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.
There is a lot of talk today about personal branding. The tools available are plentiful. Social media tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and the up-and-coming Quora allow you to easily get your personal brand out to the world.
Continue reading How to Differentiate with Your Personal Brand
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.
He looked at me as if I was crazy, “…and you like that?”
Continue reading Being an Outsider at the Client Site
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
At some point in each year companies finish up their annual performance evaluations. It can be a bittersweet time. You get to receive some frank feedback from your boss, while being reminded of your flaws and areas of weakness.
Continue reading Performance Evaluations – Carrot or Stick?
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’ve read articles and blogs by the “experts” that provide all the tips on searching for jobs and then tell me to differentiate myself. Well if we all follow the same advice that all of the experts suggest, how do we differentiate ourselves?
Continue reading 5 Job Search Strategies to Differentiate Yourself in the Job Market
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.
Julie Andrews’ character, Maria, decides that she has found her calling in life as a nun. One of the highest callings one can answer and a significant commitment.
Continue reading Considering Consulting in the Next Step in Your Career
While the unemployment rate remains high nationally, most college seniors and MBA students are facing the anxiety and fear of graduating into a work world that doesn’t want them. According to a recent Chicago Tribune article, “Unemployment for 20- to 24-year-olds hit a record high of more than 17 percent earlier this year.” Graduating seniors wonder how they will compete in the job market against competent, out-of-work people with years of practical experience. How many months – or years – will they have to wait for all of those people to find new jobs before companies begin investing in newbies?
Continue reading 5 Reasons College Grads Should Consider a Career in Consulting