now reading:

Why I Quit My Six-Figure Management Consulting Job

share post:

back to top 

Why I quit my management consulting job

Career + Finance

Why I Quit My Six-Figure Management Consulting Job

November 10, 2020

by: Rachel Rhee

I worked at a large consulting firm for several years. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the consulting world, it can sound quite exciting upon first listen: you get a corporate credit card, you get to hop on a plane and fly each week (thus being able to accrue platinum status at hotels and airlines), and on top of all the perks, from a career perspective you get to work alongside executives at leading companies that impact the global economy. I must admit, it does sound fancy. What isn’t shown in the consulting lifestyle though is with all the hotel points you accrue that means you also basically live out of your suitcase, you often times are staying up until the early morning hours to meet client deadlines, you end up eating dinner alone in your hotel room to meet said deadlines, and because of the stress and burnout of the job, your health deteriorates in the process.

Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely super appreciative and grateful to have the opportunity to be able to experience the lifestyle and work at a firm that is really respected in my industry. But, the time came for me to re-evaluate my lifestyle and re-assess what was and is important to me for my long term well-being. The specifics on why I quit my six-figure management consulting job are outlined below.

First, some background on the day in the life…

For years, I would get up at 4 am every Monday morning and pick up my suitcase to go to the airport and board my 6:30 am flight. Straight from the airport, I’d go to the rental car terminal to pick up a rental carand go to the client site for a weekly 9:30 am meeting. The oversimplified version of my work days would essentially be summed up with:

Meeting with clients, creating PowerPoint decks, running my work through several different stakeholders, changing the decks based on feedback, meeting with clients again…rinse and repeat.

I’d wrap up my week by boarding a flight back home every Thursday evening. I personally never fully unpacked my suitcase because in just a few short days, I’d have to get up at 4 am again to go back to the client.

The weekends then became my ‘get to my errands and take care of my personal life’ time.

Throughout this process, I had to also juggle managing my health. I have an autoimmune disease which can flare up when I am put under too much stress. Because of the lack of sleep I would get, irregularity in my schedule, stress from my job, I started developing complications with my disease. That’s when I knew it was time to take a step back and re-evaluate what my priorities are in life.

Taking a step back from a lucrative consulting career where I was receiving glowing feedback from my peers, senior executives, and clients was extremely difficult. Perhaps learning about the details of my why, will help you in your own life journey; especially if you are looking to transition out of a full-time job that is causing you burnout and affecting your health and personal livelihood.

My health was declining

Taking a look back, I should have quit a couple years prior. I didn’t because I held onto all of the perks and benefits of the job. A typical golden handcuffs story. Having a 401K, a stable income, and getting to work with amazing clients went a long way for me! I should have left because it was past the point my body was comfortable with, given that my health was quietly deteriorating. Luckily due to new care and a new lifestyle, I’ve been able to resolve a lot of my health complications, but it took me going to the hospital and doctor’s office visits, multiple times for me to come to this awakening.

Never take your health for granted.

Once you lose your health, it’s hard to build yourself back up – and sometimes you can’t ever get it back. If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed due to your job, remember – it is just a job. I ended up talking to my employer about my health and they helped make adjustments to my schedule to support my needs (which I was very thankful for!).

Personal tip: Consider opening up to your HR department or manager and see if there’s a way they will work with you to modify your workload or schedule.

Even with the adjustments that my managers made for me, I knew that my health would always be a factor with whatever new client project I am put on. Due to the nature of my specialization, so many of the projects would have required me to travel, which is when many of my health problems began.

I looked at my career path and the road to senior management

In any job I’ve had, I look at the professional lives of those that are in my field. Of course I will never know what their personal lives are like, but just looking to see where they are in a professional sense, I started asking myself:

In 5 years, is this where I want to be?

Quite often, I found my answer to be no. Staying within my field meant I would be on the road to promotion and with promotion, comes a lot more responsibility that did not light me up inside.

As I started focusing on my health more, I found my passions in other areas of leaning into my own wellness journey and in the process I wanted to inspire others to live their healthiest lives. I didn’t feel I could accomplish this by being on the consulting track.

