The sad reality is that most people are unhappy with their jobs. The top reason most are unhappy is they find it unfulfilling. Everyday they go to the same place, work on the same activities, with the same people. What can start as excitement can quickly fade into monotony. For those that are looking for new experiences, new skills and new challenges, Consulting may be an excellent option. Consulting is a broad term that can encompass everyone from a political advisor to large multi-national IT outsourcers. For this article we’ll focus on the more common definition of a Business Consultant.
A Business Consultant generally works for a firm that can have between 20 to 2,000 people and focuses on a range of business issues spanning operations, technology, strategy and human capital. Other firms hire business consultants to solve problems they cannot solve themselves. The consultant will work on a specific project for anywhere from 2 months to 2 years, and then move onto the next.
Here are 3 reasons you may want to consider a career in consulting:
Consultants, almost by definition, are temporary. They are brought in to address a specific issue and then move onto the next. As a consultant you will find yourself working in different industries, with different issues, with different people, in different parts of the country. Each new project is a new start and a new challenge. If you are someone who craves new opportunities and new problems to solve, consulting may be a great choice.
Companies hire consultants because the problem to be solved is either too hard or too specialized to solve by themselves. This means consulting firms need to hire the brightest and most experienced candidates. When you bring a critical mass of smart, creative thinkers together they naturally push each other to develop the best solution possible. If you’re someone who is constantly looking to learn from others and contribute to exciting new ideas, then consulting may be a great choice
Let’s not beat around the bush, consulting tends to be one of the higher paying careers. As mentioned above, companies hire consultants because the problem to be solved is either too hard or too specialized to some themselves. Consulting firms charge a premium for their ability to come in and solve those tough problems and share that wealth with their employees. Consulting firms tend to be smaller partnerships, without shareholders, so the profits stay with the firm. If you’re looking to move into a higher paying career bracket, consulting may be a great choice.
So sounds great, right? Well, maybe, but it is not for everyone. The same reasons some people may want a consulting career can also be reasons why some should not. The constant challenge, while being invigorating for some, can be exhausting for others. Starting over in a new industry or a new business every 3-4 months can tend to burn people out. A firm full of “smart” people can seem inspiring to some, or irritating to others. A higher salary can come with a tradeoff of longer hours and less work-life balance. These are all things to consider and do some research to fully understand. The best place to start is by looking online, Consulting Magazine and talking to any friends or colleagues who have worked as, or know, a consultant.
If you’re someone who craves variety, wants to be challenged, likes working with smart people and is looking to potentially increase their earnings, you should definitely consider a career in consulting.
Kevin Kennedy is co-founder of College2Consulting.com, which helps applicants land jobs with top tier consulting firms. You can download a free a copy of their new ebook The 7 Steps to Becoming a Management Consultant here.