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Decisions about work and life

In my last post, I shared a look into my toughest client engagement in my time at McKinsey, so now I want to tell you what I did once it was over!
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Amandla originally joined the firm as a summer business analyst in Minneapolis. She spent her third BA year in Lagos before departing to earn her MBA/MPA at Harvard University. In early 2017 she returned home and re-joined us in our Nairobi office, where she works on public sector transformations in taxes and agriculture (and sometimes moonlights in retail banking).


Hi everyone,

In my last post, I shared a look into my toughest client engagement in my time at McKinsey, so now I want to tell you what I did once it was over!

I took two weeks off immediately after the project ended and escaped for a solo vacation to one of my favourite havens—Cape Cod, Massachusetts. But first, I spent a couple of days in Boston saying hi to old friends and professors, and attending a board meeting for the Center for African Studies (CAS) at Harvard. To get to the Cape, I rented a car and drove to paradise blasting “Bad Vibes” by Mr. Eazi and M.O on repeat. I had grand plans of doing lots of yoga on the beach, cooking for myself, reflecting on my life and creating my next 10-year life plan, catching up on life admin….but instead I did a whole load of nothing (and binge watching the last seasons of Scandal). For the first time in a long time, I felt zero guilt. I needed that time. I came back refreshed, with new creative energy, and ready to make some pretty big decisions about work and life.

The first one is to be more serious about planning for down-time. I woke up early mornings most days on my vacation to watch the sunrise, meditate, and just be alone with my thoughts before the world around me got busy. I planned aggressively for this vacation, booked flights like two months ahead of time (a record for me), flew out the night before the study ended (and opted to work on the plane with full wi-fi access for the last day)…and realized I need to do this more.

I’ve decided to sign up for Take Time next year to plan for the creative mind space I need to get back to writing the biography of my dad that I told you about in my first blog back to the firm. This passion project that has been on pause for the past year. Take Time is a flexible working programme that allows you to take an additional 10 weeks of leave (with a pro-rated salary), but you must commit to it at the beginning of the year. The commitment is a ‘nudge’ that really helps to plan. I am all in!

Stay tuned for another resolution in my next post,

Amandla