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How do you make consulting manageable in terms of WLB? I enjoy what I do at work but I also have interests outside of work. Would an exit be me only option?

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It’s a skill you acquire: prioritize, say no when necessary, plan your work leaving space for other important things. If you do not learn to do all this and be successful - look for the exit. Although truth be told it’s not like you can work without it anywhere else.

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Exit

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Delegate and be strategic about what work you sign up for.

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You have to define what you’re willing to give/do. If you say “I’m going to do this (insert easier way to do something)” that’s probably fine — but if you offer the super time consuming way, they’ll often choose it. Push back and own your own destiny!!

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You do consulting during a pandemic.

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Agree with P1... I came to EY from industry.. still early days for me but it's not a whole lot different.. time mgmt is key... ultimately you have to protect your personal time... gets easier in my experience once you're on a client project and off unpredictable internal bd stuff...

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Public sector

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I am entering year 2 (associate) if that matters

Public sector. I work 45 hours average. Worst week ever was like 60 hours. Sometimes I can get away with only working 30 hours if the week before I put in a lot of work

As an associate you shouldn't be running into this issue. I do nothing except client work, and never give up weekends or evenings unless it's absolutely critical for a deadline. No BD, no BRG's, nothing that isn't actual billable work. That's for managers and above who are being paid to give up some personal time to hit revenue requirements. I also take off like 6 weeks throughout the year. If you don't have a work life balance it's because someone is suckering you OR you're just on one of those really bad WLB projects that also makes you eat hours.

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My home office be like

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