I have no choice in the matter. “Mandatory Food Car tonight,” S tells me. She corrects herself almost immediately. “Well, it’s not mandatory, but if you say ‘no,’ I’ll have to beat you up when we get out to the parking lot.”
We travel to Picante in two cars. S and I ride with B. On the way over, B, who was recently hired by McKinsey, starts asking me about my career goals. When I tell her I’m open to exploring different options, B starts beaming.
“I know what she’s going to say,” S tells me. “McKinsey!”
“Now, now,” B replies. “We’ll have to wait and see.”
We get to Picante, and I order a tostada: picadillo de legumbres. B has found us seating and when everyone arrives, she speaks. “I have an announcement to make,” she says. “Our job for this dinner is to figure out what K should do with his life.”
The questions start almost immediately. What aspects do you enjoy most of the things that you do? Let’s break things up at work. Among finding a problem, figuring out how to solve it, actually solving it, and presenting it, which do you enjoy most, and which least? Are you flexible about the field you work in? Are you flexible about where you want to live? Are you flexible about travel? I tell them how limber I’m feeling.
S turns to B. “Just say McKinsey already!” B starts laughing before mentioning McKinsey, among other options: Accenture, Apple, Bain, BCG, Google. Dinner’s almost over, and there have been other nuggets of wisdom thrown into the mix: don’t get my thesis signed until I know exactly what I’ll be doing next, figure out what the recruiting cycles are, and talk to B’s mother, who apparently enjoys life coaching.
As dinner ends, I thank my new life coach. It’s not every day I get free consulting.