Management consulting is one of the professions that endure in a slow economy.
Why? Because more than ever, companies need consultants to help them increaserevenues and cut costs.
Management consulting is also one of the highest paid professions in the UnitedStates.
A recent survey by the Association of Management Consulting Firms foundentry-level consultants earn an average of $58,000 annually while seniorpartners earn an average of $259,000 (including bonuses and profit sharing).
Self-employed consultants may earn $100 to $350 per hour.
Therefore, if you've been contemplating breaking into this field, wait no more.
(I'm glad I didn't!) The financial rewards are a real incentive. Other benefitsof the job include: intellectual challenge, prestige, opportunities to learn,and high levels of job satisfaction.
Now let's talk about the two paths of management consulting to consider: workingfor others and going solo.
If you don't have much experience or are a newgraduate, working for others is probably the wisest choice.
If you have alreadygained sufficient professional experience in a specialized field, going solo isa highly feasible option.
Whichever path you choose, here are some tips to break into and succeed in thisfield, based on the FabJob.com Guide to Become a Management Consultanthttp://www.fabjob.com/managementconsultant.asp?affiliate=236.
1. Develop your skills. Management consultants need to be skilled atproblem-solving, communication, and management skills such as scheduling anddelegating. Other skills and attributes that can help you land a job are basiccomputer skills, leadership, and an ability to work well under stress.
2. Educate yourself. Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to have abusiness degree, an MBA or even ANY degree to break into this field. (Having onedoesn't hurt either; in fact you'll be ahead in the game.) However, you shouldkeep up with current management issues through continuing education or readingbusiness publications.
3. Know what to expect from the job. Familiarize yourself with job titles,specializations (from information technology to organizational development), andthe typical consulting job cycle (proposal, brainstorming, data gathering,analysis, and presentation). Even better, learn how to prepare a proposal to getconsulting work.
4. Get experience. Ways to get management consulting experience include: probono work (volunteering to consult for a non-profit organization), aninternship, or by becoming a summer associate for a consulting firm.
5. Decide where you want to work. If your career goal is to work for aconsulting firm, decide where you want to focus your job search. Types ofemployers include multi-national firms (such as Accenture and McKinsey &Company), small "boutique" firms, corporations, non-profit organizations, andgovernment institutions. Each employer has different advantages anddisadvantages.
6. Familiarize yourself with the consulting job hunt process. For instance, theinterview stage for a consulting position includes personality and resumequestions, communication questions and business case questions. You may even beasked to make a presentation.
7. If you are considering starting your own firm. If you have an aptitude forentrepreneurship, preliminary steps to starting a consulting business includeconducting market research, deciding whether to incorporate, and setting up youroffice. You will also need to price your services (and decide whether to chargehourly, daily, per project or on retainer), and attract clients throughnetworking, advertising, or publicity.
Finally, while it is not an absolute necessity, you may want to pursue aprofessional designation as a certified management consultant to take yourcareer to the next level.
Management consulting is a very lucrative, recession-proof field. In fact, somespecialized consulting fields are experiencing a whopping increase of revenueduring the current slow economy. So get ready to plunge into this exciting andhighly rewarding profession. Just make sure to do your homework properly toensure success.
Jennie S. Bev is the author of the FabJob.com Guide to Become a ManagementConsultant http://www.fabjob.com/managementconsultant.asp?affiliate=236, whichwas nominated for 2003 EPPIE award for excellence in electronic publishing(winners announced in March 2003). Jennie is a San Francisco-based professionalwriter, consultant and instructional designer. Her other highly praised e-bookWrite Industry Reports: Work at Home and Start Earning $5,000 in Royalties perMonth is available through http://www.writingcareer.com/bev001.shtml. She can bereached via WritingGigs.com.
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