I love to share what I do. Recently I had the opportunity to speak with a group of undergraduates at my alma mater, the University of St. Thomas. I was so blown away by the professionalism and curiosity of the students and the insightful questions they asked. While I’d like to think that’s how I was when I was a St. Thomas undergrad, I think they are lightyears ahead!
The topic I presented was something we’ve all heard of when it comes to the current job market—“The Great Renegotiation”—in which companies are more willing than ever to negotiate and renegotiate current deals to both attract new talent and retain their current employees.
I was surprised by how interested my audience of undergraduates were in the world of consulting. With so many conversations around flexibility and work-life balance in the workforce, curiosity around consulting has increased. At Versique, I lead the Human Resources Interim Solutions team. I explained the role of consultants to the students and the importance they bring to the job market.
Here are the most frequently asked questions I receive about consulting:
Q: Why are more individuals being drawn to consulting work?
A: Consulting offers flexibility and choice in a few ways:
- Consultants get to choose what work they say yes to, which drives their engagement through choosing meaningful, value-added work with the opportunity to gain new experiences and skills.
- Consulting typically allows more flexibility around when and where consultants work, which usually means working less hours than a full-time corporate role.
- Consultants determine their pay rate, so they get to decide their pay for a given assignment and adjust their rate as they take on new clients and projects.
Q: Can I become a consultant if I don’t have years of experience?
A: Yes, but it can be difficult
Often clients are looking for senior level consultants due to the complexities of what they’re needing to solve. However, there are opportunities for consultants at all experience levels.
If you are in the early stages of your career and want to get into consulting, focus on the experiences you can gain to add to your toolkit. Seek out opportunities that will stretch you – raise your hand when there are opportunities to try new things, network with professionals in your field and ask questions about what they do, talk to your manager about your goals and the work you would like to have an opportunity to do.
Q: How do consultants find work?
A: Consultants find work a few different ways
Some consultants have their own consulting businesses where they are responsible for business development, marketing, and finding new opportunities with clients. This can all add up to a lot of leg work and long hours outside of their paid hired projects.
In our Interim Solutions division at Versique, we do all of the business development for our consultants, bringing opportunities directly to our consultants so they have time to decide which opportunities they choose and can give all of their focus to their current project. At Versique, we have many years where we’ve built vast relationships with business leaders so we can find the best opportunities for our candidates.
Where can you learn more about consulting?
If you are curious about consulting or are a leader interested in exploring how interim talent could add value to your team or organization, let’s talk!