There is no doubt that the consulting industry is one of the top recruiters of MBA graduates. One of the common questions that run inside is how to become a consultant, what are the principles of consulting, or the tools & techniques used in this field. Let’s understand below.
What is Consulting?
Being a consultant is a fascinating opportunity to learn the ins and outs of successfully managing a firm. Whatever your major, if you’re a creative problem-solver who is curious about various business strategies, becoming a consultant can be the perfect career for you.
The definition of consulting varies based on the industry it pertains to and is a pretty broad phrase. For instance, as a marketing consultant, you may assist businesses in developing and optimising their marketing strategies, or as a software consultant, you could establish software solutions for a company. Although the term has numerous uses, it’s typically used to describe management or strategy consulting, which is the process of assisting businesses in boosting efficiency and revenues by tackling their most pressing operational or strategic difficulties.
Qualities that Make a Good Consultant
There are some KEY qualities you need to possess if you are interested in becoming a professional consultant or just trying to get a well-paid job! Here are some of the management consultant job descriptions:
- Time Management – Make sure you manage all your tasks daily
- Quick & Flexible – Clients need to change anytime which means you need to be quick and flexible.
- Communication – This includes everything from emails to PPTs to Phone calls make sure it’s clear and concise!
- Basic Business Knowledge– You might not be an expert in all different sorts of industries like retail, healthcare, and many more but your clients can be from various industries.
- Analytical thinking skills – This includes both qualitative and quantitative! A lot of times your job will require you to look into huge data or specific reports of the company. You need to be able to interpret the data whether they are numbers or words!
Other skills include being organized, being a team player, and having social skills!
How To Become A Consultant In India?
Do you take pleasure in networking and seeing your customers prosper? If so, you might be prepared to work as a consultant. When choosing a career path in this area, read this to know how to become a consultant in India:
1. Obtain a bachelor’s degree
Education requirements for consultants can vary. For instance, certain entry-level consultant positions may just call for a bachelor’s degree in the relevant field, whereas applicants vying for senior-level positions will wish to have a master’s degree.
Consider earning a minor in that area in addition to your business degree if you’re interested in a career in a particular niche, such as health care. Most consultants have credentials in fields like:
- Business management,
- Computer science,
2. Acquire work experience
The next stage in becoming a consultant is to build a stellar portfolio that is loaded with the success stories of your clients. A few years of employment in your field can help you develop your skill sets and provide you the chance to become familiar with daily operations. You can distinguish yourself from other candidates thanks to your combination of experience and education at the expert level.
3. Become a member of a trade association
Employers are more likely to hire candidates who belong to associations. Many organisations provide first-year consultants and students with discounted membership rates. Companies like The Society of Professional Consultants assist independent consultants in establishing and expanding their consulting businesses by:
- Networking occasions,
- Resources found online, such as podcasts and blog posts,
- Marketing instruments.
4. Get certification for your industry
The need for certification for a consultant relies on the industry you choose to work in, much like its educational requirements do. Earn your Certified Management Consultant credential even if it might or might not be required if you want to increase your chances of landing a profitable job with a reputable consulting business. You can add this impressive designation to your resume after you finish the necessary courses and the test.
5. Finish your master’s program
Earning an MBA is very beneficial for many prospective consultants (Master of Business Administration). With this degree, more employment chances will probably present themselves with companies that favour interviewing applicants with advanced education. Similar to your undergraduate program, choose a curriculum that focuses on the area of study you’re interested in, such as healthcare management.
Consulting Career Path
You are sniffing in the right spot if you enjoy solving problems and working in a variety of industries, and enjoying the perks of a lifestyle that has the big luxuries of life.
Consulting firms typically have six roles, from entry-level to partner.
- Business Analyst
- Junior or Associate Consultant
- Senior Consultant
- Team Lead / Engagement Manager
Moving from one position to the next typically takes 1 to 3 years. As you move up the ladder your role will change:
Entry-level consultants tend to do a lot of analysis and presentations, while mid-level managers tend to ensure projects run smoothly and promote accountability.
