As I reflect on my last 2 years as a Consultant at Capgemini, I have worked with many seasoned consultants who offer “Consulting Wisdom” for a successful career. I would like to share some of the lessons I’ve learned from consultants with decades of experience in this field, known as the “Consulting Commandments”.
- You only have to be 1 step ahead of the client – Always prepare for your next meeting, discussion, presentation, etc. thinking of the questions the client may pose
- Stay Billable – Your utilization is important for generating company revenue, bonuses, promotions, etc.
- Never mention the client name outside of the client site – This includes restaurants, airports, airplanes, bathrooms – yes bathrooms, don’t discuss client business in the restroom as you never know who may be in the stall next to you
- Never disagree with you team in front of the client – Differences of opinions that may turn into disagreements should be taken offline, during private internal team meetings
- Don’t go native – While Capgemini prides itself on collaboration with the client, remember you work for Capgemini and not the client
- Friday is a work day – Especially when on a client project, you should always be available to client on Friday, actively participating in conference calls and proactively working on work assignments
- Work later – You should arrive at the office BEFORE the client, and leave AFTER the client; your boss/team lead will notice your hard work as well and reward you during assignment appraisals, review of project extensions, etc.
- Work/Life Balance – Take vacation time as you have earned it (assuming you practice Rule #7); every three months or so you should at least take a day or two off just to refresh
- Get your hands dirty – As a technology consultant, the basic rule of thumb is – you will not learn the system unless you are transacting in the system; it’s okay to make mistakes, those mistakes provide more knowledge of how the system works than just the 500 page user guide online
- “The Squeaky Wheel gets the Grease” - Proactively seek initiatives you can assist with internally as well as on your client project; ask for training and development opportunities to build your hard/soft skills. BE PROACTIVE!