Do consultants really work? This is a question that has been asked for years, and the answer is a resounding yes. Consultants provide expert opinions, analyses and recommendations to organizations or individuals, based on their own experience. They are objective problem solvers and provide strategies to prevent problems and improve performance. The idea that consultants don't work much is likely due to the fact that many consultants are working on PowerPoint decks.
If you work as a strategy consultant, for example, you are helping the client to develop their strategy. The best way to share it with the customer is often through a PowerPoint presentation with hundreds of slides containing details and graphics. Consultants work with client companies to solve specific business challenges. Consulting projects are often carried out in teams and can focus on a variety of areas, including strategic and technological implementations.
Some consultants are independent experts, but many work for consulting firms like McKinsey. Because consultants travel almost every week, they quickly gain loyalty points and status at airlines and hotels. This also involves an element of relationship building, and it is important that the consulting manager continuously communicates with the client and sets expectations. In the typical representation of consultancy or the “big four” firms, consultants work on a project for three to six months or so.
In addition to the final presentation at the end of the project, the consultants will also provide interim updates so that clients know that the project is on the right track. At the highest level, a consultant is nothing more than someone who is an expert in something and helps other people, whether a consultant helping a person or who is helping an organization. Management consulting is an industry that provides expensive and professional advice to organizations to improve their overall performance, through better “management”, which includes strategy, governance, operation, organization, finance and marketing. However, many consultants work in their central offices if their clients are local or if their clients don't need them to travel. The projects that consultants work on last anywhere from a few months to a few years, although the average duration of the projects is usually 3 to 9 months. In addition, consultants can focus on getting the right answer and developing the right recommendations for business problems without worrying about company policy.
An expert's cheat sheet to succeed in the first few months and get promoted quickly in consulting firms includes consulting mentality, resource management, client management and work-life balance.