Joining a consultancy company in Portugal? Your mileage may vary.

For most of my tech-friends the first job was at a consultancy company. When they managed to squeeze some time to be with us they shared their "pains". Even though they worked for different consultancy companies, there was something every junior consultant agreed on: we work way too many hours. Now, let me use a metaphor to illustrate the whole problem.

People are bought and managed like CPUs. Human Resources departments of big corporations buy the best and most hardworking graduates they can find. The Human Resources (HR) departments are only interested in these kind of people because they're top performers, full of energy with no major (family) responsibilities.

Once the HR department acquires these new 'CPUs' they start shaping them so that they fit the motherboard's chipset (in other words, the company's way of doing things). That is, the HR department sets the company's culture on newcomers and ensures that all new employees dress the same, think the same, and act the same. It's all about consistency. So that's how they handle "diversity", they ask you to leave your personality at home.

Now that the CPUs are connected to the motherboard, it's time to overclock and collect profits. When I heard my friends talking about "exemption from a working schedule" I assumed they meant that they could work their 8 hours at any given time, in order to compensate different time zones. However, it turns out that what it really meant was that they would work much more than those 8 hours at any given hour of day and night. It's one for all, and all for themselves.

Eventually CPUs melt and leave the motherboard. For the motherboard it's time to buy brand new processing power. For the CPUs it's time to shake the dust out of their personalities and reboot. Maybe, it's time to join a startup. Maybe, it's time to join that SME. About half of my ex-consultant friends took one of these two paths.

No money in the world - and certainly not the one they're paying you - justifies sacrificing your health, your happiness, or your personality. "Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts!" (Charlie Chaplin)


Diogo Nunes

Diogo Nunes is guest writer of He's a software developer and he was one of the first candidates to get hired through

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