life, even if they hate it.

OP - don't let this dude's fear hold you back from finding something you enjoy more. There's a lot of leeway between leaving one job to find a better opportunity and poverty. People with a lot less than you do a lot better for themselves in this country.

Jun 17, 2015

.

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Jun 5, 2013

People don't quit jobs, they quit bosses.
You might very well enjoy your next case and case team.

Jun 5, 2013

Thanks everyone for the great comments. There's been a lot of good perspectives and it's been very helpful to hear--hopefully it's been helpful for others as well. I agree--my manager is probably a big part of it, so attempting to transition to another manager (as well as a location closer to home) could make a big difference. Realistically, though, it might be tough to transition to another project within my one-year timeframe given that this one seems like it will last forever.

I should clarify that I'm in a post-MBA (pre-manager) role with a graduate business (non-MBA) degree, so there would be no need for me to go back to school. I have a few years of experience (finance) so that might change the calculus somewhat.

I suppose my main question is: *could* there be harm in reaching out to recruiters/sending out resumes at this point? Besides the obvious stresses of attempting to schedule interviews when my days in the home office are few and far between, could it lead to perception issues that will lessen if I wait until closer to the 1 year mark?

Thanks!

Jun 6, 2013
analyst2012:

Thanks everyone for the great comments. There's been a lot of good perspectives and it's been very helpful to hear--hopefully it's been helpful for others as well. I agree--my manager is probably a big part of it, so attempting to transition to another manager (as well as a location closer to home) could make a big difference. Realistically, though, it might be tough to transition to another project within my one-year timeframe given that this one seems like it will last forever.

I should clarify that I'm in a post-MBA (pre-manager) role with a graduate business (non-MBA) degree, so there would be no need for me to go back to school. I have a few years of experience (finance) so that might change the calculus somewhat.

I suppose my main question is: *could* there be harm in reaching out to recruiters/sending out resumes at this point? Besides the obvious stresses of attempting to schedule interviews when my days in the home office are few and far between, could it lead to perception issues that will lessen if I wait until closer to the 1 year mark?

Thanks!

Never any harm. Start looking as soon as you feel like it. As long as you're smart/lucky enough not to end up in another job you'll find disatisfying.

Jun 5, 2013

Hugo Bentley,

a fail story could warm everyone's heart because it makes them feel better about their own situations, but I had a hard time believing you.

OP,

it's not the job, it's you. people do things for one of two reasons, J.P. Morgan once said...

Jun 5, 2013

What are your specific sources of stress? Manager? Hours? Travel? Client?

- In consulting roles there is a huge ramp up in your personal efficiency over the first year - it will get better as you get more comfortable using your firm's PPT templates, offshore resources, and internal networks. Are you using the resources that are available to you?

- Is there somebody on your team you can go to for help if you aren't comfortable doing so with your manager?
Anybody who is a year ahead of you seniority-wise could be quite helpful - they are expected to mentor new hires. At firms with good people development you won't get knocked for working with these guys (but you will if you don't ask/accept help!).

- How are you managing your manager? Are you getting timely (at least weekly) feedback? Does he have visibility into what you are working on?

Source: multiple years of consulting experience at multiple firms

    • 2
Jun 5, 2013

Tough call!
I would say try to go in with a positive attitude, and see if that doesn't change your outlook a little!
If not, you could always leave.

happy to give advice; no asking for referrals please

Jun 5, 2013

hehe i wish my fail story WASNT true KaySpectre

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Jun 5, 2013

I found consulting to be an absolutely miserable experience and left after 13 months. Paradoxically, I think that this was too soon, I wish I had stuck it out longer. For one, after about a year you get used to the rhythm and the idiotic people, indifferent clients, irrelevant work, pointless travel, etc. In my case, when I left, I was just getting the hang of blowing smoke up people's asses and carving out free time during the day. The longer you stay, the more you get left alone, the easier the work gets, and the more you can slack off and just let if flow.

