A position in the top tier management consulting firms, like McKinsey, Bain and BCG is awfully time-consuming. Most consultants work for 50 to 80 hours in a week. Read on and understand the implications of this work schedule.
Official consulting work hours may start from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. but consultants never seem to have enough within that 8-hour period. At the end of the day when everyone seems exhausted at the office, they still have enough energy to keep going. At worst times, they need to work for 15 hours a day just to beat deadlines, tally performance data or finish the brainstorming session. Who says management consulting lifestyle isn’t tough?
Indication of Long Work Hours
If there’s one good thing this crazy schedule tells us, it’s the kind of commitment consultants offer to their job. We can easily assume that probably it’s the great pay that entices them to get things done, but in the hindsight, would most people believe putting off personal priorities for organizational success is really worth it? Management consulting employees would answer most likely that question in the affirmative for they find value in what they do. In that aspect, they deserve applause for not everybody is capable of committing oneself to this kind of workload.
Negative Effects of Working Long Hours
Though job dedication is exemplary, extended working schedule has negative effects on health and well-being of employees. This was proven by Japanese high-ranking business executives who died in the 1980’s without any previous signs of illness. It was later found out that they worked too much and too hard. This phenomenon was then called, karoshi, which can be translated as “death from overwork.” This article says that major medical causes of karoshi deaths are heart attack and stroke due to stress.
Aside from health, personal relationships are also at stake. Many say that consulting is for professionals who are single because of its time-consuming nature. Consultants missing gatherings, reunions and birthdays because of commitment is commonplace. Further, they barely find time for their hobbies and interests. Finding free time is, unfortunately, a struggle in management consulting industry.
Dealing with Long Work Hours
In the consulting field, time management skills are important. Considered as one of the critical success factors, this tool resolves any work-life balance issues arising from an expert’s regular duties and responsibilities. It takes planning to determine which tasks to prioritize and to put aside. It takes time management to allot time for family bonding and get-together with buddies. It takes discipline to begin and end work as scheduled.
Consultants should also learn the art of taking breaks. Chatting about the latest buzz with colleagues or stretching your arms and legs once in a while is not a waste of time. It’s a good way of relaxing the eyes, hands and mind to maintain productivity level. Working for long straight hours causes exhaustion out and in the long run fatigue. Taking regular breaks can prevent this from happening.