Turns out, one of the most searched job terms is “consultant”. So what or who is a consultant? Plainly put, a consultant is a person who provides advice in a particular field or specialty. They provide an outside, objective view to help organizations spot problems and better them.
A consultant is an experienced individual trained to analyze and advise a client. Some of the most popular areas where consultants are hired are IT consultant, human resources, branding and marketing, accounting and finance, personal consultant, wedding consultant, tax consultant, etc. Basically, consulting jobs exist in every industry.
Are you a people person who can get along with a variety of clients? Are you skilled in handling difficult problems? If the answer’s yes, you might be on your way to become an expert consultant.
Consulting is an exciting but risky career. One needs to have extensive knowledge about the area they have chosen. Three skills a consultant must have, according to Peter Block of Flawless Consulting fame, are technical, interpersonal and consulting skills.
• As mentioned earlier, one needs to posses technical skills, i.e., expertise in a particular field. Ideally, this includes actual experience in that area of interest beyond just theoretical knowledge. In ever-changing fields such as the information technology industry this knowledge can become outdated very quickly so it is important to continually polish your skills.
• A significant aspect of being a consultant is, having to deal with people. This is where interpersonal skills come in. You need some ability to put your ideas in to words, to listen to others, and to provide support. You also need to be able to disagree and to suggest ideas counter to what your client may be proposing.
• Odd as it may sound, but a consultant needs to have consulting skills. Consulting of any kind needs to be carried out in a sequential process. And implementing this process isn’t quite so easy. This process puts you in a role that is very similar to an IT project manager.
Work in consulting is stimulating and the pay can be excellent. You also get the option of working with a company or freelancing/working from home. No wonder this particular career choice is quickly becoming a hot favorite among Indian women.
Initially a few years of experience was mandatory for anyone wanting to be a consultant. However the demand for consultants has led to a change of situation and today certain basic educational qualifications are what it takes to become a consultant with a reputed firm.
The basic academic qualifications necessary to pursue a career in consulting are:
• Integrated degree of BITS or
• A degree in MCA, BE / B.Tech, M.Sc, MBA or
• ACA / ACS
Here are top 5 consultant firms in India-
1. Mafoi Management Consultants
2. Kelly Services
4. Adecco India
5. ABC Consultants
Or one can become an image consultant. Image consultants advise individuals and companies on all aspects of personal impact and appearance.
One would work with people from a variety of sectors, such as public and private companies, politics, media and retail. Not only is it highly lucrative, but who knows…you might even get to work with high profile celebrities!
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