I had been in my position for less than a year, and was now in the middle of transitioning from my first full-time job, which was a consultant at a company I had a small part in.
As a result, I was in the process of learning the ropes of managing an organization that had been around for years, and now had a whole new staff.
As a freelancer, I had not been involved with an organization for more than a couple years, but this was my first time working with a larger team.
I was excited about the new challenge of being part of a company that had such a large, well-established team.
At the same time, I wanted to ensure that I did not let my inexperience or lack of experience in a particular field affect my effectiveness in my role.
I decided to take my time and learn as much as I could about each of the three areas that I was tasked with managing, and I had some success with that.
Here are my tips to become a better consultant in 2017.
Identify your strengths.
You have a great job, but that doesn’t mean you will be successful in the role.
Identifying your strengths is critical.
I am a large person, so my biggest advantage is my ability to stand and walk.
I can use my size to stand up for myself, and my height and my weight to stand my ground.
This is particularly helpful when I am dealing with people who are bigger than me, as my knowledge of a particular area of expertise will be invaluable to them.
In addition, I have a broad range of skills that I can share.
I enjoy reading, writing, organizing information, and creating visualizations.
Know what you are doing.
If you are not working from a “job description,” you need to know what you want to do.
If not, you may find yourself wondering what you should do next.
For example, you might find yourself thinking about getting a job that you love, or even just doing something that you enjoy.
Know your area of specialty, your client base, and what your role will entail.
Understand your role and what you need from the company.
You will need to be an expert in each of these areas.
It is important to understand what your company needs from you.
How will you be compensated?
What will be your compensation?
Are you paid for doing your work, or are you paid on the basis of your contribution to the company?
Are there benefits to your role?
Are they guaranteed?
Do you have to have a job?
Are all these things separate or interconnected?
The bottom line is that you need a company you can rely on to deliver what you expect.
Understand how the company operates.
Is there a salary cap?
Are the pay scales consistent?
Will you have job security?
Are your colleagues in a position to speak up about your performance?
Will the company’s expectations change when you step down?
These are questions you need answered in a way that will allow you to be successful as a consultant.
Know the culture.
You must be able to articulate how your role with the company will benefit the organization.
It can be helpful to understand the company culture, because you will need this information to plan your career.
Know when to call it quits.
Your role may not change immediately, but the company has the right to terminate you if you do not meet expectations, such as your communication skills, ability to communicate effectively with colleagues, and communication skills in general.
Know who to trust.
Do you need someone to review your performance report?
Do your colleagues want to be your boss?
Do they have access to your work?
Do the company employees know how to get the job done?
Do any of your colleagues share your opinion?
These questions are important because they will help you determine how you can be the best consultant possible for your company.
Make a list of the things you are good at.
It may seem silly to list these things, but you will want to make a list and be sure that you are working on it every day.
This list will help guide you when you need help.
I started writing this list in January 2017.
Keep in mind that you have many options to improve your career and your life.
There are many opportunities to improve for the future, and many of these opportunities are open to anyone.
So, when you are thinking about becoming a consultant, make sure you have a clear and consistent plan to meet your goals and work toward them.