Consulting can be an attractive career option for those who want to be their own boss and take on projects that interest them. However, there are some drawbacks to consider before taking the plunge. Working as a consultant often requires long hours, especially when trying to impress a new customer. If you prefer a 9 to 5 job, consulting may not be the best fit for you.
When deadlines approach, you must finish your work on time no matter how many hours it takes. The Consultancy Links website notes that if your job requires frequent meetings, you will only be able to complete real work outside of normal business hours. Additionally, progress can be slow in larger consulting firms, and you must demonstrate seniority before you can move up within the organization. I experienced this firsthand when I was in my early twenties and felt I could do more than I was allowed to do at one of the big consulting firms.
If you have the drive to work hard, social skills to be an effective consultant, an interest in learning about different types of businesses and problem solving, consulting could be a great career choice. Companies both new and old tend to appreciate consultants who have helped them find their footing or move to the next level, which means there are often job offers from clients that may be attractive. Before making the decision to become a consultant, it is important to weigh the pros and cons carefully. On one hand, you will have the freedom to choose your own projects and set your own hours. On the other hand, you will need to be prepared for long working hours and slow progress in larger firms.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if consulting is the right career path for you.