After a five-year stint away from consulting, I realized that I missed it. A lot. I enjoyed the two jobs I held during my little sabbatical and met some incredible people. But I didn’t find it as challenging and fulfilling as consulting.
So I’m now nearly two months into my consulting re-entry. I went in with more than a little cockiness. I had several years of consulting experience on my resume and thought I knew what I was doing. To a large extent, I did. But every firm has their own way of doing things. I was fortunate enough to join a great firm that has a unique way of doing things and sets their standards very high.
A minor failure
Because of circumstances out of their control, I ended up at a client before they could fully train me on their approach. Considering my experience, they figured the risk was low. But I tripped up on a few things. Nothing serious, but I lost some credibility with the client. We had to step back and do some training. My firm had to correct me on the approach I was using. I was frustrated, disappointed, embarrassed and a little pissed off. I felt I had let myself down as well as my client and my firm. It was a hit to my confidence, but the ego reduction, as they say on Wall Street, was just a correction.
I love failing
As much as I was frustrated going through this process, my firm was patient with me and is still working with me to make sure I come up to speed on their methodology. I had an incredibly frustrating week at work going through all of this. But as I drove home Friday, I felt good knowing that while the frustration sucked as I was going through it, it was worth the pain. I learned a lot. And I’ll be a better consultant because of it.
I’m almost looking forward to Monday for the next round of screw up-frustration-learning cycles.
Did anybody else learn anything the hard way last week?
If you would like to learn more about working in consulting, get Lew’s book Consulting 101: 101 Tips for Success in Consulting at Amazon.com
As always, I welcome your comments and criticisms.