5 tips to help you decide if consulting is right for you.
Becoming a consultant—it can be daunting. You may have a lot of questions about how this can change your life and impact your career. How can you know you’ll make a good consultant?
We sat down with Colleen Frankwitz, who leads our talent connection and development team. She helps council people considering consulting as a career on a daily basis. Below are the five questions she recommends asking yourself when considering this career choice.
Do I thrive on solving problems?
Consultants have the opportunity to make a huge impact by solving complex business challenges for clients. They need your expertise to move their business forward. It can be tough—embracing new types of leadership, collaborating in different ways, and tackling ever-changing challenges, but you’ll finish the project knowing your work helped the client and organization get on the right track.
Do I enjoy being a subject matter expert?
As a consultant, you give the gift of knowledge and experience to clients. You grow client businesses and the employees around you—planting seeds in business all throughout the area. And they trust you, in both with business deliverables and in leadership.
Do I build relationships quickly?
As a consultant, it’s essential to quickly build trust and credibility with key members of an organization. You are a neutral party with one goal— to improve the business. You can have a greater impact by quickly building relationships, and you will find that because you are an external expert, businesses often listen to and act on your recommendation.
Do I crave variety?
Being a consultant feeds the desire of a constant learner. Consulting allows you to be exposed to a variety of industries. You could find yourself going from manufacturing to nonprofit to medical—it all depends on your interests, experiences and the projects you choose. You also get to work with a variety of teams and experience different office cultures. You have the choice to choose your projects and regain control of your career path.
What is important to me?
Ultimately this choice has to match with your desires for your life. Being able to venture into a new career as an expert—a solo practitioner—is invigorating for consultants who have spent their past careers in a corporate setting. We often find that once people have been consulting for a while, they feel more fulfilled in their career. And, I always advise that you have to be part of something bigger than yourself by immersing yourself in the Salo community. Knowing you have the support of fellow consultants and your Business Development Director will make this career choice that much more rewarding.
If you are energized by the questions above, your career as a consultant will be in the sweet spot of doing what you’re an expert at and finding the work meaningful.