I stopped waking up happy

There came a point where I would drive into the office and I would be in tears the whole way there. I would internally try to reframe the thoughts in my head. My “I don’t want to go into the office” would transition to “I’m so grateful for even having a job.” However, at the end of the day, I knew that I was filling my entire day with work that wasn’t meaningful to me, personally. Yes, it would provide value to my client but that started to feel like not enough. While I was providing value to others, I was not providing value to myself.

My interests were changing

As my passions and interests grew, my desire to move up the corporate ladder became less and less significant to me. I discovered there was a wellness committee at my employer where we could inform overworked consultants on the benefits of mindfulness and movement. Being a part of the committee really helped validate that I needed to be surrounded by my passions more. Having a 30 minute meeting each week discussing these topics wasn’t enough for me, personally.

If you have a passion or side hustle that you love, try seeing if there’s a way to incorporate it into your work life. Is there a group you can form? Can you create a newsletter full of information that you’d like to help spread awareness on? Find ways to see if by trying to integrate your passions more into your 9-5, you can find fulfillment.

I was complaining about my work

Sure everyone complains but I am someone who used to rave about my work. I loved the projects I was on, found them all to be super interesting to me, and I felt I was constantly learning. However, one day I noticed I was complaining more than praising. I knew I was evolving in ways that I did not want. If I am going to spend most of my hours working, I needed to make sure it was enjoyable and purposeful for me.

I Googled “How to know when the right time to leave my job is”

I knew it was the beginning of the end, then.

Before you quit your consulting job (or any other job for that matter), always explore what options you have internally. Can you transition to another role in a different department? Can you try to join an employee resource group to keep yourself engaged in other ways? Make sure you have explored all avenues before putting in your resignation.

If you aren’t able to find meaning internally at work, can you add more joy to your life outside of work?

If none of the above works, make sure you have a financial plan before you decide that quitting is the best next step for your life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Gitana Serna says:

    Very impressed with your ability to choose life and health over what seemingly feels like comfort sometimes. You are taking a risk, or the road less traveled, and that is admirable. At the end of the day, you are incredibly smart, capable & successful at whatever you put your mind to. This will be a successful change for you and I’m so glad that you’ve chosen yourself in this complicated world!! Exciting adventures await- I’ll be following!

    • Rachel says:

      Thank you so much Gitana! It’s definitely a bit scary – the unknown always is! – but I’m super excited to see what kind of future I can create for myself 🙂 Thank you for supporting me!

  2. hiya thanks for the information

  3. George says:

    I can definitely relate to your struggles. I always wanted to make money when I was growing up and had to go to Banks to examine them during my short tenure as an Examiner. I was so exhausted everyday, knowingly battling mental health issues. I loved staying at the hotels at first but then I realized who cares if I am a Gold or Platinum member. Just like your life, I had to wake up at 3:30AM just to beat Bay area traffic. Today, I make 1/3 of the money I made in Finance, yet I’m 3X happier working as an Admission Counselor. I’m so happy I had the courage to quit, which to many people is not an option. I was lucky I didn’t have student loans :).

    • Rachel says:

      I LOVE your journey so much. At the end of the day it is all about happiness – where do you find joy and the time to do what you want outside of work. I’m so proud of you for finding work that is meaningful to you!

  4. Rafael says:

    This is kind of an old post, but it couldn’t have come at a better time! Your story really resonated with me, in fact it’s weird how much it has in common with mine. I’ve been thinking about quitting for a while now; to be honest the only reason I haven’t yet is because going from earning a Senior Associate salary to $0 is kinda scary. But your positivity was really encouraging! I hope I find that fulfilling career soon, and hope you do too.

    • Rachel says:

      Of course that is definitely scary! If you do plan to quit or change careers where maybe you aren’t making as much, I always recommend save save save! And in the meantime, explore what other interests you have. I used to think I had to work on the areas I’m not good at it so I can get even better at them but I’ve realized that if I focus on the areas that I AM good at and actually ENJOY that is where I feel most fulfilled. 🙂 Best of luck! I know that with conviction and focus you can accomplish your goals! Always feel free to connect with me on social media (@justdimpleit) to keep in touch! Would love to hear how things are going for you.

