Names/roles have been changed to protect the innocent or just to ensure my ability to pay for life’s little pleasures – such as my morning coffee runs.

Before joining Trinity Technology Group, I had worked in project management at multinational corporations for 10 years. In that time, I had successfully worked with the most difficult personalities in just as challenging situations. I felt that the consulting side of the industry would be the same. I had this covered!

shutterstock_181395617

Reality, however, was somewhat different than what I had imagined. In this blog post, I have listed some of the things that I have learned on my journey as a project manager and some things that you can also hope to come across in the consulting world:

  • Project-based Environment: Most consultants work on client sites and, therefore, you rarely get to meet coworkers unless you’re on the same project. Based on your project, you may also work with one group of people for a very short amount of time before the project ends and you move onto a new one with a new team. I’m a people person so it took me a while to get used to this aspect of consulting.
  • Solve Real Problems: Even though IT consulting firms don’t work directly with the public, consultants solve real problems. Consulting firms lead large-scale projects that vary from industry to industry and require unique technical, business analysis, and project management skills. It is because of the successful implementation IT projects that thousands of people are able to renew their drivers’ license online and not have to stand in a line at the DMV for hours. Similarly, most of these projects impact thousands, if not millions, of real people.
  • Supportive Work Environment: Since the environment is project-based (a team of six-seven consultants on client site until the project is completed), there are strong bonds within team members, who are supportive of each other and are willing to lend a hand to finish the project to the best of their ability.
  • End-to-End Project Management: I have been managing projects for business teams for many years. Therefore, I’ve had a lot of interaction with IT teams through the course of my career. However, after working at a consulting firm, I now have the full picture (things I read on the PMBOK while studying for my PMP certification finally make sense). I have the ability to work on, influence, track progress, report, and mitigate risk for every step of the project. For a Project Manager, this is like waking up to a room full of gifts for my family without having to shop for them! OK, maybe I’m the only person that gets excited by that. I’m not a fan of long lines or returning online shopping items.
  • Proof of Concept (POC) on Steroids: Proactive consulting firms keep tabs on changing legislation, political and social environments and provide recommendations to those it impacts. This amounts to creating a lot of POCs for potential clients, which include working demos, PowerPoint presentations and a lot of frustration trying to solve someone’s problems without much input. Sometimes the POCs turn into real projects and sometimes they don’t. However, they teach team members about a “real” problem and help them figure out ways to solve it. They might also get to learn a new technology or methodology along the way.

What’s my take on all of this? I LOVE IT and I should have started consulting many, many years ago. My advice (if you want it) – if you’re thinking about moving to the big, bad world of consulting, just do it. You just have to be comfortable with not knowing EVERYTHING all the time.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]