Consulting – A Multifaceted Career Opportunity

Consulting – A Multifaceted Career Opportunity

Consulting industry is different from other industries. Consulting provides an exciting, enriching career experience in a short period of time along with great pay, recognition and brand (as consultants are considered Subject Matter Expert).

Over the years, I had the privilege of interviewing and working with several candidates for my Software consulting firm. To pursue a successful career in consulting, in addition to technical expertise and other traits like dependable, trust-worthy, the most important skills to possess are as follows:

  • Problem-Solving Skills –

Problem solving skills is one of the most important and fundamental part of a consultant’s role and responsibility. Consultants are required to provide solutions by understanding and defining the problem, identify the opportunity, strengths, and weaknesses, generating potential solutions and alternatives, evaluating solutions, and adapting the solution and finally implementing the solution selected. Therefore, having strong technical and analytical skills are required with strong attention to detail.

Candidates who demonstrate out of the box creative thinking, ability to see the big picture and provide innovative solutions keeping future in mind are highly successful even if the clients are interested in having the solution for their immediate needs and it increases candidate’s credulity and brand image.

  • Communication & Presentation Skills –

Communication, both verbal and non-verbal is another key requirement of a consultant. Consultants interact with wide range of stakeholders from business leaders to technical teams to users. Therefore, they should be able to gauge their audience effectively communicate/ present their idea across a wide range of audience. 

Remember – The key to effective communication is Active listening, the ability to focus completely on a speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information and respond thoughtfully.

  • Quick Learner & Adaptability Skills –

Most of the consulting agreements are for a year or less depending on the project requirements. This gives the consultants with a unique opportunity to work on wide range of industries depending on the openings. Therefore, it is important for the consultants to be openminded, eager to learn and adapt to the client’s industry. This requires understanding their latest requirements, industry regulations, compliance, operations etc. Examples of highly regulated industries are healthcare, finance etc. compared to consumer industry

  • Project Management Skills –

Consultants especially should be highly organized and disciplined to manage their projects by playing Project Manager role. This requires identifying the business opportunity, strengths and weaknesses in defining scope of work and translating it to functional requirements, strategizing the roadmap with milestones while managing the risk. During the entire duration of the project, just as a Project Manager influences and motivates the employees, consultants should be able influence others on the team for successful completion of the project while self-motivating themselves and other team-members.

As you may have noticed all the attributes listed above are “skills”. Skills can be learnt, improved, and developed. The more you practice, the better you get at it and become an expert!

If applying your knowledge and skills on not one but across wide range of industries interest you, then what are you waiting for? Become a consultant by acquiring the skills mentioned above and get ready for an enriching, multifaceted career opportunity!

Please share your thoughts and your experience on how you find consulting as a career.

Related posts of interest: Discover your Purpose, Preparation is Key, Red Ocean Dilemma, Interview Process, Employee Onboarding, Employee Cultural Onboarding

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