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WampaLord
Jan 14, 2010

Drink up, virgoons! Everybody's doin' it! You don't want everyone to think you're squares, do ya?

I thought I'd post this in here instead of Ask/Tell because it would just get moved here eventually, but you can consider this a "Tell me about consulting" thread essentially.

I'm currently a corporate trainer working in the IT field. I train Tier 1 technical support staff for a call center. In addition to this, when I'm not training my job is to coordinate information between different departments and organize it into a central Knowledge Base for our call center employees. Thanks to having this job for a while, I've developed a lot of skills that I feel would transfer over well to the world of consulting.

Skills including, but not limited to:
- Identifying inefficiencies in systems and processes and correcting them, and preventing them from occurring in the future.
- Taking someone's technically complicated, jargon-filled information and translating it into layman speak.
- Excellent business presentation skills and charisma.

Basically, I think I have an excellent "business savvy" for lack of a better term and I'm perceived as extremely credible when I make my recommendations. I think that these skills could be applied well in a consulting role, and I want to start investigating that field. So, please, give me any info you have about it - job prospects, how you got into your role, average salary, etc. I'm sure we must have some BFCers who do some form of consulting out there. I'm particularly interested in anyone who is independent and just works on contract rather than works for a consulting firm, especially if you travel internationally to do so, but any info would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

Aw dammit, I just thought of a better thread title - "What do you get when you mix conning with insulting? Consulting!" Mods, please fix this TIA.

WampaLord fucked around with this message at Jan 9, 2014 around 05:09

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blugbee
Mar 1, 2004
hi c-fut

Most of the independent consultants I know fall into one of the following categories

1) Former consultants who snipe their previous clients. You will have to constantly look for more clients unless your first project is ongoing.

2) People in well connected families. These people get huge projects handed to them regardless of what they know. One guy I know was told to be a consultant by a family member for a casino resort in Asia despite having zero knowledge about casinos or resorts.

3) People with specialized knowledge. For example Professors and people who have worked for 20+ years. In this category people will search you out for your knowledge. No real need to sell yourself

I assume you fall into category 1. Do you have any potential clients in mind already? What problems do you anticipate being able to solve for companies? What size companies?

Rick Rickshaw
Feb 21, 2007

I am not disappointed I lost the PGA Championship. Nope, I am not.

I recently took an ITIL course that was taught by a consultant.

His skills seemed pretty similar to yours, but he was certified up the ying-yang with ITIL, so he taught courses and put on training courses in addition to doing project work. Do you have any certifications? You could try going down that path. Since you have some experience with training already, it could be a good fit.

WampaLord
Jan 14, 2010

Drink up, virgoons! Everybody's doin' it! You don't want everyone to think you're squares, do ya?

blugbee posted:

Do you have any potential clients in mind already? What problems do you anticipate being able to solve for companies? What size companies?

These are all questions I was hoping to answer once I got some information on what exactly it is consultants do besides my layman understanding of "They come in and tell a company how to fix systemic problems with their business model and get paid fat stacks of cash for it."

Obviously the job is more complicated than that, so that's why I made this thread, to get some firsthand experience from goons who do it so I can make an evaluation as to whether or not I'm a good fit for the field. I don't know anyone in real life who does this kind of work.

Slow Motion
Jul 19, 2004

My favorite things in life are sex, drugs, feeling like a baller, and being $30,000 in debt.


WampaLord posted:

These are all questions I was hoping to answer once I got some information on what exactly it is consultants do besides my layman understanding of "They come in and tell a company how to fix systemic problems with their business model and get paid fat stacks of cash for it."

Obviously the job is more complicated than that, so that's why I made this thread, to get some firsthand experience from goons who do it so I can make an evaluation as to whether or not I'm a good fit for the field. I don't know anyone in real life who does this kind of work.

Consultants answer questions. What type of question you can answer will dictate what type of consultant you could be.

Going independent is extremely difficult.

Most (not all) consultants have a stable of analysts behind them to provide quantitative guidance and (more) precise estimates for their answers. If you want to get into a field of consulting you should consider working as an analyst under some successful consultants. Any firm in the top 50 on Vault.com would be great experience for you.

Pissingintowind
Jul 27, 2006
Better than shitting into a fan.

We've already got a (horrible) thread about consulting here: http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=3555542

oral tradition
Oct 14, 2007

And I sit there and listen and learn all about life from people who have no idea how to live it.


blugbee posted:

Most of the independent consultants I know fall into one of the following categories

1) Former consultants who snipe their previous clients. You will have to constantly look for more clients unless your first project is ongoing.

2) People in well connected families. These people get huge projects handed to them regardless of what they know. One guy I know was told to be a consultant by a family member for a casino resort in Asia despite having zero knowledge about casinos or resorts.

3) People with specialized knowledge. For example Professors and people who have worked for 20+ years. In this category people will search you out for your knowledge. No real need to sell yourself

Don't forget:
4) Experienced professionals who are laid off from their jobs who then use "consulting" as a way to cover resume gaps when they have actually been largely or entirely unemployed.

