I got into consulting through persistence, my intention was there even if the jobs were not. I never did lots of applications to the big firms and unfortunately, I was always applying for consulting roles out of season cycles, so most roles were filled. However, I knew consulting was for me because I love talking and working through problems, presenting and overall business strategy.
In my previous company although I was primarily a client executive, I took every opportunity to work on consulting projects. I really enjoyed the business and financial analysis.
A standard week for me would include travel to client site. I like travelling so this has been a way for me to see parts of the UK. Most mornings would include some version of a stand-up (a short call to discuss what everyone will be doing . I will then get stuck into some work and around lunchtime have a catchup to see that the team are all aligned and for us to discuss each other’s work/approach. After lunch I tend to sort through my email, general work admin/training before getting stuck into more work. This will be followed by coffee and a final catchup with my team to review any blockers and next steps. Even when I was in the office, I would take my laptop home to work on a few bits in the evening/ work on some of the Atos initiatives, like charity work, that I am engaged with. Unfortunately there is never enough hours in the day and of course in consulting the client comes first.
My favourite parts of my job are presenting my findings/report and engaging with the client stakeholders to really understand their problems. I also enjoy the variety in consulting I’ve just started a new project with The Department of Health, my last project was with a financial broker and the one before that was for the Emergency Services and the Home Office. However this is one area that makes consulting a challenge because there’s lot of things to learn in a short amount of time. A way to overcome this feeling is belief in yourself and the value you bring. A consultant brings in an outsider perspective, they bring experiences of different organisations, industries and practises.
Another challenge can be juggling demands from your firm regarding training, engaging in organisation calls and activities as well as high client expectations. Sometimes you can’t do it all and that’s okay, you must accept that and prioritise.. Also, when there are quiet periods, take that as your time to recharge because busier days are sure to come. All that being said, there’s a certain adrenaline in working together to deliver excellent client work, it’s that kind of pressure that I thrive on. When you finalise and hand in a project, you get a self of fulfilment and achievement.
For someone thinking of working in consulting I’d say go for it, you don’t need to have a certain degree background or qualification. Consulting is so broad from technology and finance to HR and healthcare. All you need as a consultant is an ability to listen, solve problems, advise and be passionate about delivering client value.