Principles and partners focus on client relationships and closing new businesses.
In addition, unlike other in-house roles that are more specialized and probably possess a deeper level of expertise, consulting firms and their employees are blessed with a broad base of expertise.
Types of consulting careers
Below are some types of consultants that you can think of as your career option and this might be your career consulting path.
1. Strategy consulting
Strategic consultants, one of the most diverse categories of consultants, support senior-level business decision-making.
This is undoubtedly a job requiring strategic thinking because it typically involves providing advice to the top executives of a corporation (think C-Suite, Directors, and Senior Managers). This is a broad job that can be used in many different industries. The title will alter more the more specific the role. Examples include:
- Consultant for Financial Strategies
- Consultant for Environmental Strategy
- Business Strategy Advisor
2. Market consulting
As a fairly diverse area of business, marketing offers a plethora of opportunities for consultants. Marketing consultants may help in a wide range of areas, including content creation, sponsored acquisition, and email marketing. Overall, these consultants will create fresh approaches to assist businesses in more effectively attracting or converting their targeted demographic.
For instance, a business could need to redesign its email onboarding efforts to boost conversions. Alternately, it may have been running advertising for months and failed to lower the Cost-Per-Click (CPC), necessitating an urgent need to redesign ongoing ad campaigns. Listed below are a few marketing consultancy positions that might be of interest to you:
- Consultant for email marketing Paid Acquisition Consultant
- Consultant for Content Marketing
3. Operations consulting
Operations consulting is yet another vast category. An operational consultant can assist a company in streamlining operations and/or improving operational performance by using data and research.
They might be asked, for instance, to contribute to cost-cutting, improved corporate efficiency, or increased production. They might be employed to concentrate on each team’s operations. A few positions in operations consulting are:
- Consultant for sales and operations in marketing
- Occupational HR Consultant
4. Financial Consulting
Increasing the efficiency of how firms manage their funds is a widely sought-after service. People in this position may have to find cost-saving measures to increase profit, or they may just have to defend, restructure, or maximise a company’s bottom line.
Small businesses frequently lack the need or funding for a full-time finance manager; as a result, they need a qualified financial consultant to fill the void. On the other hand, larger firms could run into trouble and require independent financial counsel to pull them out of it.
A few particular financial consulting positions include:
- Economic Advisor
- Foreclosure Advisor
- Fundraising Advisor
5. HR Consulting
Consultants in human resources assist companies in a variety of ways, such as training and development, preserving employee satisfaction, and dispute resolution methods. It happens that consultants in this field are also hired to find or hire new personnel.
In general, this kind of consultant works with people, therefore the term “human” resources. Several examples of HR consulting positions include:
- Compensation Consultant
- Recruitment Consultant
- Healthcare Management Consultant
The Best Consulting Firms in India
Consulting firms are one of the biggest recruiters for MBA graduates, and it’s no surprise that top names in consulting recruit some of the brightest MBA graduates from some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the world, and they pay top salaries to their consultants while guiding, shaping, and directing their careers.
Even if you’re new to consulting you have most probably heard of the MBBs. MBB is an acronym for McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, and Bain & Company, which are considered the Big 3 management consulting firms. Getting into a consultancy work and business consulting career path is perfect if you are much into business.
Then there are four traditional Big Four accounting firms – Ernst & Young, Deloitte, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers – that have gradually increased their consulting business to compete with the Top 3.
There are also a lot of Consulting companies that are quite popular in India including Accenture, Kearney, Oliver Wyman, EY-Parthenon, Alvarez and Marsal, and Arthur D.Little.
There are other Indian consulting firms like Praxis Global Alliance and ZS Associates which are delivering great value to their clients
Is a Consulting job worth it?
At this point, you’re probably set on getting into the consulting field. Having a career as a consultant, no doubt has plenty of positives. Joining a consulting firm is one of the quickest and most effective ways if you are looking to build a vast and valuable network. Nevertheless, the negatives serve as a strong argument for why it is important to carefully examine the options available.
