What Not to Do as a Consultant: A Guide for Successful Consulting

Consulting is a rewarding career path that can have a big impact on organizations. It offers the opportunity to work with leading companies around the world, learn about new industries, and stay at the cutting edge of technology. However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and drawbacks of consulting. This article will discuss what not to do as a consultant, including avoiding overconfidence, respecting the culture of the workplace, and being aware of political dynamics.

Never act overconfident or arrogant with customers. Always be respectful to employees and remember that you are at your workplace. Be respectful of the culture and the impact that decisions, based on your consulting, will have on employees. The world changes, changes and is becoming more and more intense and smaller.

With these and many other changes, there is a greater need to hire contractors and consultants who have deep and diverse experience in a given field. Over the past 10 years as a consultant and coach, I have learned, through my own experience and many others, some tricks to be effective in every commitment. Most importantly, I've learned some mistakes that are essential to avoid if you want to have a lasting impact and to be seen as an important member of your client's team. I've been a consultant for 25 years and I'm here to tell you that it's not what you think it is. In the late 1990s, I began my career, begrudgingly, as a consultant.

I found a job at Price Waterhouse after finishing graduate school, and as it turned out, I really liked consulting. That said, there are a lot of reasons why you shouldn't be a consultant, but to be fair, there are a lot of reasons why you should too. To begin with, let's talk about the positive aspects of being a consultant. First and foremost, as a consultant, it means having a big impact on organizations. Working internally in an organization and having the same skills will give you an advantage in the internal team.

If you're an external consultant with the same skills, you're the expert. Which companies usually hire consultants because they want to go through some kind of change and are looking for guidance and advice. Through this business transformation, they need a coach. As a consultant, you will influence the functioning of large, massive and influential organizations around the world. For example, many of the clients we work with at Third Stage are for-profit companies that produce great resources.

Others are non-profit organizations that promote society and government entities that help people. There are a lot of indirect end results that are beneficial within this position and this career. Most of the problems that consultants are asked to solve are very challenging but rewarding. There are complex issues that need to be solved almost always at work. Continuous learning about new industries, the way companies work, operational, organizational and technological dynamics will give competition an advantage. It really is a space where mastering it may never be closed but having the experience and working with all kinds of people helps a lot.

Being a consultant will often lay the foundation for success in any career you may pursue after consulting. If you've worked helping some leading organizations around the world solve complex problems, it will be much more cost-effective and desirable for other companies. There is a possibility that in the future you will no longer want to be a consultant. Traveling is exhausting; the stress is overwhelming and the long hours overwhelm you - whatever the case may be - background matters. Now if you're intrigued by emerging technologies - like me - it can be fascinating to learn about consulting. As I mentioned before, you're constantly learning about new industries, businesses, and cultures.

Whether it's artificial intelligence (AI), data analysis (DA), robotics (R), machine learning (ML) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems - you're constantly forced to learn in order to have that knowledge and improve your skills. Being at the cutting edge of technology and understanding how technology works in complex organizations is very important to grow as an effective consultant. I just talked about some of the positive aspects of consulting; however there are also a lot of disadvantages and risks associated with this career path. First of all - it's a lot of hard work! Work also involves a lot of pressure. Customer demands can reach you - and if you're not ready for that - or if you don't want to work hard - it's not going to be a good fit for you. If you truly value lifestyle balance or work-life balance more than professional exposure and long-term growth potential then consulting isn't the best option for you. If you've watched my videos for some time or have delved deeper into my YouTube channel - you've probably seen me talk about some of my experiences working for great system integrators. A drawback - in my opinion - would be the big consulting firms in the sector such as Deloitte Accenture, KPMG and Capgemini. There is a deep-seated political dynamic that can be very harmful and stressful. What was my case? That was the main reason why I left larger consulting firms; they are generally focused on protecting large sources of revenue with large clients and projects. When so much money is at risk - a lot of unhealthy political dynamics are generated internally within the consulting organization.

To give you a couple of examples - you're often not completely transparent with customers because you need to protect that revenue stream. I know that I spent many hours and meetings with other members of the team trying to figure out how we were going to put a positive spin on really bad news; we dedicate most of our resources trying to make ourselves look good rather than focusing on how to solve customer problems. No matter how irrational it seems - every time a customer has a problem - it becomes your problem! As a consultant there are high expectations from customers which can lead to stress if not managed properly. In conclusion, consulting can be an incredibly rewarding career path but there are certain risks associated with it such as overconfidence, respecting workplace culture, being aware of political dynamics as well as managing customer expectations which can lead to stress if not managed properly. It's important to understand these risks before embarking on this journey so that one can make an informed decision about whether or not consulting is right for them.

Dominic Mccoard
Dominic Mccoard

Avid foodaholic. Infuriatingly humble bacon nerd. Lifelong beer advocate. Total sushi scholar. Passionate pop culture scholar. Typical travel guru.