I'm looking for support with:

explore the blog

More on the Blog

I'm looking for support with:

self growth

career + finance






do good

It is hard to know where to begin with volunteer work. Here are a few resources that can help you find the cause that is right for you. #Volunteerism #Volunteer #SocialImpact #NonProfitOrganization

There are so many opportunities to become involved in our communities to really make a lasting impact in our world. It can be overwhelming though when you don’t know where to start. If you are someone with many different interests and don’t know which cause specifically would be best to get involved with, starting anywhere […]

Non profit organizations that support teachers and education.
Where to purchase a coronavirus non medical grade face covering or mask. Here is a round up that can help protect you and your community. #COVID19 #coronavirus #healthylifestyle #TheDimpleLife
It can be daunting to make friends as an adult with limited outlets the older you get. But that doesn't mean it's not possible. It takes getting out of your comfort zone and knowing where to look but know that it is possible with the following tips. #Friendships #Relationship #MentalWellness #MentalWellbeing #TheDimpleLife

It can be really daunting to make friends as an adult. As you grow into adulthood, it seems like there’s more opportunity to create relationships with your classmates in school, with your coworkers at work, and through various social settings. As you fully step into adulthood and enter different phases of your life though those […]

Why teaching 'family first' doesn't work all the time. #FamilyRelationships #HealthyRelationships #Boundaries #TheDimpleLife

Ever since I was in elementary school, I can remember a school project where I presented that the most important motto to me is “Family First”. This thinking was engrained into my upbringing from a very early age. On surface level, it’s quite beautiful. Family truly will always mean so much to me. However, at […]

The five love languages explained so you can discover your own.

Do you know how you appreciate receiving love? Do you know how you appreciate giving love to others? These are all tied to your love languages. This may be from learned behavior you’ve seen or experienced growing up – knowing you loved when the special people in your life showed love in specific ways or […]

This post is about Lauryn from Clear Complexions Co

When I think of a girl boss, Lauryn from Clear Complexions Co immediately comes to mind. I came across Lauryn’s business on Instagram, and I was intrigued. Facial treatments from a home studio? AND, she lives nearby? That’s a double win in my book. Needless to say, I had an exceptional experience during my hydrofacial […]

This post is about Taylor Swift's outfits for less.

Calling all Swifties: this post is for you! If you’ve ever admired Taylor Swift’s fashion choices, you know that her outfits are often nothing short of glamorous. From dazzling stage costumes to stunning red carpet gowns, her style is a testament to elegance and sophistication. Read on to see how you can recreate three of […]

This post is about casual work outfits for the corporate baddie.

In an era where corporate culture is evolving, the traditional office dress code is no longer a one-size-fits-all approach. Today, more and more workplaces are embracing a laid-back and relaxed atmosphere, allowing employees to showcase their personal style while maintaining professionalism. Whether you’re navigating the tech industry or a creative agency, we’ve got you covered […]

Caring for plants throughout changing seasons takes patience and intentional effort. Learn the tips it takes to manage your indoor plants throughout the seasons.

As the long summer days wind down and give way to a cooler temperature and changing seasons into autumn, your indoor houseplants enter a different phase of growth that requires your intentional effort and attention. Transitioning your indoor garden for the autumn months requires a thoughtful approach to ensure the well-being of your planty friends. […]

Tips on how to update your home for the fall season

We spend the most time at home and with the season changing soon, it’s time to update some home elements to feel warmer and cozier. Whether that’s with plush blankets, warmer colors around the home, or cozy candles, embrace the season with fall home decor elements that can transform your space. Below are some tips […]

Round up of house plants that will grow well indoors in the fall season. #HousePlants #Monstera #SnakePlant #IndoorPlant #TheDimpleLife

Adding houseplants to your home or apartment is a great, low cost tactic to brighten up your space and increase the air quality. Filling a room with green and colorful plants can really lift the mood. However, having them all die when the winter months roll around is a sure way to do the exact […]

This post is about activities to do in the Fall in Vancouver.

What sets Vancouver apart from all the other cities is its ability to seamlessly transition through all four seasons, offering a diverse range of activities and festivities to match each one. As we transition into Fall, there’s an abundance of exciting screen-free activities awaiting us. Whether it’s visiting the pumpkin patch with your family or […]

This post is about the top 5 fitness classes in Vancouver.

