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Possible MBA careers with good work/life?

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Intern
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Joined: 28 Oct 2014
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GMAT 1: 740 Q48 V45
GPA: 3.85
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Possible MBA careers with good work/life? [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jan 2017, 08:34
So I know a lot of firms preach that they strive to give their employees good work/life balance. However, the more I read and speak to people about post-MBA life, the more I see a recurring theme of unbelievably long hours and unhappy people. There also seems to be a select few career paths that almost everyone goes into after school. Although, there are still things that are adamant that you can do whatever you want to do with a top tier MBA. I'm really not opposed to working hard for 2-3 years to "pay dues" but my wife wants to start a family shortly after b-school graduation and it would be tough on both of us if I were never around.

I've always been drawn to MC - the work sounds fascinating to me. However, the life sounds pretty miserable for a person who wants to maintain a certain amount of quality time with his family. (I'm sure some make it work, but in general I feel that is true) Also, my personal decision to go to b-school is made harder by having a pretty relaxed job currently. I make around 100k salary + bonuses, with a company car and cell phone. This salary has a typical growth rate and there are some awesome profit-sharing incentives once you've been with the company 5+ years. There is also a stellar 401(k) - 8% match and 5% given regardless of contributions - so 21% of annual salary by contributing 8% personally... This may not be a staggering income amount in comparison to what could be possible in a later-staged career post-MBA, but it's an amount that could easily provide a very comfortable life. I also rarely work more than 40 hours (although I do work extra hours running a side business - which is only possible because of the shorter hours), have weekends off, and can take personal time to do things like take my dog to the vet. The main problem is, my work is not very professionally rewarding and I feel as if I could be doing something more challenging with my life. It is also a position that will have roughly the same day-to-day tasks throughout my career - advancement is made with salary increases and slight responsibility increases. (real first-world problems I have, I know)

I guess my questions are:

1. Are the working lives of MC, banking, and other careers really as tough as they're made out to be? Or is that the case at ALL firms?

2. Do those aforementioned crazy lives get better after you work those initial few years? Or are hours, stress, responsibility still very high?

3. Since it seems that the masses all go into a few very well-defined career tracks after school, is it only very niche positions that are left?

4. (Open to 100% opinion here) With my situation does it seem worth it to uproot my family's life for school just to feel more personally rewarded?

Just some background info: 740 GMAT, work experience is actually very good in interviews and on my resume despite my downplay of it, average community service, and I co-manage a personal training and nutrition consulting company outside of work.

So I would be applying to top 10 schools only. I really appreciate anyone's insight!

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Joined: 05 Mar 2015
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Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 1

Location: Canada
Concentration: General Management
GMAT 1: 730 Q48 V42
GPA: 3.7
WE: Engineering (Energy and Utilities)
Re: Possible MBA careers with good work/life? [#permalink]

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New post 18 Mar 2017, 18:18
Tadilliner wrote:
So I know a lot of firms preach that they strive to give their employees good work/life balance. However, the more I read and speak to people about post-MBA life, the more I see a recurring theme of unbelievably long hours and unhappy people. There also seems to be a select few career paths that almost everyone goes into after school. Although, there are still things that are adamant that you can do whatever you want to do with a top tier MBA. I'm really not opposed to working hard for 2-3 years to "pay dues" but my wife wants to start a family shortly after b-school graduation and it would be tough on both of us if I were never around.

I've always been drawn to MC - the work sounds fascinating to me. However, the life sounds pretty miserable for a person who wants to maintain a certain amount of quality time with his family. (I'm sure some make it work, but in general I feel that is true) Also, my personal decision to go to b-school is made harder by having a pretty relaxed job currently. I make around 100k salary + bonuses, with a company car and cell phone. This salary has a typical growth rate and there are some awesome profit-sharing incentives once you've been with the company 5+ years. There is also a stellar 401(k) - 8% match and 5% given regardless of contributions - so 21% of annual salary by contributing 8% personally... This may not be a staggering income amount in comparison to what could be possible in a later-staged career post-MBA, but it's an amount that could easily provide a very comfortable life. I also rarely work more than 40 hours (although I do work extra hours running a side business - which is only possible because of the shorter hours), have weekends off, and can take personal time to do things like take my dog to the vet. The main problem is, my work is not very professionally rewarding and I feel as if I could be doing something more challenging with my life. It is also a position that will have roughly the same day-to-day tasks throughout my career - advancement is made with salary increases and slight responsibility increases. (real first-world problems I have, I know)

I guess my questions are:

1. Are the working lives of MC, banking, and other careers really as tough as they're made out to be? Or is that the case at ALL firms?

2. Do those aforementioned crazy lives get better after you work those initial few years? Or are hours, stress, responsibility still very high?

3. Since it seems that the masses all go into a few very well-defined career tracks after school, is it only very niche positions that are left?

4. (Open to 100% opinion here) With my situation does it seem worth it to uproot my family's life for school just to feel more personally rewarded?

Just some background info: 740 GMAT, work experience is actually very good in interviews and on my resume despite my downplay of it, average community service, and I co-manage a personal training and nutrition consulting company outside of work.

So I would be applying to top 10 schools only. I really appreciate anyone's insight!



here is a good resource for you do do some research

transparentcareer.com

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New post 23 Mar 2017, 04:28
If I were you, I would choose the challenge.

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 [#permalink]

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New post 25 May 2017, 17:25
+1

Posted from my mobile device

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New post 04 Jul 2017, 06:00
Search the market, go on some interview and it'll answer all your questions. You'll see what other companies propose, what salary you might have, how thing are going with work-life balance and corporate culture.

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New post 07 Sep 2017, 08:02
My advice would be to test out different career paths before you think about focusing on a specific career. There are many ways to do this - talk to people in the industry, read up on books in areas of interest, join meetups, do online classes, etc.

MC is a good post-MBA option but these days, there are many options outside of the "traditional" paths. Product management is one worth mentioning if you're considering MC - the hours are a lot more flexible than consulting and the work is similar in the sense that you get to work on finding unique solutions to all sorts of problems. If you're curious about PM, join this meet-up group to learn more. https://www.meetup.com/Career-Pivot-Finance-to-Product/

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Re: Possible MBA careers with good work/life? [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2017, 08:31
Good lord you should not get an MBA. You already have it better than most do post MBA. You have what everyone is hoping it will be like a few years after the MBA when it "gets better". If you are dissatisfied and looking for a challenge, my honest advice would be to look for that challenge outside of you career, start that family, and keep doing what is already providing a good lifestyle and balance for you and your wife. Take it from me... everything changes when you have kids. You may find that your fulfillment comes from your career less and less as you get more and more of it out of your personal life. Just wanted to throw in my two cents and say that it sounds like you have a pretty good gig already. I am in a very similar boat in terms of flexibility and balance. The main difference for me is that I already have the family started and I can't support it comfortably staying in my current industry. Regardless of your decision, best of luck!

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Re: Possible MBA careers with good work/life?   [#permalink] 08 Sep 2017, 08:31
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