You Need These 4 Skills To Successfully Work As A Consultant

I have been working in the industry for 11 years now, most of it self-employed. I learned a thing or two so let me share some observations.

Hannes Grauweihler

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Getting up early to catch a flight to the client — Consultant life [image by author]

Thankfully, the old days, when clients (at least in Germany) would expect you to be on their premises four days out of five are over. No more early Monday morning flights and late nights back on Thursday. When I quit my first consulting gig at one of the largest and most prestigious companies, I felt my quality of life improve a lot.

Today, you can typically work remotely, but not on every mandate. The good news is that there are enough mandates around to only work remotely. That makes consulting attractive for people like us, writing on medium, having something to share and then selling that advice.

Consulting is a people’s business. I would liken it more to a kindergarten teacher than a rocket scientist. Therefore, I assume anyone working with humans can benefit from the advice below.

I have seen many articles on this platform about side-hustling into consulting. Don’t forget that anybody can call himself a consultant. The term is not protected in any way. Let me define what we are talking about: Strategy consulting for companies. The kind of mandates McKinsey, BCG, Oliver Wyman, Roland Berger, Bain, and some more are working on. That is strategy consulting and my field of expertise.

Empathy

When I started in this field roughly 11 years ago, I would have never thought that empathy was a crucial skill. I left business school, entered investment banking and then consulting. You don’t learn empathy at business school. It is not required during job interviews. You would probably still get the job if you did not know what it is.

I thought being a consultant is all about making the smartest analysis in Excel, delivering fancy PowerPoint presentations, and understanding things that the client is too stupid to understand. Hence, all consulting companies hire smart people. You work on big, strategic topics that are so complicated that some serious brain power and analytical skills are needed. And then you eloquently present it to the baffled…

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Hannes Grauweihler

Surfing, Finance, Career, Startups, Venture-Capital and some other things I got to experience.