Most people follow linear career paths that they crafted when they were younger. However, the world is always changing with new opportunities, changing economic forces and industry connections, and other variables forcing us to adapt over time. When things change, many people start thinking about consultancy. After all, they already have extensive experience in a specific industry and thus have something to offer those who come after them. But are you ready to become a consultant? Here is how to know.
In the past, your academic success was a significant factor in whether you could become a consultant. Consultant education requirements are now subjective and flexible, but many people still expect consultants to have at least one bachelor’s degree.
This is especially true in the world of business, which is one of the most lucrative consultancy niches. In evolving niches like technology, extensive experience and an understanding of emerging topics is much more valuable.
Even when you do not have a degree, it is important to complete courses that arm you with key consultancy skills. These include strategy, public speaking, data analysis, ethics, reporting, leadership, and project management.
If you do not want to complete single courses, you can complete online MBA programs that give you all these skills, but that do not require a significant time investment.
Consultants are experts in their fields, with knowledge most other people do not have. It is this knowledge that makes them an authority in their niche. This knowledge comes from extensive work experience, working with numerous clients and learning a lot over the years or decades they have worked in that niche.
Consultants also have to demonstrate past successes, and they can only do that by pointing to client outcomes and concrete results in the past. Such a proven track record comes with years or decades of experience, and this is why work experience is a key indicator of whether or not you are ready for a consultancy career.
Consultants have to look within to see what they have to offer that others are not. This is your value proposition. Consultancy is filled with many bright, credentialed, qualified and connected consultants. How do you intend to stand out?
You will know the answer to this question once you consider how what you offer helps you stand out from the competition. Your advantage might come from having expertise and knowledge in a niche area, being able to convince clients to switch to you, and how well you meet their needs.
Being a consultant is not just about providing advice and helping your clients in the ways they want you to, it is also about running a business. You need to have the skills to run a successful business. Not only will be there be admin involved, but it’s important to protect the business. The best way to do so is by getting the right insurance.
There are several different types of insurance for businesses, including public liability insurance, business contents insurance, and professional indemnity insurance. General liability insurance is a useful starting point, but professional liability insurance is essential for anyone working as a consultant since giving a client poor advice could cause them to sue you. Follow the link to learn the difference between general and professional liability before choosing an insurance plan.