Thinking of changing careers and moving into a consultancy role? The consultancy sector offers a wide range of exciting opportunities for those looking to make a career change. Read on to find out more.
From management consultancy to IT consulting and more, the flexibility, variety and strong earning potential of consultancy jobs continue to make them an appealing option for many career changers. So whether you’re bored in your current role, looking for a better work-life balance or simply want a new challenge, consultancy jobs for career changers could be the perfect option for you.
What Do Consultants Do?
Consultants are hired by organisations to provide expert advice and recommendations in their particular field or industry. Their job is to analyse an organisation’s current practices and systems to identify areas for improvement. They will then offer solutions to increase efficiency, productivity, and profitability.
This is why it’s such a common option for people who are making a career change. They can earn a great salary by sharing their expert knowledge with other businesses that are perhaps just starting out and need advice.
Responsibilities of Consultants
The day-to-day responsibilities of a consultant vary based on their speciality, but there are several core tasks and duties common across most consulting roles:
- Conducting detailed assessments and analyses of a client’s business operations, systems, processes, and procedures to identify areas for improvement
- Researching the client’s industry, competitors, and target market to make strategic recommendations
- Interviewing the client’s team members, stakeholders, and end users to gather requirements and perspectives
- Developing methodologies, project plans, timelines, and proposals
- Providing guidance and advice to support clients in areas like operations, change management, HR, IT, finance, marketing, etc.
- Designing and delivering presentations, workshops, training programmes, and meetings to teach and guide clients
- Tracking the progress of consulting projects throughout their lifecycle and making adjustments as needed
- Maintaining a high level of expertise and know-how within their chosen consulting field to continue delivering innovative solutions to their clients
Key Skills and Qualities of Consultants
Apart from being an expert in their chosen field, there are several essential skills and qualities that consultants must possess:
Strong analytical abilities
Consultants need to interpret complex data, identify issues, and devise solutions. Critical thinking, quantitative skills, and strategic insight are crucial.
Excellent communication skills
Consultants must translate complex concepts into clear recommendations, listen effectively, facilitate discussions, and tailor messaging to various audiences.
Understanding how organisations function and awareness of the trends, challenges, and opportunities within one’s industry is important.
Leadership and management skills
Consultants often guide and direct client teams and oversee consulting engagements. Project management, decision-making, and people skills are vital.
Creativity and innovation
Consultants must bring fresh perspectives to their clients so they need to be creative and capable of thinking outside the box.
How to Become a Consultant
There is no set path to becoming a consultant. Instead, there are a variety of ways that someone can get into the field.
Many consultants will hold high-ranking positions within a company, building a strong reputation through excellence and becoming known as an authoritative figure within their field of work. They’ll then leverage their vast amount of industry experience to become an independent consultant in their speciality.
Another option is to work for a consulting firm like Accenture, Deloitte or McKinsey. You would be hired as an analyst or associate and trained in the methodologies and areas of expertise of that firm. Apprenticeships and graduate schemes are popular entry routes in these firms.
Finding Consultancy Jobs for Career Changers
Be sure to check out Refreshing a Career’s consultancy job board for all the latest opportunities for career changers. You’ll also find plenty of help and advice for anyone looking to change careers, from CV and Cover Letter writing tips to the benefits of changing careers.