The consulting world can be very challenging. However, there is tremendous career potential with rewards very early in your professional life for those who accept the challenge.
Accessing this sector is not easy. It would help if you had a good academic profile with excellent grades, a good curriculum, and professional practices that show that you have had a professional “shoot.”
Among the most outstanding skills for young consultants like Graham Shear, three types are needed:
- Human skills
- Specific skills
- Technical skills
Proactivity: many times in consulting, you are “thrown” into a project with little prior information.
A great consultant must demonstrate fierce proactivity and the ability to anticipate problems, ask questions, investigate, and solve problems.
Punctuality: as a consultant, you will be an outsider in the company; it is a beautiful and very professional gesture to arrive first at the meetings.
Also, this allows you to network with the people who are arriving at the meeting.
Discipline: the daily life of a consultant is very busy and with constant changes.
To avoid getting lost in detail, a great consultant must maintain military discipline and order, especially so as not to get absorbed in the daily chaos.
Listen: as a consultant, a large part of your value is in listening to your client, their problems, the difficulties of their business, and once you have understood their business and problems well, you can provide a solution.
Left hand: consulting is a work of people with your client, with your managers, with your colleagues. And for that, you need to know when to talk to your client, when is not a good time to give bad news, when not to ask twice for that meeting that you are not granted—ultimately understanding people.
Problem-solving: consultants are natural problem solvers. How do I implement the tool in my company? How do I grow my business? How do I reduce costs? In the end, consultants are hired for their infinite ability to solve any problem that comes their way. This helped by its great proactivity.
Analytical: to solve problems, the consultant, needs an enormous capacity for analysis. It is not enough to be an intelligent person, but we must demonstrate our conclusions with data and a deep analysis of the problem.
Taking responsibility: in consulting, projects require people to take off quickly and be independent. Therefore, it is essential to take responsibility for your work and execute it perfectly so that you are entrusted with new tasks.
Flexible: the almost constant change in our clients’ world requires that the consultant have a large waist and adaptability. Adaptation when your work rhythm changes, and you have to make a presentation in 2hrs. Adaptation, when you have to leave that deliverable halfway because the focus has changed in short, a great adaptation to the changing world.
Teamwork: consulting projects are made up of people, and therefore teamwork in consulting is vital. Each team member must function as a piece of an engine, know their tasks, and execute them so that the rest of the team can work in parallel. Likewise, teams must help each other, since if the team succeeds, we all succeed. But if someone fails, drag the rest of the team.
Excel and PowerPoint: two-star tools in consulting. Apart from the email, you will be in Excel all day analyzing information, making a plan, inventories to survey the current situation … and also preparing the result of your analysis to present it to your managers and the client
Programming: we live in a digital world that requires technical knowledge. Therefore, having notions of programming (even if you are a functional user) is essential.
Business: according to your specialty, and according to your industry, you will need to develop minimum knowledge of the industry. This is necessary to understand your client and be able to add value to them.