A strategy consultant must develop plans that help a client in making high risk decisions with a new venture. This could be a new market, a move into a new territory or a new technology they’re about to roll out. A successful strategy consultant can expect a good compensation package for their hard work. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports top consultants in the management analyst sector earn $138,790 a year.
To become a strategy consultant, the first objective is to choose your area of specialization. The best approach is a field where you enjoy a competitive advantage. This could be a new technology or a particular market about which you have prior knowledge. Try to focus on opening up opportunities to develop these skills. Large consultancies like McKinsey have offices in other countries that could offer office exchanges and training programs as well as transfers.
A second objective would be getting the right projects on your resume. Lead consultants will appoint the right people to new project teams they're setting up. Try to be proactive. Let the decision makers know what your skills are and that you have enough drive to succeed in the field. "The Guardian" careers section emphasizes the importance of demonstrating that you can work long hours and travel extensively without impediment. Skills, drive and commitment should be your personal brand.
The Right Contacts
A third objective is building a network of high quality contacts. The client executives who are going to work on strategic projects are right at the top of those companies. If they want a strategic consultant, they will look for someone with a world class reputation and someone they trust: that will be a consultant they know. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a great contact network like this is something consultancy firms look for when promoting consultants to partner level.
The Right Results
A fourth objective is to always choose your projects wisely. A strategic consultant is at the top of the consultancy food chain and getting there is sign-posted by the right success stories. Try to work on projects that have a better than good chance of success. Some client firms might be in terminal decline and turn to a consultancy firm as an act of desperation. If that company continues to decline even after the consultancy service has been delivered, you will have expended time and effort for no strategic gain, which can also be a career drag.
Currently working in Dublin, Michael Mageean started out writing for Belfast-based “Fortnight” magazine in 1998. Recently he has written for Verify Recruitment’s technology blog, newsletter and scripted Verify's radio show, "New Job Radio." He trained as a journalist with the London school of Journalism in 2012. He is a graduate of the University of Ulster.