Opinions expressed on this blog reflect the writer’s views and not the position of the Capgemini Group

How Not to Get Burned on the Beach

There comes a time in every consultant’s career where they will roll off of one project and have to wait to become staffed on another. The interim time is called “the beach;” sometimes the bench. This is also not uncommon if you are a new hire. When you are on the beach, it is a great time to catch up on some needed administrative work, network or to see some of your onboarding buddies. This might be nice for a week, maybe two max, however, after that; the beach can become this metaphorical Purgatory that can become very stressful. So like with college, your time on the beach is truly what you make of it.

This article goes into some of the ways that I tried stay active while on the beach and ways to increase your marketability for other projects.


The MyLearning page is a great resource to use to learn more about the tools needed to be a successful consultant. They have courses on things from Coding to how to use the newest version of Excel. Below are some of the modules and videos I would recommend that you all look at when on the beach.

  • Advanced Data Management in Excel 2007
  • Advanced Customization in Excel 2007
  •  Analyzing Data in Excel 2007
  •  Advanced Data Management in Access 2007
  •  Creating Visio 2007 Diagrams
  •  Essentials of External Consulting
  •  Creating Custom Slide Shows in PowerPoint 2007
  •  My Passport to Finance
  •  Technovision Foundations 2010
  •  Selling Application Lifecycle Services Awareness Module
  • Core Concepts of Business Analysis Module



  • Selling Application Lifecycle Services Awareness Module
  • Business Information Management Awareness Module
  •  Infostructure Transformation Services Awareness Module
  •  Smart Energy Services Awareness Module
  •  Testing Webcast for Sales Awareness Module

Learning SQL:
With regards to further learning, if you come from a functional background, it would not be bad to learn SQL. Look for any tutorials on MyLearning. If they are not any, you can try this website http://www.w3schools.com/sql/default.asp or you can go to Google and type in “SQL Tutorials.”


So you think that now that you have a job that you do not need to worry about interviewing or networking right? Wrong! The way that Capgemini is run, while you are employed, you still have to be proactive in looking for a “job” (i.e. a project).  With that said, it is vital that you have your internal resume always updated and that you constantly network while on the beach.
It can seem overwhelming to try to network in an office with what seems like hundreds of people, but here are a few tips that worked for me that can help you with that process:





  1. Start by talking to the two (Senior) Managers that interviewed you. Thank them for their approval and see if there is any space on their project/pursuit for you. If they do not, ask them who would be a good person they would recommend you to speak with.
  2. Talk to the people who gave presentations during the Onboarding week in your local cities. Ask them who you should speak with (At a manager level ideally). 
  3. Happy hours: Capgemini has quarterly happy hours and that is a fun and a good way to meet people.


Beach Projects:

There will be assignments that Managers who are staffed on projects will need a little extra help with, but cannot divert their current project resources to, so they will reach out to the beach resources to help out with some tasks. Many of these projects have to do with formatting or editing, but I have been on one beach project where I had to do some video editing. These projects can last from a few days to 3 weeks, and take up as little as 2 hours a day to the whole day. So there might be some flexibility to do more than one beach project at a time if you are able to.

There are three practical benefits to participating in beach projects; firstly, it keeps you both busy and productive! Secondly, it is a great way to NETWORK!!!!! If you do a good job on this beach project, a manager will remember you and keep you in mind for future billable projects. Thirdly, being on a beach project will give you a little idea of what each project looks like.

The best way to get put on these Beach projects is by talking to your Recourse manager, but they will most likely contact you

Final Thoughts:

Being on the beach can be a double edged sword. It can be a great way to wind down from an intense project or a path of infinite boredom. But like everything, it is what you make it. Once on the beach for a while, it is possible to get agitated, bored and discouraged, but remember, if Capgemini didn’t think you could get staffed, then they wouldn’t have hired you. IT consulting is a very segmented industry and the open project needs are no different. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending how you look at it), we have to be patient and be as proactive as possible in our professional development. 





About the author

Harrison W.
Harrison W.
Harrison Wiener is Senior Consultant who joined Capgemini from the University of Georgia in January of 2011. He is based out of the Seattle Office and is with the HTEC BU. When not working, he enjoys soccer, trivia, and helping campus hires get better oriented at Capgemini!
1 Comment Leave a comment
Excellent article! "How not to get burned on the beach" = super catchy. I was asked by a colleague (who just got rolled off) on what to do next. I think i will share this article. :) Saadia

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