Consulting Best PracticesIndustry & Career Insights

5 Consulting Career Secrets

Like Lew Sauder says, there are some consultants who just naturally float to the top at firms, while others get trapped in the middle, suffocating and unsatisfied. What is the secret to climbing to the peak? As it turns out, there are five secrets, and Sauder happily shares them so that you can share a cup of coffee together at the summit.

Five Secrets Uncovered

  1. You get a promotion when you start doing that job.
  2. No matter what your level, you are responsible for sales.
  3. You are not better than the client.
  4. Your brand is important with the client and within the firm.
  5. Your value should exceed your cost.

In consulting firms, it is often true that the only way to get a promotion is to show you are already capable of doing that job. That means putting in the amount of effort that the next-level job would entail while still in your current-level position. Consulting rewards go-getters. And along those lines of accountability, you should recognize that, even as a most junior consultant, you are responsible for sales. Your work and your attitude reflect on the consulting firm, which helps (or hinders) future business. You should likewise be taking the initiative to make more contacts for yourself and your firm.

A big point to remember is that just because the client hired you does not make you better than the client. Consultants have different skills, different responsibilities, and bring a different attitude to the table than clients. In a nutshell, consultants supplement; they are not Solomon, raining down infallible wisdom on all subjects.

About the fourth point, Sauder explains:

The deliverables a consultant submits to a client should be publishing-ready, meaning free of typos and grammatical errors. It should also make sense and be written for the appropriate audience. If possible, another consulting peer should proof-read deliverables before submission to the client.

The consultant’s brand is just as important inside the firm. If you act unprofessional within the firm’s offices because you know there are no clients around, managers may still be wary of placing you on a project for fear that you won’t know the difference when you’re at a client.

Finally, due to overhead costs and non-billable hours, a consulting firm can actually spend upwards of 25 percent more on you than your salary suggests. That makes it all the more important that your value exceed how much you cost. Everyone deserves the best ROI on your time, and this will extend to you as well, as all your hard work starts to precede you. You can read the original post here:

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