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Any advice for a new consultant? I’m coming from industry and want to make sure I have the consulting mindset. Thank you!

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Get used to ambiguity.

Learn to tell a good story especially on PowerPoint.

Be coachable. By that I mean get used to getting your work reviewed by your manager and director on your engagement and don't take it personal when your work gets a lot of corrections. This is because they've delivered and seen what a "client-approved" work looks like.

They will sell you to clients as the expert even if you have never done the work. Some people thrive on that and take as a challenge while others fold and get rolled off the engagement.

We get paid by the buzzwords so don't be afraid to reuse "sanitized" versions of work products from previous engagements.

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Ngl you’re probably going to be uncomfortable and not like most of the work starting out. That’s been my experience with most people who come over from industry.

My best advice would be to be proactive with tasks that are assigned to you and ask for help when you need it as soon as you realize you need it. If you ask for help early on after a task has been assigned to you people will be understanding and do what they can to assist you. If you procrastinate tasks and then ask for help right before a deadline people on your team will likely hate you. Being respectful of people’s schedules is very important and realize most consultants have much busier schedules than people who work in industry so you can’t expect them to drop whatever they’re doing to help you with some task you were assigned a week ago but did nothing about until the day it was due. I’ll also add learn how to take effective notes and manage your time/schedule better. Most consultants work hard but can get their tasks done between 8-5, It’s typically ones who suck at managing time on their schedule that end up working ridiculous hours. Your calendar isn’t just for scheduling meetings it’s also important to block time on it to focus on tasks/work you’ve been assigned.

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Don’t act out if your PM tells the client you’re an expert in something you’ve never heard of. Just go with the flow

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People tend to forget that the many of the execs in industry were once consultants and they do know consulting tends to exaggerate. So while they may not take claims of expertise seriously during sales, they do take it seriously when it comes to delivery.

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Listen carefully during meetings. Even if you are not talking, you need to be trying to catch as much as you can, because you will be expected to act/do analyses based on conversations.

Take good notes. Really. This is SO important.

Follow the 80/20 rule. If something is taking you a long time, check if you’re doing it wrong or if there’s a more efficient way of doing it.

Don’t listen to (most of) the negativity on this app.

Take ownership of the problem you are given, not just the task. This is huge shift most consultants have a hard time with.

likesmarthelpfulfunny

Pretty well summarized.

Would just add 1 thing: for a little bit you’ll simply need to embrace the suck. Expect to be saddled with several bad managers, clients, and cases along the way (sometimes multiple of these at once). The ones that “make it” find a way to keep their cool and soldier on through the very tough periods. Over time you’ll find you have a touch more control as you develop your skills and build an internal brand.

In my experience the sacrifice is worth it, you’ll learn a ton and get a better job on the other side.

helpful

Fake it until you make it

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Adam Neumann is a good example on how to “fail up,” but not a great example for long term success. There’s probably some reasonable short term chaos mitigation lessons to be learned. Holmes just lied. Nothing special there.

Enjoy your bench time and don’t feel bad for doing nothing during the first 2-3 months

likefunny

This! I’ve been consulting since February and I think I started doing small stuff this past week.

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Learn/use all the buzzwords

likefunnyhelpful

Talkative bird gets the worm, not the early bird

likesmartfunnyhelpful

Or a kick in the butt out the door 😂

In all honesty…. Don’t apply the industry knowledge you know all the time. Think about the consulting process and how your leadership team wants to go through the process.

Context: People nowadays coming from industry are really knowledgeable about that particular space but don’t operate like a consultant. At KPMG, we have a lot of “smart industry experts” and not “good consultants”. We need people who can spin a story not people that can tell you how it’s done today.

likesmart

Be sure you have a good accountant.

Great question and honored to be asked. My 3 rules: 1) boring pays the bills, 2) never quote a rate or price - ask instead what their budget is; their budget may be higher than you think, 3) fall in love with your clients and their challenges - this shows you are a class act who cares, and 4) do not ever underestimate your chances and fight like heck for every contract. Remember, in the Bible it only took a rock to bring down a giant!

likesmartupliftinghelpfulfunny

I don’t like your first rule: boring pays the bills, but it’s true

Listen, keep notes, make pretty slides fast

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Slides, slides, slides. If you’re like me and not creative, you’re gonna hate the damn slides so learn it ahead of time.

likesmarthelpful

Your audience should be able to comprehend the slide within 3 seconds. Anything else that is too complex should go in an appendix or reference.

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Learn how promotions work and what is expected of you at each level

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Don't create nothing from scratch. Always use references. That specially goes for slide creation.

likesmart

Get shithot at search and finding relevant information, storytelling and slides.

Most importantly don’t wait for perfect roles but use every role to grow and demonstrate your effectiveness.

And remember… consulting businesses don’t work without sales… so anything you can do even from early in your career to contribute to growth (even with bid admin etc) is the fast track 💨

likesmart

Say goodbye to your loved ones

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This

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This is the way

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Leave the firm as soon as you gain experience for industry.

likefunny

It’s okay to be given a task that you feel unprepared to handle. Instead of saying “I don’t know how to do this” go back to your team with an idea of how you are thinking about the problem.

likefunny

Network like crazy. Build relationships. Sometimes this is how you get on the higher visibility projects.

At the same time realize, there are always others out there hungrier and won’t be afraid to take credit and step all over you. You will need to have thicker skin.

I came to consulting 15 yrs into my career. It’s definitely a different environment but you get to experience and get exposure to a lot in a short time. I’ve also had the opportunity to coach and mentor in the roles I have had.

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We need to
Pin this post! I wish I knew all of these things before I started 😭

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