No one will say this, but you should not be planning a family in the formative/early years of McKinsey or BCG. While firms go to great lengths to extol the virtues of their family friendly cultures, at the end of the day, the numbers say otherwise. It is very difficult to balance family demands and the pressures of a McKinsey engagement. It is best to select phases in your life, and early in you career, focus on career building.
The reality is that something will have to give. We touch on the impact on your career, the best time (in our opinion only) when to have children and the trade-offs you will be forced to make. We also point out some important data to collect from firms which purport to have “family friendly” policies.
Life is about choices and consequences. If you make the choice to start a family, then their will be positive and negative consequences. You need to weigh these up and be content with the net effect.
The main piece of advice is to never ever trust pithy HR statements about respecting families etc. The reality is that you are only as good as the distance between you and the best consultant. It is a curve. Never fall far behind and any distractions invariably force you to fall far behind.