However, compared to banking, which is how they mostly compare it, consultants have a more balanced lifestyle. The basic rule is to do as little as possible to answer the question in question. The next rule is to reject partners who want to overanalyze something when it's simply not necessary, as additional analysis is unlikely to change the decision being considered. One of the common problems in management consulting is achieving the right balance between work and personal life.
Most consultants have to work 60 to 80 hours a week due to the nature of the work. Meetings with clients and the team consume normal working hours; hence the need for more hours to gather ideas, review the day and organize things while preparing the artifacts for the next day. On average, the consultants surveyed work 9.3 hours per week more than they are paid (consultants are generally not paid overtime). The nature of the work requires consultants to demonstrate an enormous commitment to the work, since project deadlines must be met for clients and in-house work adds to the workload.
Male consultants who hold positions of responsibility work the longest, with an average of 9.9 and 12.4 hours, and this last number is comparable to the average overtime of partners in the consulting sector. The data also reveals that, since consultants with longer tenure in a company work on average less overtime, which highlights the hours that investment consultants usually take, or need, to familiarize themselves with a new environment. Another policy measure that can be applied is the possibility of spending time from the traditional position of customer-oriented consulting or management to a more defined support position, such as in the functions of human resources, training and corporate development. The workload of a management consultant can fluctuate from month to month, depending on the number of ongoing projects.
Overall, most young consultants work full time: 87% of men and 73% of young women have a contract of 40 hours a week. In this way, consultants can reduce their work levels by working on projects that require less (time) or by taking unpaid leave between two projects. In the long term, if I had stayed at McKinsey, this would have been favorable from the point of view of work-life balance, since there are a lot of financial institutions in New York. Another measure that is often used to improve work-life balance is to include days off between projects.
Young consultants work more overtime on average than consultants, but this number increases again as they move up the range.