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Consulting is a joke

 
#1 Consulting is a joke
28/05/2008 17:26

frustrated consultant

How can someone who has never had an operational role in industry pretend to know it all????

That's what most consultants do, at least those who have joined straight from college and with less than 10 years experience.

That's what I do too; advise the client on things I have no idea about.

Does anybody else feel the same way?

Doesn't it get you unsatisfied, frustrated and eventually hateful of your job?

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#2 RE: Consulting is a joke
28/05/2008 19:19

ZB to frustrated consultant (#1)

unsatisfying, frustration and hatefulness...sounds like you've been ACN-ified!

ZB

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#3 RE: Consulting is a joke
28/05/2008 20:17

Spriggs to ZB (#2)

I'd say that initially, yes that might be the case. But a) most consulting directors are not stupid enough to put the inexperienced front and centre with the client, but rather get them to do grunt work in the background, and b) most clients can quickly evaluate whether you know anything.

What consulting give you is exposure to the different ways of doing things that clients employ. It gives you a broader perspective and teaches you other skills such as problem solving, analytics and adaptability. What makes a good consultant great is the ability to learn a new methodology, or even a new industry fast.

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#4 RE: Consulting is a joke
28/05/2008 21:06

frustrated consultant to Spriggs (#3)

Spriggs -

I completely agree with you. In the first few years, you don't know much about your industry.

But at my firm, my managers require from me that I know what I am talking about, whereas it can never be the case since I have never worked in the industry.

Consulting is not a "technical" job that can be learned in a few months, as opposed to finance or programming for instance. It's years and years of experience before being able to enjoy it and really start creating value to the client.

That's why I think that consulting as a career start is a waste of time. I don't understand the business model and why the hell clients buy services for junior consultants who don't know crap.

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#5 RE: Consulting is a joke
28/05/2008 22:12

Evil Consultant to Spriggs (#3)

Frustrated Consultant,

Most of the points are pretty well covered above; however what I would say is this: most of the clients that I have worked with have absolutely no idea about the subject in which they are supposed to be experts either. In general they only know how it works at their company and aren't really interested in finding out how it works elsewhere, or in improving the way things work in their little empire. Such tendencies tend to get beaten out of them while they're still relatively junior. (This is a generalisation, and as such, there will always be exceptions to this rule of thumb.)

This is where consultants come in. At the junior levels you learn the basic ways in which your industry functions, mostly by a process of osmosis from your managers (who hopefully do have the experience) and by getting your hands mucky with lots of data from lots of clients, each of whom functions in a different manner. Over time, you become more experienced and learn not just the theory, but also how things work in the real world.

EC

PS - Spriggs? A machinima fan by any chance?

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#6 RE: Consulting is a joke
29/05/2008 09:54

Anon to frustrated consultant (#1)

I agree with the OP entirely.

I work with many colleagues that joined consulting straight from Uni and have no "real world" experience what so ever. They are really not well positioned to provide advice to our clients on business issues.

To any grads reading this, I would STRONGLY suggest you consider spending a year or three in industry in a sector that interests you before joining consultancy. This will provide you with some perspective and ultimately help you become a more useful consultant.

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#7 RE: Consulting is a joke
29/05/2008 15:41

dutchconsultant.baywords.com to Anon (#6)

Anon, what difference do you think it will make if a grad joins the industry for 3 years, joins a consultancy firm and then starts advising companies and people with (10+ years of experience) OR join a big consultancy firm as a grad, learn the 'consultant' job and gain cross-industry experience ?

Let me burst the bubble for you; kids who just left university do not add much value within any company (consultancy firm or not).

Frustrated consultant, not everyone has the right personality to be a consultant. The hours, the chaos, the uncertainties and perhaps the blagging does not fit everyone. Feel unsatisfied and frustrated ? Do something about it; perhaps change project, perhaps change consultancy firm or even consider heading for an industry position.

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#8 RE: Consulting is a joke
29/05/2008 17:59

Michael to frustrated consultant (#1)

Yes you are right, luckily this is not the case in all consultancies – I have 22 years industry experience and more than 40% of our company have similar backgrounds. Sadly when the BIG boys pull in fresh graduates and don’t provide the correct support and training it pulls down the reputation of all consultants.

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#9 RE: Consulting is a joke
29/05/2008 18:32

r to Michael (#8)

to previous post:

but what makes you feel (assume) that your 22 experience is more qualified than 15, 10 or 5 years of some one elses???

(as a specialist role ofcourse I understand. but in the broader context of consultancies?)

in most companies when they hier consultants from bulge bracket firms they are NOT expecting to bring special knowledge etc but more so about " changes" they want to bring in and by the way most of the high level changes are already known to the board or in the heads of people even before top tier consultants are brought on board. Its mostly about working out the details and making sure an outsider is pulling the change through.

When M&A deal happens.......how much of that is due to number crunching experienced associates??? most of it is in the heads of people who might not even know details of the industry!!

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