The Pros and Cons of Being a Business Consultant: An Expert's Perspective

Being a business consultant can be an exciting and rewarding career, but it also comes with its own unique set of challenges. There is a certain amount of stress associated with the need to generate business to support the salaries of consulting staff, and this stress can vary depending on the individual's personality. In a recent ranking of the most stressful jobs in financial services, consulting finished sixth, right in the middle of the group. However, almost all of the positions that were considered most stressful had an income-generating component.

Risk management was the only outlier. Adding business development responsibilities can dramatically increase the maximum compensation limit, but it can also increase a person's blood pressure, especially when it comes to a new position. At all levels, consultants live in a culture of constant feedback. Feedback from colleagues and bosses influences bonuses, promotions, and reputation. In such an ecosystem, you are under constant stress.

Many are deeply impressed and enthusiastic about the high-profile, high-paying careers that most consultants develop. As a junior consultant, especially at major league firms, you can be part of a team that advises companies that are already doing well. Some companies use consulting practices as an external statement of their plans and having someone come to the company who doesn't know it from start to finish and agrees with the strategy is a worthwhile exercise for them. In consulting, a lot of things depend on the project and its director, and these things change at a breakneck pace. The general consensus is that a given consulting firm can have an annual turnover rate of around 20%, especially in younger positions.

In one of the tasks, the Big Four Consultant and his team underwent drug tests at the request of the client before starting work, despite having worked for the company for many years. It can be difficult to get out on bail after a few months, but I have met graduate consultants (MBB) who left before the end of their first year to pursue various jobs (finance, law, business development, etc).A consultant living in Florida told us about a time when he worked for a Connecticut hedge fund that housed his team in a completely different building than his main office for security reasons. My conversation with him revolved around understanding what young professionals should know if they want to dedicate themselves to consulting. The work takes consultants around the world to beautiful cities and offers them an incredible variety of cultures. We spoke to several current and former management consultants to explain some of the unspoken pros and cons of the job that outsiders might not be aware of.

The consultants told us that many of their former colleagues started working for former clients after one or two years, depending on their lack of competence. The advantages of being a business consultant include high salaries, travel opportunities, and exposure to different cultures. However, there is also a significant amount of stress associated with this job due to constant feedback from colleagues and bosses as well as high turnover rates. Ultimately, whether or not being a business consultant is stressful depends on each individual's personality. When considering becoming a business consultant it is important to weigh both sides carefully. On one hand there are many benefits such as high salaries and travel opportunities; however there are also drawbacks such as stress from feedback from colleagues and bosses as well as high turnover rates.

It is important to consider your own personality when deciding if this career path is right for you.