February 22, 2023
Considering a new path?—Do you have what it takes to be a great consultant?
“In February, there is everything to hope for and nothing to regret.”
– Patience Strong
Consulting as a profession offers many benefits, though consulting positions are often overlooked by job seekers. True, it’s not a great fit for everyone, but the benefits—flexibility, remote work, professional networking, opportunity and variety are worthwhile. Below, we’re sharing a few tips on what we believes makes a great consultant.
- Flexibility – Consultants need to be able to roll with the punches. Consulting is anything but predictable. You may get started on a project with one goal, only to find out the client has changed scope or need. A great consultant can refocus quickly to get the job done.
- Discipline – To be a great consultant, you must be a disciplined, self-starter. As a consultant, you are typically self-employed, so there is no “boss” that you are reporting to or who will be micromanaging your day-to-day activities. As a consultant, when you are assigned a project, you are expected to see that project through to the end, meeting all deliverables on time and on budget.
- Confidence – As a consultant, you have to be confident about your skills and expertise. YOU are the expert that people are going to for help, guidance and support. YOU know what you are talking about, and so you have to be able to assert your guidance confidently. Sure, you should leave your ego at the door, but you are the expert so stand behind your work.
- Persistence – Great consultants don’t give up. In consulting, there is always a solution, it just may not be obvious. Unforeseen challenges may happen and sometimes the first solution does not work as anticipated. Good consultants are not swayed by failure, they simply learn from setbacks and use the knowledge to find the best solution.
- Knowledge-Seeking – A large part of consulting is the continued development of knowledge, skills, and experiences. Great consultants are always seeking to learn more whether it’s through attendance of conferences, webinars, or seminars. Consultants are driven by absorbing as much information as they can and are willing to try new things even if they are not YET an expert, just for the experience and opportunity to learn.
- Good Listener – In order to be successful in consulting, you must be personable and approachable, but first and foremost a great listener. Your client should always understand that they are your primary concern. Listen first to fully understand what is being conveyed before you speak. When you can build this trust with your clients, as JDR has with our own clients, they can rest assured knowing you are there to help them accomplish their goals.
Do you have what it takes to be a great consultant? Contact JDR at firstname.lastname@example.org with your resume to learn about consulting opportunities with JDR.