A career in consulting is not suited for everyone, but those with the right mindset and an open, energetic approach may find it very appealing and go far in this branch of business. That being said, it is a very demanding, often exhausting, and time-consuming line of work which will frequently have you working overtime, taking work home with you, or going on long business trips.
All of these reasons, however, make sure you are well compensated for your time and effort in the financial aspect.
Bright Sides of Consulting
If the high demands of this job do not affect your motivation and willingness to have a crack at it, then let’s talk about all the positives you are likely to experience in the process. Apart from a good salary, there are lots of things you can take from this job that will improve your skills and your character and affect your every-day reasoning. Click here for more info about why you should pick consulting as your career.
Responsibility and deadlines
Unlike a lot of jobs where certain irresponsible behavior is tolerated, and where breaking deadlines is a common thing, in the consulting world, this is not even remotely the case. Firing an employee and firing a consultant is not the same, and the latter is a much simpler thing to do in most cases, as it won’t even require approval from their superiors.
This means you have to be on your toes all the time and consistently provide results, which will in time lead to your progress and promotions.
You’ll learn to fight for everything you need and to make a name for yourself through your work and effort. Stagnation is a very rare thing in consulting, and every successful consultant will always strive for progress.
Always speaking your mind
Again, unlike most jobs, where employees are often afraid to speak honestly in fear of backlash or getting fired, in a consultant’s world you always have to be very direct and honest, as it is quite literally your job to do so.
When you go to a business that needs your help, you are not their usual employee. You are there to counsel them and help them achieve better results. This means you can’t be sugar-coating things and telling the manager what he wants to hear, but instead be very direct about the problems you see and present your ways of solving them.
Solving problems efficiently
Your primary job as a consultant, no matter in which field, is to solve problems of the business you’re working with. Sometimes you will get a free shot to do this however you deem right, but often you will find yourself limited by preset guidelines. To work in these conditions you will have to learn to adapt and think creatively to find solutions.
Problem-solving is always a practical skill to develop, no matter what your career is. And as a consultant, your skill should absolutely flourish. This is important because once you master this, you will be able to apply your skills across any industry, as well as every-day problems in your life.
Becoming adaptable and an efficient problem-solver alone should basically be enough of an answer to the “why consulting?” question.
This job isn’t just about results. It’s about how you present them as well. You will not be sitting isolated in an office, quite the opposite. You will be meeting quite a few people, explaining strategies to them, presenting your methods, and persuading them. When you’re not doing it in person, you’ll be sending emails, reports, and doing phone calls.
And this is exactly what they need you to be doing. Communication between managers and consultants is crucial, and should communication start to fail – so will your paycheck most likely. Stay connected, keep people posted on relevant details and always speak directly and honestly about all active problems.
No matter the financial size of the company you’re consulting, whether it’s millions or hundreds, you will always have budget constraints that you’ll have to respect. This is a great way to step up your financial skills, learn where to trim the fat and save a dollar, and where to go all out to make it worth it in the long run.
You can’t successfully consult and run a business or a company without keeping track of spending on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Learning all the tips and tricks on managing money and tracking expenses will no doubt have an effect on the way you think and live and could prove good for you on a personal plan as well.
C-Level corporate experience
As a consultant of a business, you will interact with the highest-ranking corporate executives on a daily basis. They are the ones that hired you, that pay you, and that pay most attention to what you are saying and suggesting. In this corporate world, apart from learning things from such people, it’s always good to have acquaintances and connections on such levels.
Should you do well and impress them, your career could spiral upwards pretty fast.
Salary vs Living Cost
When applying for, or choosing a job, do yourself a favor by doing a little research. A consultant’s pay can vary noticeably, just like the living cost from city to city. Giant hubs such as London, New York, and Hong Kong can be really harsh on your wallet on a day-to-day basis and can leave you with less than what you would be earning with a smaller salary in a cheaper environment.
Places such as those will usually have to offer significantly higher salaries to make up for the cost of living, but always do your own math and optimize your income/outcome ratio.
To Wrap it Up
Why consulting? Well, if all the reasons above haven’t set your mind to it, then maybe you just aren’t cut out for it. It’s a very dynamic profession that rarely gets dull or monotonous, and it will teach you a lot of things that will be applicable to more than just your job.
From our point of view, if you’re even thinking about it – give it a shot. Nobody is making you do it forever, but once you give it a go, you might just get hooked.