Becoming a consultant is no easy task. It requires a great deal of hard work and dedication, and those who lack a strong work ethic or can't handle long hours may not be successful in this field. Consulting is not a 9-5 job, and you may find yourself “always working” due to the amount of time spent on the road. If you're looking for stability and structure, you may want to consider another career path. That being said, consulting does offer the opportunity to create your own work.
Wouter explains that you don't need certifications to become a consultant, but certificate programs can provide physical and interpersonal skills that degree programs may not cover. They also make it easier for potential employers to see your commitment and professional knowledge. Consulting is a popular career choice among graduates, but the ratio between the number of candidates and vacancies or job offers is high. It's been reported that consulting giant McKinsey only hires 1% of applicants, and each of the big four professional services firms (Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC) receives tens of thousands of applications for more than 1000 open positions. Despite this confidence, only 16% of respondents said that business knowledge was one of their top five skills - yet it's essential for a successful consulting career. Accounting & finance (16%) and technology (13%) are two areas that consultants should be comfortable with.
They should also be able to navigate the basic functions of various operating systems, software applications, and hardware platforms - both old and new. Successful consultants will have no reservations when it comes to contacting technical support services for software or hardware manufacturers. Those who want to work with the latest versions of Windows, attractive hardware, and current technologies may not be suitable for consulting. In addition to having the right skillset, consultants must also have the right mindset. It's important to be able to think on your feet and come up with creative solutions to problems. You must also be able to communicate effectively with clients and colleagues in order to build relationships and trust.
Finally, you must be able to manage your time effectively in order to meet deadlines and stay on top of projects. Becoming a consultant is no easy feat. It requires dedication, hard work, and an understanding of the industry. Those who are willing to put in the effort can find success in this field - but it's important to understand the challenges that come with it.