Category Archives: Career Management

Tips for the Nomad Consultant

The Nomad Consultant
The Nomad Consultant

This is the first of two blogs focused on what a nomad consultant should expect for business travel.

When joining a consulting firm, whether right out of college or as an experienced hire from industry, the issue of travel can be a deal breaker.  There may be family commitments or it could just not be the lifestyle you care to live.  Before joining a firm you need to determine how much travel will be required and whether you are willing to live that lifestyle.
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Critical Consulting Skill: Flexibility

Critical Consulting Skill
Critical Consulting Skill: Flexibility

As I’ve pointed out in this blog before, one of the things I’ve always liked about consulting is the variety.  You generally work on a project for a few months and, by the time you’re getting tired of your surroundings, you get transferred to another project.  Sometimes it’s another project at the same client, but often times you go to an entirely new client, perhaps in another city.
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4 Ways to Market Yourself within the Consulting Firm

market yourself
How to Market Yourself within the Consulting Firm

Imagine that you have developed a soft drink that tastes better than Coke.  It has fewer calories, comes in a biodegradable can and contains nutrients that will make its users healthier.  Everything about this product is better than Coke, Pepsi or any other soft drink on the market.  Unfortunately, you have no marketing budget to promote it and have to rely on word of mouth.  The current market seems perfectly happy with the soft drinks they’re already drinking and your new product never gets off the ground.
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How To Overcome Your Fear

Overcome Your Fear
How To Overcome Your Fear

Many people have an irrational fear lurking deep within them that limits their ability succeed.  Whether it’s fear of public speaking, confrontation or the ability to ask for the sale, they let that fear limit their ability to achieve their goals.  I’ve experienced some of the same fears and have learned to overcome them.  The amazing thing I’ve learned about it is that to overcome fear is much easier than living with it. The key steps I’ve learn about overcoming fears are:
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Contrasting Middle-School Management Styles

Management Styles
Middle-School Management Styles

Like millions of kids out there, my son is just winding down the school year.  He’s a good student but also a free spirit and sometimes goes beyond his limits to the point of being disruptive in class.  Over the course of the school year, I’ve observed some interesting dynamics between him and two very different teachers.
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Accountability vs Blame

 

Accountability vs Blame
Accountability vs Blame

Everyone makes a mistake on occasion.  I’ve seen the smartest and most meticulous people write down the wrong time or date for a meeting.  It happens.  And as long as it’s not habitual, most people tolerate small mistakes.

Accountability vs Blame

Then there are major screw ups.  Perhaps someone didn’t anticipate a key risk on a project or realized during step 9 that step 3 in a process was skipped, causing major rework and embarrassment with the client.
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What’s the Big Deal about Business Travel?

business travel
Consultants do a fair amount of business travel

During my senior year in college, I interviewed for a consulting position with a top-tier consulting firm.  I sat in one of those interviewing cubicles at the campus career center across the desk from a gentleman with a blue suit, white shirt and red tie – the consulting uniform of the day.  I don’t remember much about the questions except for the part where he explained that there could be extensive travel.

“Would that be an issue for you? “, he asked.
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5 Things My Mentors Have Taught Me

Mentors Have Taught
What My Mentors Have Taught Me

When I started out in consulting, I decided early on that I would seek out a mentor.  I must have been like the little bird in the children’s book Are You My Mother?” that goes from animal to animal seeking out its mother.  I had in my mind that there would be one person that would extol his or her wisdom to help me to launch my career.  After a few years, here is what my mentors have taught me:
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Everything I Need to Know About Networking I Learned from My High School Pals

Everything I Need to Know
Everything I Need to Know About Networking…

Last weekend I spend three days in Lexington and Louisville, KY with two life-long friends.  Jon and Robb have been friends of mine since grade school.  We were good friends through high school and were even roommates at various times through college.  One of the things we did was tour a whiskey distillery.  I’ve never been a whiskey drinker and a sample taste of it at the distillery confirmed that for me.  We also went through the Louisville Slugger bat factory and generally consumed mass quantities of unnecessary calories all weekend.
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Removal from a Client Project

Removal from a Client
Removal from a Client Project

It happens every once in a while.  A consultant is working with their project team and sometime during the project, the account manager speaks with the consultant and informs them that they are being rolled off of the project.

Reasons for a removal from a client

It can happen to ineffective consultants and they don’t usually last long with the firm.  But sometimes, the person just doesn’t mesh with the team or the client.  I’ve seen consultants taken off of projects for a number of reasons.  Perhaps they:

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