The vast majority of ambitious people try to acquire knowledge in order to set up their own company. If this fails, and keep in mind that 95 percent of all startups result in failure, they instantly regret wasting this time, as if knowledge could ever be in vain. You see, most of the things you learn, both from research and your own experience could be used to help others. Moreover, you could even use it to make a lucrative career for yourself, by becoming a professional consultant. With this in mind, here are few tips on how to start a career in consulting.
Have the Right Reasons
Most common motivators for one to become a consultant are great pay, the flexibility of the workplace and a chance to learn from and interact with interesting people. In every industry the more you work the more skilled you become and this goes double for a professional consultant. By working in several different companies, you get a privilege of seeing different business models in practice and in this way gain a practical knowledge you can later transfer to your clients.
Know the Drawbacks
Before you fully commit yourself to consulting, you also need to know what are the drawbacks of the industry. For instance, getting employed in a major corporation will put a ton of bureaucracy on your back, which could potentially drown you in all the company policies and prevent you from actually acquiring useful knowledge. Additionally, you will sometimes be faced with a moral dilemma of recommending a product or a service you alone deem as inadequate for the customers. Keep in mind that in the digital environment everyone can track your footprint, which means getting associated with the wrong brand can put a premature end to your career.
Choose the Right Industry for You
Aside from having adequate skills, you also need to choose the right industry. First, it needs to be something you are passionate about. Every career path has its rough patches, which is why you will need a strong intrinsic motivation to endure this pressure. On the other hand, you also need to find a profitable branch like civil design services, IT or even HR. Keep in mind that this is still your career, which is why its monetary value cannot and should not be disregarded. Additionally, even if you do not consider yourself to be a materialist, money can be an incredibly powerful motivator.
Hone the Necessary Skills
Every industry has its own specific set of desirable skills, but there are some that are universally needed by every good consultant. Communication is definitely the first one among them. It is irrelevant how well you understand the problem at hand if you can’t explain the solution to the rest of the team. Furthermore, you need to work on your listening skills, as well, seeing how you can’t afford to miss out on any vital part of the information.
Next, you also need to excel at problem-solving, which includes outside-of-the-box-thinking, hypothesis-building and of course managing group brainstorming activity. Last, but in no way least important, you need to become an efficient project manager, which on its own isn’t an easy thing to do.
One last thing, the most interesting thing about consulting lies in the fact that it is never a static job. You are constantly traveling, meeting new people and facing new problems that will put your skills to a test. This may sound terrifying to some, but it also means that you aren’t likely to get bored by your job anytime soon. As for the difficulty of the job itself, it depends on the situation, but let’s just say that it’s not for those who are afraid of a challenge.