Be comfortable outside your comfort zone
As a consultant you’ll use your skill and expertise to get up to speed on projects and organisations swiftly – and often with very little notice. Each project you take on will be like an entirely new job – and each will give you significant responsibility and visibility in your client’s organisation. In fact, you will find that your projects will already have buy-in and impetus behind them – giving you a very different experience to working in industry.
Leave traditional notions of working life behind
You won’t be sitting at the same desk day in, day out. Instead, you’ll be on the go the vast majority of the time – working at client sites, at home or on the train. Often you’ll be away for extended periods, perhaps on the other side of the country (or globe), immersing yourself in the business and culture of your client.
Appreciate the value of teamwork
It’s rare that you’ll tackle a project on your own. So you need to be the kind of person who is eager to collaborate, question and bounce ideas off others – and someone who builds relationships quickly.
Become multifaceted yourself
Success as a consultant isn’t just about project work. You will lead internal initiatives and become a thought leader by researching topics and sharing your knowledge. As you progress, you’ll also be involved in business development, leadership and people development – including, for example, honing your skills in training, recruiting or mentoring.