So you’re fresh out of Business School and you’re thinking about joining that “Big-5″ firm that has offered you a ridiculously high-salary, the option to travel to different cities and even countries routinely and fancy vellum business cards with your name is bold print. Could life get any better? Yes and No.
As a professional that has worked in the Consulting Industry, specifically the Management Consulting Industry for over nine years, the life of a professional consultant is a life paved with financial, career and travel rewards not normally available through traditional means of employment.
If you’re a single person, I would be hard pressed to find a better job as your career in consulting will take you to countless cities and even countries across the globe. You will routinely encounter brilliant people in your line of work as well as people of different cultures, religions and ethnicities. Depending on the length of your engagement, you’ll never stay in a single location long enough to grow tired of the surroundings. BUT, if you’re a person in a relationship, I can’t think of a worst profession to call a career. The strains of travel and being apart from your loved one(s) can only lead to discord in your relationship. This is obviously a generalization for I’ve personally known many professionals in happy relationships but it is a risk worth considering.
Are you the adventurous type? Then consulting will provide you with many an opportunity for adventure. Consulting will afford you opportunities to travel to locales you may have never thought you would have traveled to before; London, New York, Paris and Beijing being four locations where travel to is typical. Then again, during the onset of your career you should expect to visit not-so glamorous locations such as Butte, Montana or even Lincoln, Nebraska (no offense). If you like the idea of staying in a single city, single office and just stability in general; consulting may not be the life for you. You are paid that ridiculously high salary because Fortune 500 companies expect you to come to them. Travel is part and parcel to this career, so get used to it.
Do you like repetition? Getting comfortable with the same routine at work so much that you can do it with your eyes closed? If you’re answer is “Yes”, then turn around now, don’t pass “Go” and don’t collect $200.00…this ain’t the job for you! Consulting demands a lot of its practitioners, the main trait being ambition and the desire for bigger and more complex challenges. This career isn’t for the meek nor timid but rather for the over achiever looking for rapid movement up the corporate ladder. If this is you, then you’re chosen your career wisely.
All in all, a career in the Consulting Industry is a fruitful career. Even if you find yourself growing tired of the job after a few years, you’re work history and talent will be sought after by many other companies for Corporate America understands the trials and tribulations associated with the career and values any professional with such experience.
If you’ve read this article and have decided to finally sign that offer letter and next-day air it back to the home office; then welcome to the world of 60-hour work weeks, constantly eating out and a different hotel bed every month…enjoy the ride.
By: Alfred Garcia
Edited By: Michael C. Podlesny