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Starting a Family as a Consultant

 
#1 Starting a Family as a Consultant
23/05/2013 16:49

pistolyaddern

Recently found out that I will soon be a dad and wondering if this means I should get out of MC. Currently a manager at big4 in FS strategy and operations, enjoy pretty much all aspects of the role and the associated intensity but worried about the change in priorities. When I was purely focused on career it was easy to be selfish with time and the associated rewards (relatively quick career progression and building strong networks for future roles) seemed a very reasonable trade.

Is it worth now looking to get a role in industry with less travel, less pressure? Or would this be quitting early unnecessarily?

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#2 RE: Starting a Family as a Consultant
23/05/2013 17:40

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to pistolyaddern (#1)

Depends what hours you currently work. What time are you usually able to get home by each evening? If you find yourselves regularly working at weekends, then I would say change immediately. If you usually finish by say 6.30pm then it should be OK. If it's the sort of place where you never get home before 9.30pm, then I would move on.

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#3 RE: Starting a Family as a Consultant
23/05/2013 18:10

aminoacid07 to pistolyaddern (#1)

Like BEP says, there is a number of factors that could sway you.. Rather than 'getting out of MC'.. is it just your firm?

Are there firms out there with a good reputation for work-life balance, for looking after their staff etc.

Why not google consulting firms that have a good work-life balance (I know it's simple but who knows you may find smaller MC firms that have a good rep and you weren't aware of!)

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#4 RE: Starting a Family as a Consultant
23/05/2013 18:37

pistolyaddern to aminoacid07 (#3)

I am already at what I would consider to be the best firm in terms of work life balance, rarely have to work weekends and some flexibility given by the firm in terms of hours/location. Projects vary in terms of finishes midweek but this is mostly irrelevant as will generally all be away from my home location.

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#5 RE: Starting a Family as a Consultant
23/05/2013 19:14

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to pistolyaddern (#4)

When you say "away from your home location", do you mean like an hour up the M1 or do you mean Bangalore? Personally I'd happily spend a few hours in the car belting up and down the motorway each day versus sitting on a commuter train or roughing it in the holiday inn.

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#6 RE: Starting a Family as a Consultant
23/05/2013 20:18

PatrickMcIntyre to pistolyaddern (#4)

Of course there's a lot of confounding variables to take in to account but if you find your work life balance dooable and enjoyable currently, it makes sense to at least give it a go. I know it's cliche, but you don't want to wonder "what if?" when you start to hate your new job!

It's always good to have a plan B, so keep one step ahead of yourself and keep options available if you find the work-life balance difficult when your new baby arrives. Congratulations by the way.

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#7 RE: Starting a Family as a Consultant
24/05/2013 00:03

Arby the Manager to PatrickMcIntyre (#6)

Have the kid first, then decide. Or, more accurately, have your wife decide...

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#8 RE: Starting a Family as a Consultant
24/05/2013 09:25

Charliefleabag to pistolyaddern (#1)

This is a difficult one. I used to leave home before 6am on Monday and return after 9pm on Friday. At the time, my daughter was 3 and my son was 6. After a couple of years it became apparent that my daughter was too young to be affected by my absence but my son's behaviour at school was worsening and this was partly due to my absence. I took some time out of consulting and I think this greatly helped. I now spend 2-3 days away from home per week. My daughter is basically used to me being away and my son is now old enough (and mature enough) to not need me around so much.

I think the early school years are incredibly important as a child is growing and developing so rapidly. This may sound sexist but my experience is that boys look to their dads for guidance and as a role model for how to behave (more than girls although the daughter-dad relationship is still important).

I think you can get away with being absent a lot for pre-school kids but then its gets difficult during the primary school years.

Raising kids is a lot of work and you should also give some thought to the impact your absence will have on your partner. This can create a lot of tension.

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#9 RE: Starting a Family as a Consultant
24/05/2013 10:11

pistolyaddern to Charliefleabag (#8)

@Charliefleabag yes that seems to be the message coming from other people, that in the very early years its not a direct impact on the kids but then increasingly becomes difficult.

@BEP I'm usually on jobs that are uncommutable distances so need to stay over. Altho from what I hear with the lack of sleep babies bring, might not be the worst thing in the world to be away a few days mid week.

Thanks for posts, seems like there is no immediate rush to make any decision. I will continue to keep a strong network internal and external and then all options remain open.

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