The grass is always greener on the other side - I left for a non profit, about the same base pay but zero bonus. The people were equally idiotic and I was really hurting at the end of the year. Not having to travel around or stay in the office until one in the morning was nice, but after a while you need to come up with hobbies to fill up all the free time, or it just ends up getting wasted watching TV, etc. I don't have the desire to pursue hobbies apparently.. I'd rather more time be filled up with work, it makes the time off sweeter.

Also, I compare my experience to people who stuck it out for 2 (almost 3 years) and were eventually asked to leave because they were not going to be promoted. Their "go away and don't bitch about us" bonus was almost as large as a normal bonus. I mean people who were shitty performers, who didn't give a shit, and who definitely didn't like it but at the same time didn't stress about it were getting paid $100k to resign (with a couple of months to look for a new job while finishing up their projects). So if I had just farted around for another 2 years, I'd have an additional bonus check in the bank plus $100k for quitting, and I'd be able to honestly say that I quit because I was looking for another challenge (vs. being fired, vs. quitting to work on my personal projects, or travel the world, or go back to school, or whatever bullshit excuses people come up with for taking a break because they are bitter and burned out).

I'd stay put. It's a bitch to break into consulting, and the first year is a bitch, but I think it smooths out later on. Rewards come to those with a high tolerance for bullshit and idiocy. Stick it out.

    • 5
Feb 5, 2018
greengohome:

I found consulting to be an absolutely miserable experience and left after 13 months. Paradoxically, I think that this was too soon, I wish I had stuck it out longer. For one, after about a year you get used to the rhythm and the idiotic people, indifferent clients, irrelevant work, pointless travel, etc. In my case, when I left, I was just getting the hang of blowing smoke up people's asses and carving out free time during the day. The longer you stay, the more you get left alone, the easier the work gets, and the more you can slack off and just let if flow.

The grass is always greener on the other side - I left for a non profit, about the same base pay but zero bonus. The people were equally idiotic and I was really hurting at the end of the year. Not having to travel around or stay in the office until one in the morning was nice, but after a while you need to come up with hobbies to fill up all the free time, or it just ends up getting wasted watching TV, etc. I don't have the desire to pursue hobbies apparently.. I'd rather more time be filled up with work, it makes the time off sweeter.

Also, I compare my experience to people who stuck it out for 2 (almost 3 years) and were eventually asked to leave because they were not going to be promoted. Their "go away and don't bitch about us" bonus was almost as large as a normal bonus. I mean people who were shitty performers, who didn't give a shit, and who definitely didn't like it but at the same time didn't stress about it were getting paid $100k to resign (with a couple of months to look for a new job while finishing up their projects). So if I had just farted around for another 2 years, I'd have an additional bonus check in the bank plus $100k for quitting, and I'd be able to honestly say that I quit because I was looking for another challenge (vs. being fired, vs. quitting to work on my personal projects, or travel the world, or go back to school, or whatever bullshit excuses people come up with for taking a break because they are bitter and burned out).

I'd stay put. It's a bitch to break into consulting, and the first year is a bitch, but I think it smooths out later on. Rewards come to those with a high tolerance for bullshit and idiocy. Stick it out.

Which firm pays 100k to fuck off? I have never heard of this happening.

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Jun 5, 2013

Hope you won't take this personally because I will be harsh. The easiest way to be unhappy about your job is to be unhappy. I've been in Industry, Consulting, IB, HFs, and met people from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, skill level, work ethics/schedule/stamina, and whatnot. All those things are orthogonal (or at least have what I believe to be a statistically indistinguishable correlation) to happiness. One can be miserable making 1M/yr in a Fiji resort, and also happy as an MTA janitor sweeping dead rats for 25k. Now, you mentioned you liked your other job, but did you really? Isn't this just proximity bias (grass is greener blah blah et caetera)? Why did you leave for consulting? I sense you could be inverting the whole thing, and you are not miserable because you have this job, but it's the other way around. My opinion? Work for a bit longer and wait for a couple new projects to test your convictions or even just as a hedge against regret. But most importantly, stop wearing the "overachiever" vest that forces you to go for the front page jobs at the expense of your life. Spend a good deal of time thinking about what really turns you on both work and leisure-wise, and go for it. Good luck.

