Why you should work in Consultancy Firms at least once in your career?

When engineers graduate from their respective universities and have intentions to go for professional experience in industry, the decisions are governed by a number of factors. Most importantly, in my humble opinion, engineers associate higher weights to the following parameters while filtering and applying for job offers:

1. Attractive package

2. Growth

3. Learning

Usually its a combination of all or some of these. I cant pontificate my opinion about other disciplines but in the case of Electrical engineers, what I’ve seen is that they tend to go to either software houses, telecommunication organizations, vendors to name a few. I myself started my career as Network Engineer in one of the largest vendors of Pakistan providing IP network solutions. Now each of the aforementioned nature of employers have their respective pros and cons (which may also vary subject to one’s intrepretation of pros and cons) but after having worked in different verticals and types of organizations (vendors, academia, consultancy, startup), I have come to realize that one should work in a consultancy firm at least once in a career. This hypothesis has brewed courtesy of my experience of working in Deloitte presently. I may appear to be biased in this conjecture but its attributed to the following rationalized reasons:

1. Consultancy firms extensively enhance one’s inter-personal and stakeholder management skills

The main premise of consultancy firms is to solve client’s problems with creative, sustainable, robust and proven solutions while delivering significant mass of value all along. This whole process involves thorough interaction with client’s different stakeholders to gather facts and information to synthesize solutions of different nature. This extensive interaction with clients then forces you to uplift your presentation, communication, negotiation, writing and related skills to a superlative level. Especially if you are working in giant consultancy companies like Deloitte. Also, this happens even if you are just starting your career whereas in other organizations, client interaction generally happens at manager or above level.

Now why do these skills mater? It has proven on different spheres that such skills play a pivotal role in one’s success in career. Excelling in professional life doesn’t only demand proficiency in technical skills but also in these aforementioned skills also. What I’ve seen is that technical folks, unfortunately, lack in these highly critical soft-skills which are deemed highly crucial in one’s success. We engineers aren’t taught much about communication skills and working in consultancy firms addresses this gap effectively.

2. Consultancy firms enables you to develop a wide and strong network with professionals

The effect of the point #1 appears in the form of one’s strong network with industry influentials. And its a well known cliche that its not what you know but who you know that matter!

3. Multi-Disciplinary Exposure is amplified

I am a strong proponent of multi-disciplinary exposure especially if you are working in analytics and big data. When you work in a consultancy firm, you are exposed to different facets of project which also encompass disjoint spheres like enterprise management, financials, change management to name a few. Exposure to these skills really pay off and help you stand-out

4. Opportunities to work in different verticals/sectors

Consultancy firms usually have different projects running on with different clients belong to different sectors. This allows you to work in different contexts, scenarios and thus significantly expand your exposure. For me, I have already worked in telecommunication, retail and mining industry projects with the prospects of working in public sector, energy sector do exist. Again, broader the exposure, the better. This also favors diversity in your workplace environment, shatters monotony and also provides exciting travelling opportunities (which may be attractive for many)

So these were some of the points on top of my mind. I think its because of these (and many other reasons) that Deloitte is said to be the best company to launch your career. I do wish that you may also get the chance to work in consultancy firms that will allow you to develop your skill-sets.

Till next time. Excellence Matters!