How to Become a Consultant: Consider a Career in Consulting Part 2

Career Guide August 1, 2018

How to Become a Consultant: Consider a Career in Consulting Part 2

If you’ve decided or are still deciding whether you should work in consultancy, here’s a definitive guide on how you can become one.

The Opportunity

We’ve already established that if you want to improve your overall professional experience (regardless of what you may want to do in the future), then consulting can be a good option. But aside from that, is there a market for consultants? Yes, in fact, many say that the one of the biggest macro trends this decade is consulting. While the industry continues to face disruption, this also presents a unique opportunity to specialise. From digital transformation to Agile approaches, there is room for people to capitalise on the growth of consulting in different fields. More importantly, the opportunity is no longer limited to the major players. The greater demand for flexibility, more access to information and more innovative companies have extended the opportunities to many people.

More and more companies are looking for cost-effective and targeted services. Organisations now turn to consultants to help them identify opportunities and mitigate potential risks – much in the same way that Orbium has been helping those in the private banking and wealth management industry. With the given opportunity how do you become a consultant?

The Basics
  • Background – consulting is interdisciplinary so people from different backgrounds and experience levels can qualify. There is no standard job path to enter the industry – companies also recruit in a variety of ways.
  • Basic skills – while professionals from different backgrounds and experience levels can apply, consulting firms will look for some level of aptitude for skills like client handling, strategic planning, practice development, business analysis and even team collaboration. Other possible areas for evaluation include interpersonal skills, flexibility, resourcefulness and creativity among others.

Also take note that many consulting firms have a long recruitment process depending on the position needed to be filled out. You can face several rounds of interviews and tests before getting any offer.

The Qualifications
The Edge

Transitioning to a fast-paced environment can be exciting and challenging. Here are more tips to help you prepare for the consulting world.

Trush-is-a-currencyTrust is a currency – most hires come down to trust. There’s a reason testimonials and references still mean a lot today. Why do people highlight the universities they went to? Why does a person’s LinkedIn connections matter? All these can prove a person’s capabilities to deliver. If you’re going to be a consultant, clients will inevitably trust that you can deliver, you provide value more than your rate and you can articulate what the client needs.

Strive to be indispensableStrive to be indispensable – finding work as a consultant is a hustle on its own. You need to spend the first few weeks or months marketing what you can do. You want to land jobs and eventually get referrals and be hired repeatedly. The goal is to become an expert enough that you become indispensable. This will require you maintain a track record of success. Yes, you may fail but eventually doing everything to deliver can help you gain enough value.

Know what skills are in demandKnow what skills are in demand – certain skills ring a bell for companies. You need to make sure you have, develop and market the right skills to gain industry value. For consulting, some of this include: great communication skills, project management, business analyst skills, strong presentation skills, accounting or finance background and technical expertise (IT, digital, etc.).

There are many things you can explore in consulting. It can be a rewarding career if you can find your niche.

If you’re on the fence, you can  read the first part of the series to know how a career in consulting can help in finding your career path.

You can read the last part of the series here!