The Pros and Cons of Working for a Big 4 Consulting Firm Abroad



Working for a Big 4 consulting firm can be an exciting endeavor for many, bringing opportunities to learn new skills and gain valuable experience. However, when considering a move to a foreign country, there are some important factors that need to be taken into account. With that in mind, this article will cover the pros and cons of working for a Big 4 consulting firm abroad.

The main advantage of such an international posting is the opportunity it offers for personal growth. Being part of a large organization provides ample support and resources to help you thrive professionally and personally in your chosen country. In addition, there may also be an abundance of corporate perks and benefits afforded to members of the team which could provide significant financial support during your time overseas. Furthermore, if you’re looking for more varied learning experiences in an unfamiliar setting this could also be a great opportunity.

On the other hand, working abroad can come with certain drawbacks that should also be taken into consideration; these include:

  • Longer working hours away from home
  • Relatively lower pay when compared to similar roles on domestic soil
  • Difficulty adapting to cultural differences
  • Potential obstacles arising from language barriers
  • Hostility from locals towards foreigners living in their country

Ultimately then it becomes clear that even with all the potential benefits of working abroad available one must still weigh these up against any potential negatives in order reach the best decisions possible before they take their next step forward; Laying out both scenarios clearly side by side will hopefully allow any aspiring candidate to make informed and sound judgement on their future plans accordingly before finally committing themselves to such a venture!

Pros of Working for a Big 4 Consulting Firm Abroad

Working for a Big 4 consulting firm abroad offers many advantages for a consultant. The most attractive of these advantages is the fact that consultants get to experience a different culture, gain international experience, and broaden their network of contacts. Additionally, these firms are renowned for the opportunity they provide their consultants to gain invaluable skills in an array of different industries and reach career milestones faster.

Let’s take a closer look at these benefits:

High Salary

A big benefit of working for a Big 4 consulting firm abroad is a high salary. Salaries tend to be higher in the consulting industry than in most other industries due to the specialist knowledge and expertise required to do the job.

Big 4 consulting firms also offer employees packages to reflect the cost of living in different countries, and usually these are quite generous. On top of this, many employers will provide relocation packages which can include items such as rental assistance, housing assistance and travel expenses.

As an employee at a Big 4 consulting firm you will also likely have access to comprehensive healthcare plans and a range of investments that can help build your wealth over time – from stocks and shares to real estate investments – which can help you further maximize your potential earnings abroad.

Opportunity to Work with Global Clients

Working for a Big 4 Consulting Firm abroad offers many advantages, including the opportunity to work with global clients. As a consultant, you will have the chance to build relationships with world-renowned companies and organizations. Understanding their unique challenges and needs allows you to provide them with specialized solutions. Being able to make a positive impact for these types of clients can open many doors for your future endeavors.

You will also have the chance to work on interesting projects and initiatives in various industries. Working in such an environment will enable you to learn from leading professionals and gain valuable experience that could be advantageous when applying for jobs later in life. Additionally, because of the multi-cultural setting that these firms typically possess, you may also benefit from networking opportunities both abroad and beyond your current market.

Another key advantage is having access to innovative tools, processes and methodologies that are needed in consulting roles. These experiences give you greater visibility into how global companies operate and how they approach problem-solving within different markets. Being able to highlight this knowledge on your resume can be instrumental in achieving career goals down the road. In addition, Big 4 Consulting Firms are well known for providing excellent benefits which can add tremendous value when considering international assignments as well as future job opportunities at home or abroad.

International Experience

An international assignment at a Big Four consulting firm provides an unparalleled level of experience. Working abroad provides the chance to learn more about the culture and people in a foreign country, and more importantly, how different businesses across cultures operate. This allows the ability to compare different approaches to management and operations in different markets.

For example, working with major corporations in Europe may require a team-building approach with ample resources given to employees to work together. Meanwhile, an Asian market may prioritize hard work ethics over social interaction. Understanding these differences is invaluable for long-term business success and adaptability for future business opportunities.

