Management consulting has two faces: one shows off the advantages and the other tolerates the disadvantages. These opposite forces make the position both gratifying and taxing. Continue reading this post to learn the pros and cons of the management consulting industry.
What Are the Advantages of a Management Consulting Career?
Below are the four most commonly cited advantages of working as a management consultant.
The five-digit salary has consistently attracted new recruits and kept incumbents in the industry. Depending on the size of the firm, the country, and the assigned responsibilities, new graduates who get hired usually receive a five-digit salary. In addition to the generous compensation, consultants receive allowances, insurance, and other benefits. During a time of economic crisis, this package is an incentive to many job seekers.
The responsibilities of a management consulting position will sharpen a consultant’s analytical, organizational, and communication skills. These capabilities are utilized on a daily basis and therefore improve with extended experience. Even if a consultant decides to leave the industry, he or she will be able to employ these enhanced skills in future positions.
A consultant’s responsibilities can be summarized as an individual who helps an organization improve its efficiency and profits. The research studies and market segmentation and competition analyses are focused on company growth, which indirectly help thousands of employees. This goal gives consultants noble aspirations and they continually enhance their knowledge as the job is highly intellectual.
Consultants are assigned to work for different clients on diverse projects. Because of this, they can widen their network without putting forth much effort. Their connections, if properly nurtured, can lead to more opportunities, better employment, and lasting friendships.
What Are the Disadvantages of a Management Consulting Career?
The management consulting position also has disadvantages; four of which are listed below:
Because of the nature of their job, management consultants work long hours, anywhere from 60 to 80 hours per week. Their time is consumed with client and team meetings, interviews, workshops, problem solving, focused group discussions, and client communication. Hence, consultants need to work extra hours to conduct analyses and evaluations so they can timely and expertly comply with a client’s demands.
Working hours do vary among firms, but in top-tier management consulting firms such as McKinsey, Bain, Booz, and BCG, expect to work over 60 hours a week on average.
One of the common misconceptions of aspiring consultants is that traveling is a glamorous part of a management consulting career. At first, traveling can be exciting, but when consultants realize how much of their time is spent on planes and in hotels, they miss the comforts of home. Traveling can also be exhausting; consultants are constantly adjusting to a new environment, new culture, and diverse people. Furthermore, consultants do not have time for leisure and sightseeing during their trips because they are consumed with work.
Lack of Family Time
Because consultants spend a majority of their time working and traveling, they sacrifice time with their families. When they come home after work, their family has finished dinner and the kids are already asleep. Because of the demands of the job, missing birthdays, anniversaries, and other family gatherings is a common occurrence. Consultants need optimum discipline to manage their time.
The research, analyses, and heavy workload can cause stress for any management consultant. In addition, consultants frequently deal with chaotic management and difficult employees. Consulting team members don’t always get along because of differences in perspectives and personalities.
If you add up all the disadvantages listed above, you will realize that it can be extremely stressful to be a management consultant.