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How much travelling should you expect?

 
#1 How much travelling should you expect?
13/08/2005 13:50

Footloose?

I am considering a graduate career in consulting but am slightly concerned as to the work/life balance the is achievable with the nature of the job. i.e, can you achieve a balance? and do you consultants have a life during the week at any time during the year? The actual job is exactly what i want to do, but there are other things i want to do too-like enjoy a bit of life outside work etc...-is this impossible in consulting and something you have to accept or can it be achieved? Similarly are any consultants leaving the industry due to pressures to be away from home and if so, to where?

Thanks F

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#2 Re: How much travelling should you expect?
13/08/2005 14:04

RecruitGal

If you have any doubts about the travel then you need to reconsider your career options. A career in consulting requires 100% mobility in most cases. You should expect to be away from home from Monday morning to Friday night, often for long periods of time. In an international role, you may not even be able to come home at weekends. And while you're away, expect to be working some long hours. Some people thrive on it, but if you have any doubts, I would advise you not to even submit an application.

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#3 Re: How much travelling should you expect?
13/08/2005 14:25

Footloose?

Thanks RecruitGal,

I appreciate your response. You may be able to help me out in terms of why people leave teh industry then-I have heard a decent proportion is due to the mobility factor taking its toll on family life etc...

How do firms circumvent this, apart form teh obvious flexible and compressed working practise and do you hear stories of consultants burnt out by the lifestyle? From a grad perspective, the hours are fine, I can't wait to get my teeth into something but i'm not sure the risk of giving up everything at home is totally worth it?

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#4 Re: How much travelling should you expect?
13/08/2005 15:53

Ronin

You should expect a lot of travel. I have been consulting 2+ years. I have never done a single day of work in any of our offices - I have only ever worked at client sites in the UK and the US. I'm an extreme case, but be warned.

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#5 Re: How much travelling should you expect?
13/08/2005 19:03

Devil's Advocate

I have been in consulting for 6 years and have been fortunate in being able to be London based. True, I have travelled to client sites, but the more senior you becme in consulting, then you have more flexibility. Also, a majority of firms are beginning to realise that to retain staff they must adhere to a satisfactory level of work/life balance. Clients are also starting to accommodate flexible working arrangements as they realise that getting the job done needs a fully functioning mind. Hope that helps - please let me know if anyone disputes what I have said - or maybe my experience has been driven my strong approach...

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#6 Re: How much travelling should you expect?
13/08/2005 23:57

Jakie

But would you be staying in a flat/house with some other consultants when on client's site, or is it all about living on planes?

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#7 Re: How much travelling should you expect?
15/08/2005 08:35

RecruitGal

In my company, staff turnover runs at about 15% (lower than average). When people do decide to leave us, travel is a factor in about 50% of the cases. I haven't seen anyone 'burn-out', although it can happen. All consulting firms have the problem of managing the travel side of things, and most are working on ways of being more flexible - but ultimately, the client calls the shots. The rewards are there for those who can commit to this way of live, but we recognise that not everyone is able or willing to sacrifice so much of their time for their career.

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#8 Re: How much travelling should you expect?
16/08/2005 07:36

SGR

Further to this important discussion of travel and work hours. I have often heard and read that consultants work very long hours. All those people on Grad Programs and fully qualified/ experienced consultants, How many hours per week do you work. ie 40, 50 or 60 hours per week, 7am to 7pm? Plus every second saturday??? Thanks for your responses.

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#9 Re: How much travelling should you expect?
16/08/2005 09:36

Anon

My first 5 years at ACN (when one is an Analyst and a Consultant)average hours per week was about 60. But that was back in the days when we were paid overtime and thus it was the norm. Such hours still happen, but I doubt they are as common as they were previously. When deadlines were approaching or things slipped, add on another 20 hours, since weekend work would be required.

Then next two years as a Manager, hours were a little less, but not by much, although the amount of travel dropped off quite significantly.

Then I jumped ship to Capgemini, where there is a healthy work-life balance, given my role etc. the hours are a bit better, but when deadlines approach, proposals to be done etc. you can be hitting the 70's now and then. Average is about 50 hours.

Effectively, consulting is not a 9-5 job. If anyone thinks otherwise, they are going to be in for a shock.

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