Being stationed overseas also inspires personal development outside of the job such as learning new languages or absorbing elements of foreign cultures that can provide unique perspectives for life back home. Overall, these experiences bring lasting impressions on both a professional and personal level that will benefit any individual throughout their career journey.

Cons of Working for a Big 4 Consulting Firm Abroad

Working for a Big 4 consulting firm abroad can be an incredibly rewarding experience, however, there are also certain cons that must be considered.

  • Long hours
  • Minimal free time
  • Less control over projects

are all common drawbacks to working in this type of environment. In addition,

  • Language barriers
  • Cultural differences
  • An absence of close peers or family

can add additional challenges. It’s important to weigh both the pros and cons when considering any job, especially when it involves an overseas move.

Long Hours

When it comes to the cons of working for a Big 4 consulting firm abroad, long hours are definitely one of them. The nature of the work can be very demanding and require regular long-term assignments in different countries, with lengthy flights in between. Travelling or commuting to and from these locations is time-consuming, as is dealing with any adjustments you have to make when working in remote areas abroad.

The workload can be overwhelming at times and long hours certainly don’t help this situation. Big firms will push their employees to work around the clock, which can often lead to exhaustion or an unbalanced lifestyle. This can be especially difficult if you have family or other personal commitments at home that you have to contend with while away on business trips. It’s important that you plan your schedule well and make sure your health isn’t compromised due to excessive working hours.

High Pressure Environment

The working culture at Big 4 Consulting firms abroad is often highly pressurized and fast-paced. This can be particularly precarious for those from different cultures, who may be accustomed to more relaxed professional settings in their home countries. With the intense pressure, long hours and immense responsibility, there is also an intense level of stress that comes with this work.

Furthermore, these jobs often involve frequent business trips and travel which can lead to additional stress due to mandatory out-of-office stays away from family and home. Additionally, there are long hours attached to the job as well as little time for self reflection or personal pursuits outside of work; thereby leaving little time for finding balance or achieving a healthy lifestyle that focuses on both mental wellbeing as well as physical fitness.

Limited Social Life

While working for a Big 4 consulting firm abroad can provide an excellent global experience and an opportunity to work on interesting projects, there are several drawbacks to keep in mind. One of the most significant drawbacks is that the workload can be grueling and take a toll on one’s social life. The long hours required to complete projects, coupled with extensive travel and frequent relocation, keeps employees away from friends and family members.

Additionally, international assignments usually require fluency in multiple languages and technical proficiency in many different areas of business or technology. This complexity makes it very difficult to socialize or build relationships with co-workers during breaks. Furthermore, when working abroad in unfamiliar cities or countries it can often be difficult to find activities that don’t revolve around work which could make it even harder to find friends or establish relationships outside of work. Additionally, certain countries have cultures that may not embrace activities such as going out for drinks after work which could limit one’s opportunities for socializing even more. Finally, constant travel on behalf of the company could make it challenging for teams to really bond over time making the job less enjoyable overall.


In conclusion, the decision to take a job with a Big 4 consulting firm abroad is one that will require careful consideration and research. There are both benefits and drawbacks that must be weighed before any decisions are made.

  • On the plus side, these firms offer an abundance of resources, including ample training opportunities for those wishing to pursue a career in consultation or become self-employed. They provide excellent networking connections and job security due to their large global presence and established reputations for quality services.
  • However, the demands of working for a Big 4 firm abroad can be high due to tight timelines, global travel requirements, and a demanding client base. This can result in long working hours and periods away from home, as well as potential culture shock associated with working in unfamiliar countries. Additionally, compensation may not always reflect their level of skill or expertise needed to succeed in this line of work.

Overall, Big 4 firms offer some excellent opportunities for career growth with minimal risk while allowing one the opportunity to gain international experience. However, it is important to research all aspects carefully prior to making any commitment as it could have long-term implications on your professional life.