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Why become a Consultant?

For anyone interested in becoming a Consultant, one question immediately comes to mind: Why do you want to become a Consultant? This seemingly simple question goes beyond the practical, ‘What for?’ and truly explores the ‘Why?’ How does the role fulfil one’s needs on a deep, personal level? 

For many consultants, stepping into a portfolio-based career goes beyond a job opportunity. Becoming a Consultant is a conscious decision that forces you to readdress your priorities and expectations. 

For others - like me - stepping into consultancy was a real eye-opener to find that my own values and approaches found their place and purpose in the world of consultancy, as opposed to the more ‘traditional’ forms of employment. 

Do you have the right personality fit and skills?

A critical point to consider is whether you have the personality traits that fit the Consultant profile: the aspects that will ultimately carry you through the work ahead. A strong consultant will typically be put off by companies where the following types of comments are commonplace:

- “You’re over-delivering.”

- “This is not within your scope of duties”

- “Why are you doing it? Nobody will thank you for it.”

- “Why are you in the office before everyone else and leaving late? You won’t get a pay rise for it!”

- “There is no prospect of self-growth in this company.”

- “There’s no recognition from management.”

It is likely that you have worked somewhere where these behaviours are normal, and decide that you are better placed to work as a consultant in a more forward-thinking company that you choose. 

Your actions aren’t a demonstration of overzealousness or aggressive ambition. You’re a natural ‘helper,’ an overachiever and a perfectionist, believing that what requires to be done, deserves to be done well.

As a consultant, you will have the following attributes to support your success: 

- You work hard - remember all those hours spent at the office?

- You are committed to the task - what you set out to do, you do it well.

- You want to help - the customer, colleague, manager and the company itself.

- You find your own level of self-satisfaction in the quality of what you do - you have done it for years, regardless of your wage or your role.

Secondly - and most importantly - these attributes will pay off:

- You hit the ground running, demonstrating that you are worth your title of Consultant.

- You’re bringing immediate and visible added value, turning your hire from being a cost to a true investment.

- You’re willing to expand on the brief to truly understand the requirements and needs behind the role.

- You do not compromise on the quality of your work, adding credibility to your service offering through every assignment.

When is the right time to make the change?

There are usually two catalysts for a change in our working lives. The first one is knowing what we want our future to be. The change is mapped and visualised through tangible results -  quantitative and qualitative - that can be ticked off our list as we’re progressing through a change.

The second reason is knowing that our present situation doesn’t suit us anymore. It’s not so much about what our future needs to be, and more about our present need to change. Moreover, the reasons behind the urge for change are not dependent of the practical gains of our new future, but more about getting rid of hindrance and negative elements in our current situation.

The characteristics of an outstanding consultant

You want to be able to bring your personality traits as assets to the assignment, knowing that you can do that again and again for each assignment.

You realise that those same assets will see you through the more challenging times when looking for your next assignment.

You are passionate about your field of expertise and you want to share it with companies, customers and teams that really appreciate and value it. This might not be the case in your current company or role.

You want to work your own hours, set your daily rate, travel, expand your skills and exposure to different industries. 

Are you a consultant waiting to happen?

Marylin Cormery is an active member of The Consultant Hub. Start networking with Marylin and other consultants on our network today.