Consulting is a great profession, offering many advantages that are hard to find in a standard industry job. However, many experienced consultants warn that it may not be a long-term career path. They point out that few consultants stay long enough to become partners. The major difference between the advantages of consulting and those of a standard industry job is that, in consulting, you are the product and your employer will prioritize you, likely second only to sales. I recently asked my former CEO this same question, since he had been in consulting since the start of his career.
He had made the transition in and out of the industry, but he always found a way to return to consulting. After much thought, he concluded that consulting can be a viable long-term career option if you are willing to take on new challenges and adapt to changing market conditions. The key to success in consulting is to stay ahead of the curve. You need to be able to identify new trends and opportunities before they become mainstream. This means staying up-to-date with industry news and developments, as well as networking with other professionals in the field.
Additionally, you should be willing to take on new projects and roles as they become available. Another important factor is to build relationships with clients. This means going above and beyond what is expected of you and providing exceptional service. You should also be willing to invest in yourself by taking courses or attending seminars related to your field of expertise. Finally, it is important to remember that consulting is not a one-size-fits-all career path. You need to find the right balance between taking on new challenges and staying within your comfort zone.
It is also important to recognize when it is time to move on from a particular project or client. In conclusion, consulting can be a viable long-term career option if you are willing to take on new challenges and adapt to changing market conditions. With the right attitude and dedication, you can make a successful career out of consulting.