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What are some of the things big consulting companies do to improve work/life balance especially for parents? I see a lot of talking, but don't feel any real progress has been made

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OP, the only one who gets to decide what the right balance of tradeoffs is for you and your family is you.

For me personally, I get to work in job I enjoy with people who I find tremendously rewarding to work with, while making quite a lot of money and not beating up my body too badly. My wife has a job which, while also challenging and intellectually demanding, has a very regular schedule and so is able to work around the unpredictability of my travel. We have a nanny and the older kids help out with the baby. I’m able to be home for school stuff even if it’s flying home to see a band concert and literally heading back to the airport.

This works for me and my family. It might not work for you and yours, but thats a choice and decision you get to make.

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Clearly the responses so far are from US based fish that are happy with the backwater benefits we get here compared to the rest of the developed world...

Perhaps the advice here OP is think global and go abroad. Maybe if the US experiences enough brain drain, companies will be forced to address the elephant in the room.

That said, I work from home and travel only for key milestones in projects or days leading up to them. And though my rest of my team is there Mon-Thurs, my partner understands the importance of being there for my infant and let's me show up on Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on the week. No, my reviews don't suffer. Still a top performer, and I work my butt off the rest of the week to show I'm worth the extra flexibility. So yes, there is more we can do - stop acting like robots, and understand the people we work with are still people.

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This is so bullshit...
OP is totally right. We’re not making tens of millions - no one is in consulting anymore - to be making the sacrifices we manytimes do

No, we don’t make loads of money doing a cool thing we like doing. We make “ok” money doing a job that many times takes us 4 nights a week away from home

You might ask me then why I’m still around - and the answer is I still haven’t found anything better in terms of progression/money to be made. Industry you get better predictability, but salary progression sucks; PE money is better - but not that better for what you sacrifice, etc.

But let’s not kid ourselves - we don’t make loads of money. We live well from case to case (when not travelling)

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Okay but then what about month 7? It's not like kids stop getting sick and take care of themselves at month 7. And not just for parents, work life balance basically sucks for everyone and getting worse.

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Not sure where you are going with this, OP. Life takes work. Someone has to do the work to raise the kids and pay the bills and feed the family and everything else. As a consultant you make a whole lot more money working a less physically demanding job than a lot of people do, so you have much better options and avenues to address those challenges. How you choose to do so is up to you and your family.

likesmart

P1, what's the point of more money if 1) it goes to taking care of problems that wouldn't be a problem if I was home more than 1 working night a week and 2) how much money is it worth not to actually live your life? We all get the gig: sacrifice your life in exchange for more money and more opportunities down the road, but curious what you think the firm can do to make that a better balance. It doesn't have to be work from home rotations or anything crazy, just something that gives me more time to live life and not feel like I'm sacrificing my first born every week.

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OP is right, Daddy Deloitte and Mommy Mckinsey should be footing the bill until the kid received his first consulting internship

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ACN has work from home / local options for new parents for a year after their return to the workplace.

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Ok, I know shilling for Slalom is kind of a running joke on fishbowl, but OP's challenge is why I'm here. I left road-warrior consulting for Slalom's local model so I could get home at night. Been here a while, and think we're doing work (especially in the last two years) of the same caliber, and I still pick up my daughter from practice thee nights a week.

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^ I get what you mean, but let’s be real. Are you advocating paid leave until the kids are old enough for..say..college? Think the existing policies for approx 6 months paid for maternity and 4 months for maternity are generous.

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^ as they say, you can’t have you cake and eat it too. Get real and make a choice based upon your circumstances and preferences. We’re not living in a communist welfare state.

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My perception is that companies are more friendly towards working mothers and not working fathers. There are instances where the firm found internal roles for working moms but not for working dads.

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If you need more time than what firms are allowing for, then take an LOA or an internal role for lower pay for as long as you think you need. If you expect more, move to a socialist country

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And you MADE THE CHOICE TO HAVE KIDS. No one forced you. Then there's so much moaning and groaning about the CHOICE you made...

likesmart

Op, so classic... so self centered. The co owes you nothing more than the amazing pay and benefits you're already getting. You're paid in the 1-5% top income for a reason. If you want more balance, you need to find a different gig.

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Do you mean for new parents ? If yes the deloitte gives up to 4 months of paternity ,6 months of maternity

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P1 thank you for the response. Consider though with the increasing demands of most salary jobs and dual income homes, there is still a need to rethink the balance wouldn't you agree? If you flat our reject there is a problem, there is no point of continuing but if you do agree there are things firms can do to bring more talented workers in the tent, really interested in hearing your thoughts there.

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We went from 2 weeks of paternity leave to 8 weeks about 2 years ago. Looks like D gives 6. My response was more a reply to your reaction “if there are 6 months of leave what do you do in month 7?” The reality is at some point you have to figure out what tradeoffs need to be made. There are things the firm can do but no firm can give you 18 years of maternity leave.

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Possible solution: become a Practice Manager, or something along those lines. Basically no travel and way less work. But yea you’ll have to take some sort of pay cut.
If EY doesn’t have those, we do, tons of those roles. Jump ship.

My DGL did this kind of lateral move back in the day and of course I lost her as a DGL but she’s still happy with the choice.

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So... you travel. For work. Which means that you have a childcare support network to care for your infant when you are on the road.

In other words, you figured out what tradeoffs you are willing to make, worked with your firm to get what you needed, and figured out a way that it works for you and your family. Which is quite literally exactly what my advice was.

And I don’t know how it is in your firm, but our European offices are notorious for working crazy hours. Someone has to do the work, and when the rest of France is working 35 hour weeks and taking year long parental leaves apparently consultants pick up the slack.

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