How to Become a Consultant
Consultants provide recommendations and guidance in a number of different workplace settings depending on their own area of expertise. From management consultants to marketing consultants, consultancy is a dynamic career path that allows you to help businesses achieve success in your area of passion.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Consultant?
In order to become a successful consultant, you will first need to identify your niche and gain the right qualifications for your particular industry. This could be anything from a business administration certification for those looking to become a business consultant, or a more general business consultancy course to a university degree for those looking to consult in public relations.
If you are looking to start your own business as an independent consultant or the head of a consulting firm, you may need to obtain a license before you can start practicing.
As a Beginner, Where Should I Start in Consultancy?
A career in consultancy should begin by identifying your niche and target market. Are you looking to work with startups and small business owners to get them off the ground, or are your eyes set on large companies in need of advanced information technology, business management or human resources consulting?
It’s also a good idea to start and maintain a robust LinkedIn profile, which can help you with acquiring new clients and learn how to develop a better service offering to potential clients.
Skill Set Required for a Consultant
While consultancy can be a great career, like with any other job, it isn’t for everyone. In order to be successful, you need to boast the right set of skills, for example:
Great interpersonal skills
Expertise in a particular field
Independent work ethic but being able to work as part of a team when required
Strong problem-solving skills
What Does a Consultant Do?
Consultants share their know-how in their particular area of expertise to help businesses achieve their objectives. There are consulting opportunities across practically all industries, from social media to management consulting.
Consulting services typically fall into one of the following categories: strategic advice, done-for-you service, one-time training and ongoing coaching. Some consultants even work exclusively from a home office, offering webinars and courses to their client base instead of face-to-face consulting.
Some popular areas of consulting include business administration, finance, accounting, business management, human resources, computer science, engineering, government and marketing.
Typical Duties for a Consultant
Popular Career Pathways for Consultants
Due to its broadness, there are countless career pathways within consulting. You may choose to work full-time for a consulting firm, or start your own consulting business after developing a strong track record and plenty of work experience.
Consulting careers offer a world of opportunities, allowing you to take your career in practically any direction you please.