Management consultants have different preferences when it comes to sectors to work on, topics to research about and projects to be assigned in. But there are three success factors all of them must possess to carry out their tasks. Find out what these are.
This success factor refers to the ability to understand the problem, break it into smaller parts and provide a structure for its resolution.
The management consulting problem presented by your client may be new or too complex for you. You may not have an idea about their industry or you may not have encountered their dilemma in books or in your previous cases. Hence, you must be smart enough to readily pick things up and elaborate it in your own simpler ways. At times, clients are not organized in presenting the actual situation so you must also have the ability to read between the lines.
To understand the problem better, break down the elements to get a full grasp of the situation. By analyzing the case in a step-by-step strategy, you’ll find out the affecting factors that cause the issue. For instance, if your client is threatened by the new product of his competitor, you can help him by conducting market researches, assessing the competition and evaluating advertisements.
In management consulting, you can make use of your organizational skills. This includes effective planning for a course of action, timely implementation of plans and efficient time management. You need these capabilities as you’ll be bombarded with emails, reports and other information. Since you’ll be very busy with meetings, interviews and reports, you’ll wish for more than 24 hours a day.
Disorganization significantly affects productivity. When you are unable to coordinate scheduling, store information and consolidate information neatly, you’ll end up doing these tasks differently over and over again. This results to waste of time and energy. The minutes or hours you have spent on these simple tasks could have been allotted for major concerns. Being unsystematic may also lead to confusion, which might worsen the stressful work-life balance issues of consultants.
If you want to work for a management consulting firm, you must have the ability to express yourself in a clear manner. You will be interacting with your client, your client’s employees and other consultants; hence, be flexible enough to adjust your language according to the person you’re dealing with. Top management will more likely expect you to be formal and professional while frontline workers would appreciate a friendlier disposition. You must be emotionally intelligent to help you in this aspect.
Excellent written communication skills is also valued in management consulting industry. Since you are expected to come up with researches, reports and presentations, you must have the ability to concisely and eloquently express your thoughts in words. Remember that these documents will be circulated from one person to another. Your client might even keep your output for decades. Thus, your reports must be carefully crafted so people would easily understand and appreciate your analysis and recommendations.
Recruiters start assessing applicants with these three skills as criteria in mind. They see to it that the fit interview questions they ask include experiential and situational cases to be able to gauge your natural abilities. If you’re pursuing a career in consulting, try to develop these three critical success factors as early as possible.