Life in the Consulting Industry

Consultants work round the clock on a day-today basis. Their days are packed with travel, meetings, power point presentations and excel sheets. In a consulting engagement, one gets to influence decision-making for client, in the assigned/discussed subject and context. Professional consulting experience is a challenging but rewarding experience. Rather than specializing in one skill, or industry, consultants develop the skill to identify the basic issues or problems to work up from it. This ability to work up from basics is why a consultant can be successful across multiple industries and applications. Consulting projects in organizations are typically sponsored by a C-suite executive, VP or a Director. This opportunity to gain exposure to their level of thinking is invaluable in shaping a consultant’s future career trajectory. The intense training and speed of learning are an added advantage in consulting industry. Working with teams on fast-paced projects helps one quickly ace the subject under consideration – from developing organization wide KPIs to conduction stakeholder interviews. The client expects a consultant to be an expert on the matter in a reasonable capacity. To keep up with this, consultants read significantly to stay ahead of the curve. On the flip side, professionals often talk about living out of a suitcase, for year at times, and calling airports their weekend getaways. There are also lot of long nights with MS PowerPoint and MS Excel for company. Lack of depth in subjects or industries is not typically granted in consulting. This can become a liability for someone looking to switch career to a different industry. In niche consulting areas like IT consulting or Technology Consulting, the consultant develops deep skills. The road to becoming an expert is a difficult one since consulting focuses on problem-solving frameworks based on building a basic understanding.