Want to Consult Overseas? Find Out How

An International Consultant’s Lifestyle

First: What benefits and perks can one expect when working abroad? For example, what salary, housing, and so on are usual?

Usually, your benefits would be comparable to the standard package you would receive in the US. You would have the opportunity to attend lavish firm and team events, travel first class, and use your expense account.

The downside is that your pay and bonuses may be smaller than you would expect in the United States. You might have fewer perks. McKinsey’s Asian offices, for example, do not give Blackberries to their junior consultants. When you arrive at Engagement Manager level, you will be awarded one.

If you are an international hire – that is you are hired in the US and must relocate abroad – you will get some relocation benefits. You might get a larger relocation bonus and free housing temporarily. Beyond that, your benefits would be similar to or the same as consultants hired locally.

2. What is the lifestyle like generally in terms of hours worked and social life?

This greatly depends on the country and the office you settle on – and also depends on what skills/experiences you claim in your management consultant resume and CV. If you are in East Asia (China, Korea, Japan) the work will be harder. If you are in South America or Latin America ( Brazil, Argentina, Mexico) your work day will be shorter.

Be sure to research the cultural issues that exist in every country and every office. You will avoid embarrassing and problematic errors by doing so. For example, you will want to be aware that it is illegal to purchase alcohol in Saudi Arabia, if you are considering going there.

What Does an International Consultant Do?

1. Is the work different from that of a US consultant? Is the responsibility greater or less?

When you think about consulting overseas, there are generally two categories you might fall into. One is consulting in a developed country. This would include Western Europe or Japan. The other is consulting in an emerging economy. This would include Vietnam and the Czech Republic.

If you go to a developed country, your job will be very similar to that of a US consultant. Your client base and the industries you would deal with might differ. The strengths and reputation of your firm might play a different role.

If you go to an emerging economy, your job would be somewhat different:

* Clients might prove less sophisticated.

* There might be greater variety in the experience and quality of your partners and principals.

* The resources of your local office might be limited.

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