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Rat Race:Good/Bad? Discuss

 
#1 Rat Race:Good/Bad? Discuss
27/02/2007 17:00

bingobango

There have been loads of posts on here recently about happines (or lack of it!), work life balance and sacrifice.

Is what we do worth it? For those considering a career in consulting it's probably a worthy debate to read.

What are your thoughts on our rat race - is it a good or a bad thing...and why?

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#2 RE: Rat Race:Good/Bad? Discuss
28/02/2007 09:20

anono to bingobango (#1)

As someone who is currently interviewing to get into consulting, this is a topic i'd love to see responses on. I'm coming from a cushty industry job, looking for a challenge whilst i'm still young (23).

How do people feel about consulting as they go through the levels... i.e. going from consultant to manager and so on. Do you have more time with families as you progress? Do you have less? How do people feel about this? If you're not happy, why not get out and use those contacts you must have built up?

I'm really interested in people's opinions on the sacrifices they have to make as they approach 5-10 years in consulting and look to families, or just a better work-life balance. There's no need for responses to be all negative either!

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#3 RE: Rat Race:Good/Bad? Discuss
28/02/2007 10:39

Mike Control to anono (#2)

I definitely think I made the right decision, and although I want the work to be a bit more challenging, promotions are quick (so the interesting work comes sooner), and there’s a really great social scene here. I also don’t think I would have been ready for a hardcore job in consulting straight after university; now however I’ve had a slower introduction into the world of work, I know what I want in life more, and if I did want to switch now I’ve had a years experience as an analyst meaning I would be more likely to get that dream consultancy job.

In answer to Bingo’s actual question, I’ve discovered I don’t want to work more than 40-50 hours a week and earning shed loads isn’t that important to me. So although I would love the job, I know it’s not the job for me.

P.S. If anyone knows of a consultancy company that only has a 45 hour week…..

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#4 RE: Rat Race:Good/Bad? Discuss
28/02/2007 10:55

anon to Mike Control (#3)

yes please... consultancies with humane working hours one step forward! :)

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#5 RE: Rat Race:Good/Bad? Discuss
28/02/2007 13:32

Anon to anon (#4)

I think it is worth it to accelerate your career, but yes there is a significant pay-off in work/life balance.

I would certainly recommend time in industry before coming into consulting. Grad consultants have very little context within which to set their clients problems.

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#6 RE: Rat Race:Good/Bad? Discuss
28/02/2007 13:42

Mike Control to Mike Control (#3)

It would seem not all of my previous post was posted. The first paragraph was supposed to read something along the lines of:

I’m a recent graduate, and when I was looking for jobs I applied for a few consultancy ones. In the end however, I took a job with a large(ish) financial services company (where I work a very relaxed 37 hour week for £21k), because I was moving to a new town and the workforce seemed to be mainly 21-27 and a good laugh.

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#7 RE: Rat Race:Good/Bad? Discuss
28/02/2007 14:39

Anon to bingobango (#1)

It would seem that there are enough intelligent people who think that it is worth the dedication, or the job description would change to increase demand.

Different firms ask for different numbers of hours per week, so there is still a range of hours to choose from.

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#8 RE: Rat Race:Good/Bad? Discuss
01/03/2007 11:12

me to Anon (#7)

which firms ask for the fewest hours but still pay pretty well?

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#9 RE: Rat Race:Good/Bad? Discuss
01/03/2007 11:38

Freelancer to me (#8)

Me...I pay myself 135K and work seven hour days. No travel. Lot's of kudos for being a non-absent parent.

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#10 RE: Rat Race:Good/Bad? Discuss
01/03/2007 11:38

me to Freelancer (#9)

yes that sounds very appealing. how do you get your business?

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#11 RE: Rat Race:Good/Bad? Discuss
01/03/2007 13:00

funny man to me (#10)

lol

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#12 RE: Rat Race:Good/Bad? Discuss
01/03/2007 18:40

me to funny man (#11)

hehe, i know it's a little cheeky though to be honest it's a genuine question. i very much like the idea of good pay and reasonable hours :-)

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#13 RE: Rat Race:Good/Bad? Discuss
01/03/2007 19:50

Matt to anon (#4)

I usually do a 40 hour week, with the occasional 50, and very rare 90+. I am with BAH in mclean, va.

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#14 RE: Rat Race:Good/Bad? Discuss
01/03/2007 20:19

me to Matt (#13)

u must be in WTB then. i used to work for booz (WCB) and the hours were a killer

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#15 RE: Rat Race:Good/Bad? Discuss
01/03/2007 20:26

Matt to me (#14)

Yes, I am on the federal practice side. Although there isn't a WTB/WCB anymore since the one-firm move earlier this year. It's still semi-separate, but there is a lot of matrixing from both practices now on projects, especially internationally.

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#16 RE: Rat Race:Good/Bad? Discuss
02/03/2007 08:26

to me to me (#10)

I think he was suggesting that he is self employed.

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#17 RE: Rat Race:Good/Bad? Discuss
02/03/2007 18:40

Boxershorts to bingobango (#1)

Good question Bingo. I have to say though, as I've got more mature, the lure of the family and balance is a lot stronger than when I was younger and hard-charging in career-building mode.

As you progress, the hours do diminish a bit, but the types of challenge and stress you face are different. Some people are better equipped to handle different types of pressure, though so it's hard to generalise on a topic like this.

As a parting note, I've heard it said that the problem with the rat race is that, even if you win, you're still a rat.

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