It’s been a long, long time since I’ve written a blog post… but I’m finally back! Sometimes life can get a little crazy and some things just end up getting put on the back burner. This blog was definitely one of them, but I’m excited to get back into the swing of things and (hopefully) start blogging more regularly moving forward!
The reason I’ve been MIA for the past few months is because I’ve had some life changes lately, but the easiest way to sum it all up is: WORK. I work as a management consultant for a large consulting firm, and though I’m based in NYC, for the past half year or so I’ve been staffed at a client that requires me to travel upstate every week. Since I’m not in NYC for most of the week, I haven’t been able to explore as much, hence the lack of blog posts.
Today I’m getting a little personal and talking about life as a consultant! Oftentimes when you tell people you work as a consultant, they’ll ask you “What do you actually do?” or “What’s a typical day like?” It’s hard to explain because it really does vary — not just on the type of consulting you do, but also on your project. To put it simply, as a management consultant, I work together with my client to help them solve their problems and reach their business goals, and travel to wherever they are. I don’t really have a “typical day” because my work depends a lot on what the client is asking for at the time, or what phase of the project we’re in. Some days I’ll work 12+ hours, and others I’ll have a perfectly relaxing 9-5.
While traveling all the time may sound glamorous, if I’m being honest, it gets pretty exhausting and lonely. I think there is a big difference between traveling for work and traveling for pleasure. Traveling for work means (for the most part) going to client site on Monday mornings, living in a hotel during the week, and coming back home on Thursday evenings. And you do it over and over again.
It can be a big adjustment because you’re away from home, in a new place, and don’t really know anyone except for your team. When you’re living in a hotel every week, it’s harder to make friends, find hobbies, and do even the simple things such as cooking, grocery shopping, or laundry.
It took me a while to find my new normal but having been traveling weekly for almost six months now, I’ve finally established a routine and adjusted to this kind of lifestyle. So, I thought it would be fun to show you a week in the life of a consultant! My experience certainly does not speak for everyone but I hope you can get a glimpse of what consulting life is like, whether you’re just curious or you’re interested in pursuing a similar field. Here we go!
Mondays are travel days so I catch an 8:30 am Amtrak and arrive at client site by 11 am. Mondays usually go by pretty fast because we get into the office later than usual. I use the train ride to catch up on sleep so that I’m energized when I get into work. After working for a bit I grab a quick lunch with friends and before I know it, it’s time for dinner. On Mondays we usually do a Whole Foods run and make it back to the hotel by 8 pm for The Bachelorette (don’t judge). I’m not a reality TV person and I’ve never actually seen The Bachelorette or any of those shows before, but I started watching it with work friends because it’s sort of become our Monday night ritual. Girls night in’s are always fun!
Tuesdays and Wednesdays are pretty normal work days for me. Since we’re not at a super busy phase of the project right now, for the most part I work regular hours — I get into the office by 9 am and leave around 6:30 pm. On Tuesdays we either go out to a restaurant for dinner or catch a movie to take advantage of Bargain Tuesday ticket prices!
If you’re wondering why I eat out so much, it’s because meals are expensed! While it’s an awesome perk of traveling, it also makes it a lot harder to eat healthy. I’ve been really bad about working out and I keep telling myself I need to! My hotel has a smart TV with Youtube so I’m hoping I can get into the habit of doing some small workouts every day. I wouldn’t even have to leave my room so I really have no excuse… maybe since I’ve blogged about it I can actually hold myself accountable, ha!
Wednesdays are probably my most productive — I don’t have many meetings, so I can focus on my work and cross things off my never-ending to-do list. Because I get a lot done, by the end of the day I’m super tired so evenings are for me-time. Unless we have a work event going on, you can find me curled up in bed with sushi (thanks Seamless!) and Netflix. I’m all about the PJ life!
On Thursdays we head back home so I pack up my bags and leave them at the hotel front desk before heading to work. Like Mondays, Thursdays are generally shorter because of travel. I take a 4:15 train back to New York and get home just after 6 pm. Since I’ve been on this project, I actually gave up my NYC apartment because I couldn’t justify paying rent (NYC is expensive guys!) for a place I wasn’t living in. Plus, my family lives just outside of the city and closer to where my client site is, so it’s even better for the commute.
Fridays are amazing because we get to work from home! Since I currently live an hour outside of Manhattan, I don’t really go into the office unless there’s an event going on. Mondays – Thursdays are fully dedicated to client work, and although we still work on Fridays, it’s more flexible what we decide to do with our time. A lot of people take networking calls or work on some “plus one” activities. When I do go into the office, I like catching up with colleagues I haven’t seen in a while over lunch or coffee.
Saturdays are my day to chill! I usually sleep in a bit and spend the day relaxing with family and catching up on some non-work things. Occasionally when I have time, I like to meal prep and bring a week’s worth of food on the road, so Saturdays are also for grocery shopping. This might sound weird but I actually enjoy grocery shopping… maybe not being able to do something for so long makes you miss it.
On Sundays I go into the city and hang out with friends! I typically grab brunch and shoot some blog content with my friend Brittney, and then go to Hillsong with my work friend. Hillsong is a church with locations all over the world, and it’s honestly one of the coolest things I’ve been a part of.
Although I grew up going to church with my family, it was never something I fully connected with. I first started going to Hillsong when I moved to the city a year ago because I heard so many great things about it and was looking for a community. Now I’m obsessed and try to go every week (or whenever I’m in town). The services are awesome and have completely changed my perspective on life. The best way I can describe them would be part rock concert, part Ted Talk… imagine thousands of people in an auditorium in the middle of Manhattan, standing on their feet and singing, dancing, and rocking along to the music. There’s such a high level of energy and excitement that’s absolutely contagious. The sermons are also so relatable and I leave every service feeling refreshed, encouraged for the new week, and ready to take on all the challenges that may come. Sundays are like pressing the reset button on life and I love it.
Ok, sappy part over — but in all seriousness, if you’re interested in coming to Hillsong, feel free to DM me on Instagram @ funsizedcupcakes! I’d love another buddy to go with.
By the time Hillsong is over, my friend and I are usually a bit hungry so we catch up over dessert (most likely ice cream). We’ve made it our mission to try a new place every time. Let me know your favorite ice cream spots in NYC!
After a long day in the city, I take the train back home, eat dinner with my family, and prepare for the week ahead by planning my outfits and packing my suitcase. I try and go to bed early to recharge before I have to hit the road again.
If you are interested in reading more about consulting, whether it be the recruiting and interview process or what to wear to work, let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear about your careers, as well as any ideas you might want to see for future posts. As always, thanks so much for stopping by!
Photos by Brittney