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Jun 5, 2013

I'd like to offer one piece of simple and maybe too obvious - and that is to follow your gut instinct. I'm currently reading Blink by Malcolm Gladwell and the author suggests that our unconscious, snap decisions can often lead to our best decisions. Only read a few chapter but really like it. Anyway, best of luck. P.S. I myself am actually conducting a job search while working full time which is difficult balancing the two, but doing my best.

Jun 5, 2013

yo wait... which firm pays you 100k to fuck off?

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Jun 6, 2013

You left your old job for a reason. Ask yourself if the feelings of disatisfaction that had caused you to pursue other things will come back if you went back to something similar

Jun 7, 2013

I think you should stay. In consulting, so much depends on your project and your manager and these things turn over at a rate of knots. I don't think you've been there long enough to truly get a handle on whether you don't like the work or if you just don't like this project.

Give it a little more time and it may well change. 1 year sounds like a perfectly reasonable amount of time to stick around, and if you're not happy you can start reaching out to recruiters and clients for alternative opportunities at the 9 month mark.

You may also like to talk to your staffing manager about a secondment.....my firm is really supportive and sponsors junior-mid level consultants to do secondments at our clients.

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Jun 8, 2013

Hugo's post is good, but life doesn't stop after your first failure. For all we know, three years from now, he might come back to this thread and tell us that the next venture he started got off the ground, he's surrounded by a cadre of babes and leaving his firm was the best decision he ever made.

I think you have to make this decision based on what you know about yourself. That is hard for anyone else to judge!

Jun 8, 2013

Thanks everybody. I think I've taken away the following so far:
-My stress levels are partly a function of my newness at the job and won't remain here forever. So staying might alleviate that in a way that even leaving wouldn't--at least in the near-term.
-Reaching out to recruiters at this point isn't unhelpful if I present it as "keeping my options open", so I'll go ahead and do that very selectively.
-A new manager/new project could drastically change how things feel for me. Unfortunately, though, it's likely this one project will go for over a year and people are already preparing to be here for that entire time, so leaving might be the only way to get off this project, so that's something to bear in mind.

Jun 8, 2013

OP,

What kind of project are you on? I ask because certain type of projects (such as DD in financial industry) are more intense and stressful than others.

But yeah, consulting isn't an easy job at all. I totally see where you are coming from. I heard that 80% of post MBA MBB associates leave within 2-3 years... I wonder why

Jun 22, 2013
Truce:

This may be anecdotal but a friend graduated and did 2 years at a boutique shop before transitioning to F500 biz dev. I definitely think it's worth sticking it out, reaching out to a recruiter now wouldn't hurt and maybe even try a headhunter as your stint winds down.

can confirm. at 2 year mark now and getting multiple headhunter calls for internal strategy / internal consulting / biz dev / corp dev roles.

Jun 22, 2013

OP, there are a number of headhunting firms that specialize in former (or soon to be former) consultants. send me a PM if you want a couple of contacts.

Dec 13, 2014

Wanted to revive the discussion for this year's batch of disgruntled consultants. I'll start, fresh hire from an M7 business school. Pay, perks, and prestige were everything I thought it would be, but work is significantly less "sexy" than they made it seem during on campus recruiting. Lot of long hours, lot of stress, but to be fair a lot of learning too. Don't see myself trying to push for partner track, but will probably hang around until something interesting in corporate comes around.

Dec 13, 2014

MBB? 2nd tier? big4 consulting?

"... then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it."

Dec 15, 2014

Deloitte S&O, massive firm, so your views may vary.

Jun 11, 2016

Reviving this post again, lol ...wonders what the OP did in the end.

I've just passed the 9 months mark of my post-MBA job at a MBB, got an oral offer and interviewing for other opportunities. Currently on a not so bad case with nice managers and partner but I'd be homesick, missing my partner and crying in the hotel room - at this point money&'prestige' really means nothing as I can't be more miserable.

Jul 2, 2016

sometimes people gotta hit rock bottom to realize how good they have or had it.

Jan 30, 2018
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