Elevate your fitness journey in Vancouver with a diverse array of classes that cater to every preference and goal. If you are looking to build body confidence, we are here to help! Dive into the high-energy world of Rumble Boxing, sculpt and tone at Lagree West’s reformer Pilates sessions, find balance with Oxygen Yoga’s hot […]

For anyone in LA that has never thought to try a boxing class but enjoys group HIIT workouts, I highly recommend checking out one of these boxing studios. #gymbox #bestgym #gymslosangeles #losangelesathleticclub #gold'sgym #bestgymsinlosangeles

After moving to Downtown LA I found myself getting tired with the monotony of the standard workout I was completing in my small apartment gym. In my efforts to branch away from the standard routine, I visited multiple local gyms. I eventually found a love for group High Intensity Interval Training sessions. This new found […]

This post is about date night restaurants in Vancouver.

For those who have quality time as their love language (or their partners), getting to share a romantic night out will always be something special. Whether it’s a first date, an anniversary, or a celebration, I have compiled some of my favorite date night spots in Vancouver. Whether you are craving Italian, hot pot, or […]

This post is about lunch meal prep recipes.

Ever had that dreadful morning when you oversleep, leaving no time to pack your lunch? The struggle is real as you grumble while getting out of bed, knowing you’re going to have to pay for another overpriced salad at work. We understand the lunchtime dilemma all too well, and that’s why we’ve put together a […]

Anti-inflammatory juice containing beets, carrots, ginger and more to protect against illness. One of the most refreshing juices I've ever had! #freshjuice #antiinflammatory #guthealth #TheDimpleLife

Beets have always been a staple in the refrigerator, whether it’s eating them as beet chips, roasted beets in a bowl, or pickled beets in a salad, there are so many different ways to be able to enjoy this root vegetable and today we’ll explore a beet and carrot juice recipe. They are known to […]

This post is about how to get organized for back to school.

Getting a jumpstart on preparing for the upcoming school semester, especially in college or university, comes with some great perks. First off, it helps you avoid stressing out as the start of classes gets closer. You’ll also have time to plan things out, set goals, purchase the essentials, and figure out a study routine that […]

A young woman is looking down at her laptop trying to figure out her finances.

Taking control of your finances is a crucial step towards achieving your life goals and building a secure future. Finances can be confusing, especially if you are a beginner, but with just knowing a few basic, key steps, you can lay a much healthier, solid foundation to your financial well-being. Keep reading to learn the […]

This post is about college essentials for back to school.

Ready to conquer college like a boss? Preparedness is the key to success in any academic journey, and having the right essentials and being a mindful shopper can make all the difference. Equip yourself with all these college essential tools for back-to-school success. Backpacks and Bags Your trusty backpack or tote is a back-to-school essential, […]

This post is about a 5 day itinerary for San Diego.

Last week, I embarked on a quick getaway to San Diego for a memorable girls’ trip with my mom and sister. With careful planning and enthusiasm, I’ve meticulously put together a day-to-day itinerary that encapsulates the essence of San Diego’s charm and attractions. From culinary delights to beach escapades, cultural exploration to retail therapy, this […]

A joyful, pleasing aesthetic that can invoke joy in life

If we’re not intentional with the joy that is in our lives, we can go days, months, or even years without realizing that we haven’t incorporated this pure state of being. Joy is getting to the core of who you are. Being joyful is about aligning your thoughts and actions with your truest state. Sometimes […]

What is a gratitude journal? How do you start a gratitude journal? Here are tips to help get you started. #Journaling #GratitudeJournal #PositiveAffirmations #TheDimpleLife

Do you often times find yourself feeling down about where you are at, focusing your attention on what you don’t have in your life, and unsure of how to turn your mindset around? Perhaps you got laid off, got ill, had an argument with someone you care about. This is where a practice of gratitude […]

© 2023 3R Media. All Rights Reserved  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms & Conditions

Site by Sunday Stories

© 2023 3R Media. All rights reserved.
Read our Privacy Policy & Terms & ConDitions