Don’t worry, whatever your answer to the above question may be, it will not incur any negative consequences, I promise! I have asked this question to many friends, my family and yes, even strangers since I started my job as I was curious to find out what other people think the job of a Consultant entails. Let me give you some answers that I have received.
|Respondent 1:||A Consultant lives the high life! He gets a lot of money, travels the world and moves from one project to the next within two to six weeks – This job never gets boring’|
|Respondent 2:||‘A Consultant has a tough life. He always lives out of a suitcase, never is in a place long enough to make social connections. But at least he gets to see the world, right?’|
The above responses are slightly different but both suggest that the Consultant life revolves around travelling and changing projects on a regular basis. Whilst this is not entirely incorrect, I want to use this blog to highlight the fact that this is not always the case
Let me explain why...
I have now been working as a Consultant for the good part of one year. When looking back I have actually worked for only one client the whole time. Now you might think that this is odd. Or maybe you think this is a one off event that is not representative for all. Let me tell you that when comparing my experience to that of other Consultants in the company it can be surprisingly concluded that long term projects like mine are more common than not. Out of the 11 employees that started with me there is only two that have worked for more than one client so far. And the same can be found when asking other Consultants in the company.
So why? Does it not get boring to do the same job at the same client office day in and day out? The answer to the above is: Definitely not! I can assure you that I have not had one single day that I wish I was doing a different job.
Working for one client does not mean that you will be ‘stuck’ doing the same work over and over again. On the contrary, it gives you many opportunities to take ownership of activities that you would never get the chance on a short term project.
Since I have joined my current project, I have filled a variety of roles. Initially I worked as a support staff where I was required to perform all activities that my manager needed support with. This was a brilliant way to start work on the project, as I was allowed to learn the policies and procedures that were adhered to on this specific project. After two months I was then asked to take on a different role within the project. I was moved to a position that entitled me to have more direct interaction with the client and allowed me to take on more responsibility for specific deliverables within the project. I was now co-ordinating my own activities within the project co-operating closely with onshore and offshore resources as well as the client themselves. After another few months I was then asked to step into yet another new and completely different role. This was more of a quality focused role ensuring all products leaving our project would be of top quality.
Overall I can therefore say that due to working with the same client for such a long period of time, I was allowed to build strong relationships that I would never have had the chance to build in a short period of time. In addition, working on a long term project enables you to rotate through different roles allowing you to gain a broader skill set that will help tremendously when starting with a different client.
So to summarise – do take note that as a Consultant you might end up staying with one single client for a year. But take this as a positive as you will experience a variety of roles and will receive opportunities and reach higher levels of responsibility quicker. Rotating roles on a project means there are plenty of different tasks entrusted to you that you then need to learn right from the start. This is challenging – do trust me on that one!