life as a consultant

Management Consulting Salary (Comprehensive Guide for 2020)

Management consultant salaries in the United States will vary by position and experience. Starting from the base, fresh graduates (from undergrad institutions) earn an average base pay of $83,500 from top-tier consulting firms. Their performance bonuses range between $12,000-$18,000, with a signing bonus of $5,000. For entry-level hires salaries are about $83,500 on average at [...]

The Uncertainty Arbitrage

There is a simple principle the underlies the relationship between client and consulting firm. It is something I call the uncertainty arbitrage. While uncertainty is self-explanatory, if you’re not from a finance background, the concept of arbitrage may be new to you. In its usual context, arbitrage is a financial trading strategy design to exploit goods that are inefficiently priced. [...]

How to Deal with a Credit Hog

Following is an email I received from an F1Y who has encountered what I see as a big problem in the first three months at the firm. Question: Like many of your mentees, you are the reason why I have my current job at [XXXX], a boutique management consulting firm in [U.S. state].  Coming from my previous [...]

How to Stop Having Stupid Useless Meetings

One of the biggest jokes about working in industry is how many stupid useless meetings one “must” attend. Whether you are a low-ranking member of your team or the CEO, here are several strategies to stop wasting your time and everyone else’s. 1) Define the objective of a meeting. If a meeting has no objective, [...]

When & Why “A” Players Get Fired

The majority of the time, it pays to be an “A” player — a superstar achiever — in your company. However, there are some times when being an A player is a liability. In a moment, I will share with you the specific circumstances where being an A player is problematic. My intent is not [...]

The Mental Role Model

I spend the bulk of my time in my career either learning, teaching, or troubleshooting. I just got off the phone with a new client and had a small epiphany. During the call, I essentially gave away one of my secrets to one of my new clients. We were discussing the concept of idea transplantation. [...]

Why Not You?

My favorite quote from the 2014 Superbowl was, “Why Not You?” It was a saying attributed to the father of Russell Wilson, quarterback of the 2014 champion Seattle Seahawks. The quote was referenced by the sports commentators and again by Wilson in a post-game interview. It was something Wilson’s father said to him many years ago when [...]

Career Growth = Perpetual Discomfort

In a recent article, I wrote about How to Tell Someone They’re Totally Wrong. It was in response to my comments about music and learning how to write songs. That discussion and the flood of emails I’ve received (with very polar points of view) has probably been one of the most controversial topics I’ve written about [...]

The 80/20 Rule - An Unusual Example

One of my favorite interests is to apply the 80/20 rule to everyday life. In consulting work, we’re constantly trying to do the most critical 20% of the possible work to yield 80% of the results or insights. I’ve found it quite surprising that MBB consultants who are great at applying the 80/20 rule at the office [...]

How to Be a Superstar in Corporate

Amongst U.S. corporations, employers use the term “A” player to denote an employee that’s exceptional. This is based on the U.S. academic grading system where the top-performing students are awarded an “A” grade and the worst-performing students earn an “F” grade. If you are working in corporate or expect to do so at some point [...]

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