Are you curious about what a consultant's work schedule looks like? It's important to have a clear understanding of the hours and expectations of the job. According to research, the average consultant works 56.6 hours a week, and a quarter of single consultants usually work between 60 and 70 hours. Male consultants in positions of responsibility work even longer, averaging 9.9 to 12.4 hours per week. The longest hours are usually worked in strategic consulting firms, where the weekly average is 60 hours. Kristina Kang, a senior change management consultant, shared her insights on what it's really like to work in the field.
She discussed the meaning of the title “consultant”, the paths you can take to enter the industry, the skills you need to succeed, and what you can expect to get paid when you're just starting out. At its core, a consultant is someone who is an expert in something and helps other people or organizations. As a university student, your goal would be to attend the hiring events organized by consulting firms, establish contacts, and build relationships with these firms. Working with clients can be challenging and it can be difficult to achieve a work-life balance. The interview process can also be intense but consulting is ultimately about helping others. Management consultants or technology consultants are people or companies that help organizations with different problems they may have.
In the typical description of consulting or the “big four firms”, consultants work on a project for three to six months or so. It's also possible for consultants to stay with their consulting firm for years and progress up the ladder. Your main goal as a management consultant is to do great work and make your customers happy. However, there's almost no downtime in consulting which means you'll rarely be able to take a break for coffee, phone calls, or errands. When it comes to understanding the work schedule of a consultant, it's important to know that it can be demanding and intense. Consultants often have long hours and little downtime.
However, it can also be rewarding as you help clients solve their problems and progress up the ladder in your career.