Consulting Stereotype Breaker
What do we think people in consultancy do? And what are they like? Do they descend on each client, boss some staff around a bit and then up and leave? Or do companies turn to consultants as Frodo turns to Gandalf, Harry Potter turns to Dumbledore and Luke Skywalker turns to Yoda, as a source of infinite wisdom and guidance for the success of their business?
You might have heard that consultancy is a very tricky industry to break into, and the salaries are pretty high! But you might also have heard that as a beginner in this industry you will probably get stuck with the mundane tasks.
What’s the real deal?
In a way, consultants really do hold a talisman-like status for the clients they work with. Clients will pay big money for consultancy contracts, especially with the increasingly rapid development of the emerging markets (such as in China). They need to know how to keep up and compete in the most effective and efficient ways possible, and they look to consultancies to provide them with advice on how to do this.
Consultants do have incredible amounts of knowledge surrounding their specialist area, and up-to-the-minute commercial awareness to boot! But they haven’t been born with it! It takes a lot of hard work to keep on top of all the latest industry developments and practices, and then provide bespoke advice. Some senior consultants will have years of experience and will have learned their trade from a number of people. And owing to the importance businesses place on the advice consultants can provide, salaries can indeed be high!
There is therefore, unsurprisingly, another truth in the fact that there is a heck of a lot of competition for jobs in this industry. Though there are a small amount of school leaver programmes which lead into this industry (watch this space for more in the near future!), the majority of consultants start out in graduate roles.