Back to Careers Blog

The balance I need

Anne , an expert in Operations based in Munich, has found the balance she needs at the firm.

When I joined McKinsey, my family and friends were anxious they would have to compete with the firm for my free time. I worried I’d have to be reachable 24/7, even on vacation. I was in a long–distance relationship and we were used to being apart during the week, but we were worried about how this new stage would affect our relationship.

Protecting my time

While I cannot deny my time has become scarcer, I’ve been positively surprised by how much freedom I have. One of the first pieces of advice I received was, “make your own McKinsey. Clearly communicate your preferred modus operandi and stick with it.” In other words, if the weekend is holy to you, communicate this to your team and establish clear norms. Ever since, I always tell my teams how I prefer to work and they do the sameā€¦ it’s just part of the firm culture.

Extra Take Time

We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. Please email us at:

On top of that, I love the options McKinsey provides for time away from work. Nowhere else would it be possible to take a sabbatical every year. The first time I took advantage of Take Time was shortly after I finished my first year. My boyfriend and I backpacked for more than two months through South America. I did NOT take my laptop. By the time we came back, I was recharged and looking forward to starting a new project.

Find roles like Anne’s