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Why Is Consulting So Tough?

#1 Why Is Consulting So Tough?
02/08/2008 03:16


I wanted to share my experiences at work recently and get some advice....

I've recently started to work for someone new who ...scrutinises my work and, on an almost daily basis, rewrites what I have done, indicating that my work is of poor quality. I've been told that "it's a disgrace that my work has been signed off by the board and paid for by the client", and that "there are no good people at my level in the team" (and therefore no one that can be relied upon).

By others, I am rated a 4 (which is good) and am told that my work sets a high standard for others in the team to aim for.

I'm finding this hard to take and think the criticism is unfair and unjustified, but I find it hard to understand why I am subjected to this.

Any advice?

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#2 RE: Why Is Consulting So Tough?
02/08/2008 08:00

anon to sheneverwearsasuitatwork (#1)

It could be that the new person has arrived with higher standards than you and others who've been at the firm a while are accustomed to in your work. Or it could be that they just have different standards which they see as being distinct and higher but that you don't. Or it could be that the new person is better at stating their mind and giving open feedback than has been customary in the past in your firm's culture.

Either way, I'd recommend that you don't lose your self-confidence (after all other people appear to have spoken well of you in the past). However, this sounds like a good opportunity to learn - by working with this person you can raise your game and pick up a whole new raft of consulting skills. At the least, you can learn how to work with this new person.

You've not mentioned what others' experiences of working with this person have been like, but the likelihood is that this "unfair and unjustified" criticism isn't personal. The way that reputations work is that once one person in your old workgroup endorsed you, others became more perceptive of your good work and reinforced the perception. The new person has not seen any of your good work yet and has not been exposed to the group expectation that you are a high performer - therefore, they need to be impressed afresh.

It sounds like you're relatively early in your career so I'd recommend that you treat this as an opportunity to learn from this person's experiences about what consulting looks like outside your present firm. It's worth being cognisant that when consultants enter a firm in this manner, it's often because they've been hired with the remit of "kicking butt" and instituting changes that partners and others in the firm don't know how to implement.

Some people may look for an easy excuse to externalise the problem, by suggesting that the new person's behaviour is because they feel threatened. However because of the seniority difference, and because they are the new broom rather than vice-versa, this is very unlikely.

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#3 RE: Why Is Consulting So Tough?
02/08/2008 14:06

Teach to sheneverwearsasuitatwork (#1)

Let me guess: you're both female and your previous bosses have all been male. Classic situation.

Solution? Be the ultimate professional. Eliminate politicking from your dealings with her. Wait it out - you'll eventually move onto other projects with other bosses.

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#4 RE: Why Is Consulting So Tough?
02/08/2008 18:17

Greendotter to Teach (#3)

You work for the green dot llp and your boss is jealous of you. It is more common than you imagine.

<br>Keep your head up and dont let your boss bring you down.

<br>You are good at your job and the majority of people think so.

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