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Starting a family - life after consulting

 
#1 Starting a family - life after consulting
23/01/2011 19:22

Getting broody

I've been working in consulting for the last 7 years and enjoy how challenging and varied the work is, despite the often very long hours.

However - my husband and I are planning to start a family and I don't want to be a mum who barely sees their children Monday - Friday (or even - Thursday if I work 4 days which I know a lot of the firms offer)

Would be interested to hear what other women with children have gone on to do or how they have continued to work in consulting with small children.

I work in people/ HR consulting with the standard change and project management skills.

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#2 RE: Starting a family - life after consulting
23/01/2011 20:21

MBB Principal to Getting broody (#1)

I've put mine two toddlers in the orphanage, will collect them when they're 14 and I'm a partner in the firm

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#3 RE: Starting a family - life after consulting
24/01/2011 16:18

anna to Getting broody (#1)

mayb look at HR roles within IBs etc?

More stable but still good pay...

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#4 RE: Starting a family - life after consulting
24/01/2011 16:57

Sad fact of life to Getting broody (#1)

Well there you go then. No female consultants able to offer practical advice on how to keep a career going in consultancy once you’ve had kids.

An answer in itself really.

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#5 RE: Starting a family - life after consulting
24/01/2011 22:54

Andy to Sad fact of life (#4)

They're all off trying to learn the offside rule so they can feel legitimate in their offence taken to developments in current affairs.

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#6 RE: Starting a family - life after consulting
25/01/2011 09:35

peter griffin to Andy (#5)

regardless of whether you are male or female, the unpalatable fact is that a committed, successful career in consulting is fundamentally incompatible with maintaining a close family relationship. the hours are too long, there is significant travel and it is energy sapping. taking part-time or limited-travel options where available simply makes you less attractive when resourcing the most high profile, driven projects and your career will suffer. look at the people at the top of the tree - they might kid themselves that they have relationships with their children (becuase that's one of the trophies you are expected to display to the masses) but in reality they outsource them to nannies etc during the week and schedule them into their diaries for quality time at the weekend in the same way they would a client planning meeting - the whole thing becomes very superficial.

you have to work out your priorities - time with the family or time spent on career...

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#7 RE: Starting a family - life after consulting
26/01/2011 20:35

Getting broody to peter griffin (#6)

Yes - I agree completely, and I know I want to prioritise family. One of the things I was considering was moving into an 'internal consulting' team.

Anyone got any experience of making this type of move/ any recommendations for firms that have these kinds of teams and what the quality of work and work/life balance is like?

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#8 RE: Starting a family - life after consulting
27/01/2011 13:06

Andrew to Getting broody (#7)

I work as an internal consultant and we have a newborn at home. For the days I don't travel I leave home at 7 and never back home by 7 to put our son to bed. Internal or external, you still need to travel and if not your days are too long to enjoy family life. I am working on leaving consulting, take a massive pay-cut but enjoy bringing up our son. It's your choice really!

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#9 RE: Starting a family - life after consulting
27/01/2011 13:42

Niche consultant to Getting broody (#7)

I am a mum to two primary aged girls. I love my consulting job and get to see a lot of my girls, only missing school events when I'm abroad with work.

How? I run my own niche consultancy and work 2-3 days per month at the very expensive end of the rate scale with multinationals. The rest of the time I work from home, writing books, preparing, marketing, running international virtual events, working on my skills and having sales conversations.

Why work for anyone else? Too much stress. Women are very capable of being consultants and it's a great life (once you've learnt rainmaking)

xx

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#10 RE: Starting a family - life after consulting
27/01/2011 16:05

geeza to Niche consultant (#9)

that's certainly not a utilisation ratio you'd get away with in the Big 4, so if you can make the economics work (guess you'd want to be billing >2K a day) then it's a great model

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#11 RE: Starting a family - life after consulting
27/01/2011 16:25

Niche consultant to geeza (#10)

Rather more than that...

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#12 RE: Starting a family - life after consulting
27/01/2011 17:44

Polish Plumber to Niche consultant (#11)

What is rainmaking and how can I learn it?

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#13 RE: Starting a family - life after consulting
27/01/2011 18:27

Niche supplier too to Polish Plumber (#12)

You'll need a leather bikini and Wayne Rooney and Walsh Coles mobile numbers

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#14 RE: Starting a family - life after consulting
27/01/2011 23:00

Niche consultant to geeza (#10)

Rather more than that...

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#15 RE: Starting a family - life after consulting
28/01/2011 00:22

Niche Polish Plumber to Niche consultant (#14)

Can I learn it if I find a job with an escort agency?

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#16 RE: Starting a family - life after consulting
28/01/2011 09:17

Ed Balls to Getting broody (#1)

Another option is to move client side.

Ever notice how all your customer interfaces are on flexi-time, have more holiday than you, a better pension and don't travel from their vase office?

It really is the way ahead if you want to balance your work and family commitments.

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#17 RE: Starting a family - life after consulting
28/01/2011 10:28

geeza to Ed Balls (#16)

I believe Berlusconi's multinational events were very niche and paid quite well, especially for those right at the beginning of their career.....

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