- Long Hours A consultant works close to 80 hours a week and is plagued with stress in off-hours – about work, clients, competition, deadlines, and endless other concerns
- Work-life balance – There is no such thing as a work-life balance. You end up sacrificing a lot of personal interests in order to cater to clients.
- Expertise Mismatch – You may work on projects that do not match your expertise. For instance, you might have a marketing degree, but might be tasked with helping a client implement an engineering project.
- High standards – There is a culture of constant feedback amongst consultants at all levels. Whether it be from clients, peers, or bosses. These factors decide your paycheck and can result in an overall stressful environment.
- Competition – Additionally, you may find that office politics may interfere with the most visible or challenging projects while stepping on another’s toes.
What Consulting Companies Do?
A consulting firm offers many services starting from scratch. They work from strategy to problem-solving followed by planning. Getting into consultancy is one of the perfect career options since there is a lot of scope of work that can often include project management skills and solutions. Consulting firms usually charge high rates for their services, since there is a lot to include in the scheme, and can be extremely profitable businesses.
How To Get A Consulting Job?
Below are some things that you can follow so that you can get a good consulting job and this can be your way to how to get consulting job:
1. Choose your area of expertise
Typically, consultants specialise in a certain area. As a result of their greater experience in one topic, they are able to offer knowledgeable counsel. Decide on the industry you want to work in before becoming a consultant. Think about your passions or your area of expertise while choosing a field. For instance, you might want to work as a cybersecurity consultant if you have prior experience in the field.
2. Develop your skills
You might need to spend some time honing your talents if you don’t currently have a lot of expertise in your chosen field. This comprises both generic abilities utilised by consultants and talents specifically connected to your industry. Develop a plan to enhance the talents that are frequently in demand in your chosen field by first conducting research on them.
3. Make a portfolio or a resume
You’ll probably need a solid CV or portfolio to land a position as a consultant, whether it’s for a consulting firm or as a solo practitioner. A consultant’s past experiences and pertinent abilities are listed on their résumé. It gives an overview of your degree of competence and past successes to potential employers or clients. In other professions, like marketing, you might wish to put together a portfolio with examples of your greatest work.
Concentrate on specific accomplishments when writing your consultant resume. You might state, for instance, that your recommendations helped your former employer increase productivity by 20%. Citing concrete results makes it clear to prospective employers or clients what kind of outcomes they can anticipate if they hire you.
4. Earn certificates
Professional certificates are useful in some areas. Professional certifications can assist you in landing a job as a consultant by proving that you have a particular degree of proficiency. An individual seeking employment as a project management consultant, for instance, might obtain a Lean Principles Certificate or a Certified Management Consultant accreditation. A certification can assist you not only develop your talents but also persuade clients or consulting businesses to hire you.
5. Make new connections
Networking can assist consultants in bringing in new clients or expanding their consulting practices. Attend networking events that are relevant to your chosen industry. Social networking apps can be used to network with people and advertise your consulting services
Example To Understand Consulting
To help you get a better understanding of what the daily work of a consultant looks like let’s look at this example:
Walmart wants to test home delivery for its customers. They hire a Consulting firm for this project. The Consulting firm proposes to analyze customer demographics and make recommendations on whether to proceed with Home Delivery. They agree to a 3-month assessment. They then deploy a team of 6 consultants with experience in grocery retail and logistics who will work on Walmart’s project. If you have an interest, learn consulting online courses.
The consulting manager holds a weekly status meeting with a small group of decision-makers from Walmart. If you are preparing for an interview, never miss to check out the common interview questions and their answerable solutions.
Professionals with extensive expertise in their sector and in-depth knowledge of their industry are considered consultants. They offer professional advice, analysis, and recommendations to a certain sort of client, who could be an individual, an organisation, or a group of individuals, based on their expertise, in order to assist them to enhance their business performance.
You may choose a job and decide if this field of work fits your talents and interests by understanding what a consultant performs. This page explores the many consultant tasks and responsibilities, the various sorts of consultants, and the abilities and credentials you would need to work as one.
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