How to Start a Career in Consulting – Everything You Need to Know

Consulting is a high-paying career – one that’s difficult to start.

Luckily, here’s a guide that’ll help you to start a career in consulting.

Career in Consulting

The easiest way to learn how to pass the exam and get a job in Big 3 consulting companies is to know about case study frameworks, polish up your resume and get clients by applying on My Consulting Coach programs.

Their students have a high success rate in finding consulting jobs. They’ll also teach you the ins and outs of the business, as well as secrets of the trade.

Yet, a lot of people are intrigued by a salary range of 40.000$-450.000$ a consultant earns per year. Salary, while intriguing – takes away the main benefit of the consulting career.

How to Become a Consultant

Being a consultant isn’t a mere job – it’s a calling.

People entering this career need to have or acquire certain psychological traits. They need to have a strong focus, drive, and possess a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Of course, they need to be analytical and problem solvers.

However, even if a person possesses these character traits, it doesn’t mean they are ready to work as consultants.

Learning the Craft

Learning the craft is everything. Before you apply to become a consultant, you need previous experience. Luckily, consultants niches wary, and you can be a consultant in any of the following fields:

  • Accountant
  • IT
  • Sales
  • PR
  • Advertising
  • Business
  • NGO
  • HR
  • Communications
  • Payroll management
  • Publishing
  • Management

So, having actual industry experience is necessary before you become a consultant. You can’t be a PR consultant without ever working in a PR agency. Make sure you have at least a few years of experience before looking at this type of career.

There are exceptions. For example, you may enroll at a business school and become a manager after a few years. In strictly technical terms, you are going to do the same job as a consultant.

But, the main reason people opt for programs like My Consulting Coach programs is to improve their chances when applying for a consultant job. In My Consulting Coach programs, you get access to an abundance of knowledge and to practice with experts to prepare for an interview.

That leads us to the next point – where you want to work?

Finding a Consultancy

The Big 3, as they call them, are the three best consultant firms. These are McKinsey, BCG, and Bain. When candidates want to work in consulting, they choose one of the three firms to start their careers.

The reason for this is simple:

  • They get relevant experience
  • Build up a resume
  • Build up a portfolio
  • Get a chance to stay at the firm
  • Acquire credentials to start a consultancy of their own

After you went through one of the Big 3 firms, you are ready for any business or entrepreneurial endeavor. But, working in a consultancy firm is one thing – getting a job in the Big 3 is totally another.

The main reason you should work at Big 3 is to learn the craft, build business connections, upgrade your resume, and grow your portfolio. But, to get a job in a consulting firm, you have to pass the exam.

Preparing for the Exam

Passing the exam is the hardest part of working in a consultancy firm. Exams are hard. The exam varies from firm to firm. But, they focus on the three segments, regardless of how specific they are. The segments are:

  • First-round interview and resume walkthrough
  • Problem-solving
  • Second-round interview

In the first round, the interviewer goes through your resume and gets to know your personality. They want to see how you think, what’s your character like, your psychological traits, and how you perform under pressure. You’ll also have to guide them through your resume and career.

The problem-solving part consists of solving an actual business problem. Solving the problem is a crucial part of an interview. You have to think on the spot, assess the business problem, ask questions, use any available facts and data to solve the problem.

Then, you have the last part of the exam. Here, candidates are under more pressure. In this part, you have to act as an interviewer, asking questions and showing them why the firm should hire you.

Finally, you get results, and luckily you complete the exam. The only thing left is to learn how to pass a consultant exam.

How to Pass a Consultant Exam

The best way to pass the exam is to replicate the process as much as you can. There are books on the subjects, and there are gurus to help you – their success rate is low.

You want to go through the exact process and avoid prepared solutions. Practice how to solve problems on the spot, communicate with the clients, and close the sale. For that, you need to replicate the process as thoroughly as you can – you should do that with My Consulting Coach programs.

With them, you can pass the exam and start your career as a consultant.

Start a Career in Consulting

Finally, you are ready to work as a consultant!

There are two usual career paths to take – in-agency consulting or start your firm.

In-Agency Consulting

Not all people want to have a consultancy firm of their own. Some consultants work their way up to become a partner in a consultant firm. Or, they can look for a chance to work in corporations, NGOs, or other big systems.

Working in a firm is the easiest route to take. It’ll correspond with the idea of taking the exam for Big 3 firms. Even if you don’t reach a senior position, they’ll find a way for you to get a new job at another firm or corporation.

The up-side of this path is an established salary and benefits. The down-side is that you won’t be able to pick your clients. Maybe you won’t be able to reach a partner position. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with it.

Branching on Your Own

Starting a firm of your own is an adventure of its own. Again, you should gather your experience and portfolio working with the Big 3 or other consultancy firms. Thus, going through My Consulting Coach programs will help you exponentially regardless of what you do as a consultant.

When you start a consulting firm, you’ll get to choose your clients, dictate your prices, and work as much as you want. You’ll build your name and brand, pick your projects, and be directly responsible for your earnings.

The up-side of this path is higher earnings, building a brand, a broader project selection. The downside of this path is uncertainty, challenges of starting a business, and less earning stability.

Either way, you shouldn’t forget that being a consultant is a calling.

Keep Working

If you are starting, you shouldn’t be worried too much about all that. Once you gather up the experience, you’ll switch jobs or start your business. Instead, focus on getting better.

How to be a Better Consultant

When you get a job at a consulting firm, you should take every opportunity to grow. Developing a specific set of skills is going to make much difference in your later career. My Consulting Coach programs can help you with skills development.

The sooner you develop these skills, the better you’ll get as a consultant. Start with your specialization.

Finding a Niche

Finding a niche should be your priority. You may have an interest already, but you should go for an in-depth specialization. Consulting is all about resolving a specific problem business or a person has.

So, if you have a field of interest or something you are passionate about – learn how consulting works in that area. Later on, specialization helps you to get better clients, get better projects, and stand out from competitors.

Study the Craft

Along with a niche, you should develop a lot of time to study the craft. Read as much as you can about consulting, business, advertising, and management. Look for courses and seminars, and attend them.

Maybe even get a mentor. Constant education helps you to become better. Every penny you spend on improving your skills is 2$ earned in the future. Education pays off in the long run.

Get Better at Math

Another skill you want to improve in is math. Quickly performing mathematical operations is going to help you with clients. When you are good at math, you can count prices, discounts, and losses on the spot.

And, your arguments are going to be much more convincing when you add numbers to them.

Soft Skills

Finally, you need communication skills. Closing a sale or signing up a client requires negotiation skills. Maybe you aren’t a great negotiator, but that doesn’t mean you can’t become better. Communication is a matter of practice.

Spend enough time improving these skills. Consultants have to work on these skills to excel at their work. Now, you are ready to go through an exam and start a career in consulting.

Wrapping it Up

Consulting is a great career. You get to work with people, solve real problems, and help people and businesses earn more money.

More than anything, it’s a calling. You have to decide that when you wake up, you are going to improve someone’s life. There’s nothing better than that – it’s a great motivation to get out of bed in the morning.