I started as a Consultant right out of college. I interviewed with several of the top firms but my grades weren’t good enough – and I probably interviewed horribly – so I never got past the screening interviews. I ended up being hired by an excellent boutique firm and eventually got in to a top firm after getting a few years of good consulting experience under my belt. Continue reading My 5 Biggest Surprises from Consulting→
Communication is an important facet of developing relationships with your clients. What some consultants don’t understand is that little things they do – or don’t do – can affect their credibility and their professional reputation negatively. Here are five subtle things you can do that make a big difference in establishing your image as a professional as well as earning the client’s trust.
One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from new consultants is the inability to fit in at the client site. Going from client to client, they always felt like an outsider and never felt a sense of community.
I remember early in my career, I was talking to a client and he asked me what consulting was like. I explained to him that I go to different clients and work on projects for periods of a couple of days to as long as a year. It depended on the nature of the client’s need and what they needed me for. I explained how the work was different at each project and that I worked with a different group of people each time.
It hasn’t happened often, but I’ve worked with some very unreasonable clients. Either they have exaggerated expectations of their highly paid consultants, or they know that they can get away with abuse without the threat of us going to Human Resources. I’ve never taken it personally and I’ve found that if I look closely enough, I’m not the only target for these people. Continue reading Keeping Your Cool Under Pressure→
It has often been said that success occurs when preparation meets opportunity. It’s always been one of my favorite sayings and I’m amazed how often it rings true.
How to be prepared as a meeting attendant
One of the most obvious settings where this occurs is in meetings. Most business meetings are scheduled through Outlook, Lotus Notes or some type of integrated calendaring software. Along with the invitation that comes in your email, there may be documents attached. This can be as simple as an agenda, or any number of documents that are intended to be reviewed during the meeting. Continue reading How To Be Prepared in Business→
I have three kids whose ages range from nine to sixteen. Whenever they receive a gift, whether it’s from a family member, a friend of the family or one of their pals, we make sure they write a thank you note to that person. It’s important that they learn the value of showing gratitude. In addition to making the gift giver feel better, I believe there is a personal benefit to telling someone how much their gift or gesture means to them. I hope my kids get as much out of saying thank you as the person they’re thanking. Continue reading The Lost Art of Saying Thank You→
As one who has lost his job in each economic downturn that has occurred throughout my career and changed jobs once on my own accord, I’ve been through the painful process we call job search more often than I care to admit. I’ve been through the frustration cycle of searching the job boards, customizing my resume to the job postings, submitting it into the black hole of the internet to hear nothing in return.
I recently watched “The Sound of Music”, one of my favorite movies. Never mind that Julie Andrews gave the performance of her life and that Rogers and Hammerstein’s music was out of their mind, the story is what I find remarkable.