By Sona Jepsen
We’ve all heard about the perks of consulting— travel, per diems, cool assignments, and ad- vanced learning. We’ve also heard about the
challenges—really long hours, a grueling workload, and
being on the road most of the week. Even with those
cons in mind, consulting offers incredible opportunities
and a way to navigate an undecided career path.
Because of the varied nature of projects, companies, cultures, and industries one works in, a consultant
gets exposure to much more diversity than any one job
could offer. Consultants also get exposure to C-suite
concerns. Most employees have to work their way up
the corporate ladder to get access to high-level strategic
projects. As a consultant, you not only get to work with
the top of the pyramid, but you also learn what keeps
them up at night and how you can help solve business-wide problems. You learn a lot very quickly.
Consulting offers freedom from corporate politics
and gives you a certain level of courage to say and do
what’s right for your clients. That’s the reason they hired
you, and you should foster that. Consulting allows you
to take pride and ownership in your ability to do great
work and deliver beyond the client’s expectations. When
you do this, you quickly establish your brand.
With all these points to consider, there’s one question
you have to answer: Is consulting for you? If so, how do
you determine what type of consultant you want to be?
THE CHOICE IS THE WAY
People fresh to the workforce—and those looking
for new job opportunities—sometimes find it difficult
to determine where to focus their career. Consulting
can be the perfect opportunity when you’re unsure of
the type of position you want or the type of company
you want to work for. It’s also a field that’s available
for entry at any point in your career.
For example, an owner of a very successful firm
worked as a consultant early in his career because he
knew his industry focus—but not the path he wanted
to follow. He realized he loved the variety of gigs that
consulting offered and eventually started his own firm
in the banking and fin-tech space.
Another owner started consulting later in his career
as a way to leverage his industry and business knowledge. He had deep product intel and strong relationships with many financial institutions and credit unions. Going into consulting was a logical next step.
SUCCESS IS IN THE DETAILS
For aspiring consultants, it can be difficult to determine which consulting path to follow. Starting out,
the key is to establish relationships with clients and
Determing the Type of Consultant You Should Be —
Five Paths to Success