Do business consultants work long hours?

On average, the standard number of hours a consultant can expect to work in a week is between 70 and 75, including lunch and travel time. Weekends are not included in a consultant's work week. The academics discovered that the longest hours worked at strategic consulting firms, where the weekly average was 60 hours. By comparison, millennial management consultants worked just 50 hours a week.

Other company alumni and individual project contacts provide consultants with a wealth of valuable business contacts. It's probably less applicable to specialized consulting firms or professional services firms, such as Accenture. The sector is divided into the “big three” strategic consulting firms (McKinsey, Bain, BCG), the “big four” professional services firms (PwC, Ernst & Young, Deloitte and KPMG), which are mainly engaged in operations consulting (as well as auditing and accounting), and a large number of small “boutique” companies, which often specialize in a particular type of situation or topic. Consulting firms take staff training very seriously: most consultants receive regular feedback, mentoring opportunities, and opportunities to seek advice from senior consultants.

Often, junior management consultants who worked 50 hours a week took comfort in thinking that strategy consultants from the Big Three Companies (McKinsey, Bain, BCG) were working much harder. Twelve worked for “general management consulting firms” and 12 worked for “high-level strategic consulting” firms, such as Bain, McKinsey and Co and BCG. A consultant who reviewed this document suggested that, based on her experience, consultants who leave the position of associate have options similar to those of consultants who leave after two or three years of working as analysts, although the percentage of options varies and associates are likely to be qualified to fill positions of greater responsibility. While you'll spend a significant portion of your time preparing PowerPoint presentations, emails, and “routine” tasks, such as creating databases, junior consultants take responsibility relatively quickly and work to solve challenging business problems.

The relationship with the consulting firm is usually managed by the director of customer services (DCS).

Ernest Oesterling
Ernest Oesterling

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