Is WLB in the region really as bad as it's made out to be? Any firms or countries to target that offer better wlb than others?

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Yes it is really bad. If you're looking at strategy consulting, ADL is probably best in terms of wbl.

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Is that specific to strategy? I was looking at energy /utilities roles. Have found one so far at OW that I'm a good fit for but I want to get a better understanding of what I'm chasing.

By strategy I mean strategy consulting firms, including OW. You should expect to travel 4 days a week (mostly to Saudi Arabia) and have no free time during these days (often less then 7 hours of sleep). Thursdays are typically more relaxed. Weekend work happens but not super often in my experience to date.

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OW1 - can confirm. Not always like that but can definitely get pretty bad. Our 'do everything for the client relationship' approach has some clear downsides.

Does the compensation make up for the lack of wlb though?

That's only true if you would stay in Big4 (S& not included). Senior managers in strategy houses are making significantly more here and pay no taxes

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