Getting In to Consulting

getting in to consulting
Getting in to Consulting

I could tell by the look on his face that the interview was over. I was sitting in an interview with a top tier consulting firm in my college’s career services center. The interviewer had explained what it was like to work there. He said there would be a lot of travel. It could be up to 100% travel if I was working for an out of town client.

My response was nothing short of sophomoric. I told him, “Oh, I like to travel. My girlfriend and I went on a trip last winter.” I told him a little about our trip for a few seconds before I read the look on his face.
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The 5 Biggest Myths of Consulting

A mythical land
The 5 biggest myths of consulting

When I tell someone I’m a consultant I never know what the response is going to be. Some people are impressed. With some people, their son or daughter is a consultant and they sense a connection.

Still with others, I see them trying to suppress a sneer. Some of these people may have had a bad experience with a consultant. Or, they know someone who lost their job because of some changes implemented by a consultant.

Whether the impression is good or bad, it seems that people have many myths of consulting. Here are just a few dispelled.
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10 Ways to Be the Chief Executive Officer of your Career

chief executive officer of your career
How to be the chief executive officer of your career

The chief executive officer is the head honcho. The person in charge. He or she is the one that presumably calls the shots. The CEO is everything you should be for your own career. Here I discuss 10 parallels between what a CEO does and what you should be doing to be the chief executive of your career.

1) Have a vision

The CEO is the captain of the corporate ship. She has a long-term vision for what the company stands for and where it needs to go. She steers the rudder of that ship to correct its direction before it veers too far in any other direction.
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10 Ways to Have More Efficient Days

More efficient days
More efficient days

I meet busy people all the time. They’re the people who run from meeting to meeting. They’re usually running late. They start a to-do list, but they usually don’t finish writing out all of their tasks. They’re too busy attending to one emergency after another.

People like this are in a constant mode of keeping their head above water. As soon as they finish one urgent task, there is another fire they need to put out.

If all you’re doing is keeping your head above water, you will easily fall behind.  Here are some tips for getting your head above water and having more efficient days.
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5 Tips for Consulting Interviews

Tips for Consulting Interviews
Tips for Consulting Interviews

When I was a college senior interviewing with top consulting firms, I had two problems. Information about how to interview wasn’t readily available and I wasn’t ambitious enough to seek out what was there.

I went into most of my interviews cold, just planning to be myself. And I failed miserably.  While I encourage people to be themselves during an interview, it is also imperative to be prepared. If you are interviewing for a job at a consulting firm, here are some tips to make the interview more successful.
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7 Reasons Young Consultants Fail

Reading the newspaper, one of the Reasons Young Consultants Fail
Reasons Young Consultants Fail

In my twenty years of consulting, I’ve seen many consultants come and go. Some decide that it’s not for them. For others, the decision is made for them. A client may kick the consultant off the project, or the firm may remove them as a form of damage control.

Every consultant struggles to some degree in his or her first year. With any new position, it takes time to learn the ropes. But some just don’t learn. I’ve written before in this blog about consultants that just “don’t get it.” These are the things those consultants do – or don’t do – to cause them to fail early on.
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5 Consulting Career Secrets

Consulting Career Secrets
Consulting Career Secrets

I’ve witnessed many stories of success and failure in consulting. I’ve found that some people flourish in consulting while others either fail or get stuck in a purgatory-like existence. These people neither succeed nor completely fail. They are simply unhappily stuck in the same position indefinitely.

I’ve found that the ones who succeed are the ones that have figured out the consulting career secrets that propel their career success higher than the average consultant. Here are five of the consulting career secrets that I’ve seen those people follow.
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5 Difficult Client types and How to Deal with Them

Holding up a boulder representing a difficult client
Dealing with difficult clients

Over my 20+ years of consulting, I’ve dealt with many types of clients. Most have been good clients. They were cooperative and wanted to solve problems in a collaborative environment.

Every once in a while, I’ve run into one that isn’t so cooperative. Perhaps they had a personal agenda. Maybe they had personal issues they were dealing with.

Whatever the issue, they succeeded in making my life there a living hell. Over the years, I’ve been able to categorize them into five distinct groups.
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4 Ways the World is Changing In front of Your Eyes

Shopping carts - the world is changing
How the world is changing

Over the 1980s and 1990s, we watched the phenomenon of the Walmart revolution. New stores opened at an amazing clip while people flocked there for their low prices to buy everything from school clothes to groceries to tires.

They were able to charge those low prices through the use of first class supply chain technology, low non-union wages, cheap foreign imports, and many other factors.

Despite the many customers, Walmart had its detractors. People complained about how Walmart squeezed their vendors’ profit margins and how they moved into midsized towns, running thousands of traditional mom and pop stores out of business.
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5 Ways to Get Your Client to Love You

Woman client holding a red heart
How to get your client to love you

Consultants and clients often have a contentious relationship. Clients resent the high hourly fees the consultants charge. They view consultants as a necessary evil. Consultants tire of the constant demands the client places on them, while pressuring them to lower their fees on an almost constant basis.

Consultants don’t understand that it is up to them to provide such high quality service that the client becomes happily dependent upon them. By following these tips, the consultant can get the client to love them almost unconditionally.
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101 Tips for Success in Consulting