If my example is anything to go by, a McKinsey career can blend with family life very well.

From fitness to consulting

As the general manager of a country club in LA, California, I was unsure about changing careers. I led a manageable lifestyle and considered myself a family-oriented person. Consulting demanded long hours, I had been warned, and it was therefore not a good fit. I quickly learned that this wasn’t true.

A family-friendly culture

When joining McKinsey, I already had four young children and wanted both to excel at work and spend enough quality time with my wife and kids. I learned it’s not only doable, but McKinsey has a few unique advantages that I’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere -- like bringing my family along on events or projects, or taking extended time off. I was especially excited by how easy it was to take a month or two off in the summer to spend with the kids.

There’s no question you need support to balance work and family and neglect neither. My support comes not only from my saintly wife, Laira, but also from McKinsey in many ways. For example, I can limit my travel to spend more time at home and less on the plane. The office also provides many opportunities for my family to meet and make new friends among my colleagues, and it feels like a genuinely family-friendly environment.

A great choice

Although a consultant’s work is amazing for single people keen to travel the world, have impact like nowhere else (where else can you train 500 people on transformation techniques or coach a global CEO?) and make lots of new friends, it can be very rewarding for people keen on a family as well. Just set and communicate clear expectations and lean on the support you have, both at home and at McKinsey. In the end, I find it sustainable to give both the client and the family 100% -- and I wouldn’t have it any other way!


UCLA Anderson School of Management

California State University
BA, communication studies