The number one reason that keeps you coming back to work every day at your current position is the flexibility and freedom that the position provides. I was always able to find something new, exciting, and challenging on a daily basis – something that the company did not offer me before. But, after several years of doing IT consulting, I began to realize that my skills were becoming outdated. My knowledge of the latest technology, my ability to communicate with other consultants, and my general knowledge of business all became obsolete.
What I realized was that, even though I had started working in a current position, I was still stuck in the same career path. I wasn’t happy in my current position and wasn’t sure I wanted to go on a further career journey within this industry. The freedom and flexibility that the IT consultant position offered me made it so appealing, but it was a hard decision to make. Why should I continue on with a career that was meandering? How could I make this career change is more meaningful?
In order to answer these questions and help others in similar situations, I shared with them what I have learned during my research. First, the first step is to identify the reasons you want to become an IT consultant. Are you looking for an exciting, fast-paced, high-level business career that allows you to follow-up on cutting-edge technology trends? Or do you want to start out as an entry-level consultant, working with small companies and technology vendors to provide them with quick dashboards, webinars, and round-the-clock advice?
If you are currently working in a current position, but want to start a new, higher-paying career path in a new industry, technology, or location, the answer may be easier than you think. A recent poll asked CIOs (chief executive officers) around the world, if there is a particular skill set, talent, or personality trait that makes the CIO stand out from the crowd. The answer was surprisingly (and surprisingly, also surprisingly accurate) that most CIOs possess all of the skills and traits listed, and many of them have more than one. What makes unique CIOs different is their ability to bring all of these skills together into a seamless package that is attractive to customers and supervisors alike. This skill set is what makes unique consultants different.
Unique consultants are people with years of hands-on experience in one or more specific areas. Whether they have experience since they started college with computer science, finance, and marketing backgrounds, or they just spent 15 years in corporate America working as a network administrator, a seasoned IT consultant can easily pick up the technical skills needed to perform the job. What makes them stand out is their ability to bring those technical skills to bear on their clients and provide the insight, technical knowledge, and communication that will make your client’s business a success.
While consultants can learn and apply a large number of IT skills quickly and easily, they are also best known for their communication and leadership skills. In this role, a competent consultant can help guide and manage the implementation of new system technology, lead a change management team, and work as an effective follow-up professional. In a fast-moving and ever-changing business environment, having someone reliable on the sidelines to act as a sounding board and provide honest advice is critical to maintaining productivity and profitability. In a fast-moving business environment, consultants can also act as a support system by communicating and aiding the team when needed. Lastly, a successful consultant can make the transition into leadership roles smoothly and effectively through their communication and leadership skills. As a CIO, IT manager, or CFO, you know that the best way to achieve your company’s goals is to hire the right consultant.