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What is so stressfull about consulting? Is it simply lack of managing client expectations?

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What SC1 said and the expectation that I am available 24x7 and have nothing else to do in life besides work.

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Ha....no. half of what makes consukting stressful comes from interbal sources.

- being on client site when unnecessary (unnecessary face time)
- agreeing to a specific approach to a problem (as proposed by the MD / Partner) only to have to redo everything when the MD /Partner was too lazy to write down their original ideas
- shitty training on the soft skills. So leads spend too much time correcting things that should have been taught at in boarding
- no additional staff to help w small things. I havent had a consultant on a project in forever
- additional scope being added without taking into account resource capabilities
- BD requirements
- leaders that come in and provide thrir two cents. Not realizing that what they are proposing is better...its just different than how i structured the deliverable
- unnecessary people trying to provide value...not realizing that a 1 hour task in am MDs eyes usually means 10 hours worth of work for the whole team

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^ Reading misspelt posts like these. On a serious note agree with SC1

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I think the #1 cause is poor planning. If folks would just get some tentative plans out 4-6 weeks for what needs to be accomplished. What key meetings are there? Create basic storyboards and test assumptions and risks.

Whenever I’ve been super stressed, it’s usually been that.

Other times, it’s because of a massive curveball that derails work and causes us to get behind. Staffing changes, etc. hard to plan for those, but planning ahead in general helps.

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Partner showing up on site 3 times in 7 months and every time he shows up he makes you feel like all of the stuff you have produced is $hit even though the client still keeps extending you because they like what you do thus making him an @$$ loaf of money and never once says thank you or good job and only wants to know that you are there every week.

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Yes.

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Uh well what if you don’t have the skill set needed to do the work? Isn’t that stressful

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I really don’t think the stress or sources of it are all that different in consulting than elsewhere. If anything we get paid more to deal with it.

From what I’ve seen a lot of folks think that everything is going to crumble if not everything gets done and done perfectly. In reality life safety isn’t at risk... generally I might catch some heat for being a bit late or not being spot on but no one is going to die.

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I feel in many cases it is a self inflicted pressure by the consultants themselves.

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A. Most (not all) Partners and MDs are clueless and have bad downward management style. They give feedback to be good at something which they themselves suck at it. That kills people's self confidence and that in turn leads to stress.
B. Work Life Balance and Travel

I would say 90% of the clients are pretty collaborative so I personally have found that to be less of an issue. I have many clients sympathize with me regarding WL balance and travel and the toll it takes on you so I tend to think they are more human on an average basis than the partners.

Also, everything is top down. If you think, your Principal is bad...look at the partners above him/her. If you think EM/PL/M/CL is bad look at Principal/AP/SM above. I would simply say that stress is top down.

Another contributing factor, overselling and handing out non-SOW freebies to the client. Time to finish the project remains the same but deliverables plus additional free work you do to please the client makes it worse. Badly defined+open to interpretation deliverables exacerbate the problem and causes stress.

Plus some of the items listed above by others

It wasn’t like this 10 years ago. I think economic conditions has made it worse. People think cloud apps are quicker to implement and are sold by the vendors as such. I also think a diminished level of integrity at a client has contributed.

Kind of all boils down to profit trumping everything else and it has lead to the above.

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