A little while ago I made a move from consultancy to civil service and in honour of the time I spent following this forum (and now no longer do) I thought I'd write a quick summation of my experience.
Headline is that I'm enjoying life a whole lot more now. However the key ingredient for this I realise it being in one-goddamn office rather than in different places. This allows me to plan my life around work a lot more better, arrange socials in advance, take up hobbies and interests and so on.
Salary wise I'm still on a decent salary (above 40k) but would have been a lot higher had I not quit consulting. Nevertheless aprat from the fact I'm struggling to buy my own flat, I haven't missed the money yet.
I haven't yet come across the legendary beauracracy in government, and certainly nothing worse than the political game playing that goes on in consultancy in order to progress ones career. In fact I've been surprised to find that here promotion is truly based on merit.
My colleagues are as friendly as they were in consulting so no difference there really. Working hours are not 9-5 as you'd think and a lot of people I know put in long hours as need be, though we get it back through flexitime.
However my mentality has shifted to seeing 5pm as the end of the standard working day rather than 6pm.
In terms of what I miss - once in a while I do have pangs of nostalgia of staying at fancy hotels, and variety of work. Sometimes there's some status envy -- I sort of don't feel I belong in abacus anymore! But when it comes down to explaining what I do in my job I find my current role is much better chat up line than saying I'm a management consultant / spreadsheet monkey.
Anyway hope people find that useful in case they were having similar thoughts themselves.