I'm not saying this to rain on your parade, OP! A lot of people successfully do independent consulting either as a side gig or a full-time career. Whatever you end up doing, just make it clear on your resume that your consulting falls under categories 1 through 3 rather than category 4.

WampaLord
Jan 14, 2010

Drink up, virgoons! Everybody's doin' it! You don't want everyone to think you're squares, do ya?

Pissingintowind posted:

We've already got a (horrible) thread about consulting here: http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=3555542

Thanks! Holy poo poo, Sogol's first posts.

Reading the thread, it looks like consulting has a far greater workload than I would prefer, so maybe it's not my line of work after all. I can either close this thread or just leave it open for anyone else who might have questions about the field.

However, would you mind posting your own personal experience with consulting? I always love hearing about other goons' experiences with their jobs.

oral tradition posted:

Don't forget:
4) Experienced professionals who are laid off from their jobs who then use "consulting" as a way to cover resume gaps when they have actually been largely or entirely unemployed.

I'm not saying this to rain on your parade, OP! A lot of people successfully do independent consulting either as a side gig or a full-time career. Whatever you end up doing, just make it clear on your resume that your consulting falls under categories 1 through 3 rather than category 4.

Haha, that wasn't the plan, but I know that type very well. Consulting as a side gig would be amazing, I could limit my workload to what I could handle and not get swamped.

WampaLord fucked around with this message at Jan 9, 2014 around 22:13

spwrozek
Sep 4, 2006
Sail when it's windy

Consultant is a loose term really, basically you do work for a company that doesn't have the resources to do it themselves. I consulted in the utility industry for 4 years and then went to work for a utility. We provided engineering support to various people to supplement their internal staffs.

It can be any amount of hours or workload. You can have employees to make you more money.

It can be good but if you don't hustle (or be known as a complete badass) you might be out of a job sooner than you think.

adorai
Nov 2, 2002

10/27/04 Never forget

I look at consultants in two ways:

1) experts in their field who share their knowledge in small increments for large amounts of money
2) dumb fucks who can't hold a steady job and instead have to bounce around constantly and defraud their new clients as long as they possibly can

Basically you are either a goddamn wizard with specialized knowledge or the epitomy of the demotivator poster with the tagline, "Consulting: If you aren't part of the solution, there is a lot of money to be made in prolonging the problem."

FrozenVent
May 1, 2009
I love cruise ships and they have never ever done anything wrong ever and are 100% correct always because I worked on one once.

oral tradition posted:

Don't forget:
4) Experienced professionals who are laid off from their jobs who then use "consulting" as a way to cover resume gaps when they have actually been largely or entirely unemployed.

I'm not saying this to rain on your parade, OP! A lot of people successfully do independent consulting either as a side gig or a full-time career. Whatever you end up doing, just make it clear on your resume that your consulting falls under categories 1 through 3 rather than category 4.

4a) People with a little experience who tried to do a mid-career realignment and fell flat on their face but won't go back to their old job because of pride, try to market themselves as consultant but have a laughable level of experience that nobody in their right mind would outsource.

Mightaswell
Dec 4, 2003

Not now chief, I'm in the fuckin' zone.


There's a lot of IT work out there for incorporated consultants. Maybe it's just the market here (Western Canada), but many jobs you can only get if you're incorporated.

A lot of basic desktop/tier one guys I work with are "consultants".

Tony Montana
Aug 6, 2005

Doin Work

Mightaswell posted:

A lot of basic desktop/tier one guys I work with are "consultants".

Just as many small shops call their computer janitors 'engineers'. You can make up whatever names you want.

I was a consultant in my last role and it's what I identify as. I usually fall into managed services with in a large IT corp. Basically this

adorai posted:

1) experts in their field who share their knowledge in small increments for large amounts of money

is right, except I can't be hosed with the small business aspects of it all and just want a nice salary and cushy place to chill. The way it works is say a major bank gets sick of their IT department always ducking their questions and why the gently caress can't anyone fix that drat thing that keeps happening? Often in large corps the in-fighting and nest building will reach truly incomprehensible levels (someone will sit with you for an hour and try to explain why something is the way it is and you will leave that conversation no wiser). A pretty common trend now is for the board to get together and say 'you know what, gently caress those guys. gently caress all of them. Fire the whole loving IT department'.

Then they do and come to someone with the credibility and resources outsource the whole deal. HP, IBM and others such as those have managed services .. entities.. departments isn't the right word because we are talking organizations of truly staggering size. So HP says to the bank 'no worries, for 300k a month WE are your IT'. Everything from helpdesk to design (these are real engineers) we do. The reason this is a thing now and rightly so, is basically the same logic behind 'cloud computing' or software as a service. We have a 'follow the sun' helpdesk staffed by literally thousands of people 24/7 and run by software we write and track. There is no way a corporate IT department can compare to that, even if you're a mega-corp, because you still need some ticketing software and other resources and if we're also writing and controlling the development of the software.. providing it to the 'helpdesk' business unit through internal accounting.. you just can't compete with that.

Anyways, at the top of these outsourced support structures are consultants. You might be an expert in a certain server technology or whatever. HP then employs you as a consultant and you consult to their corporate clients on behalf of HP.

Great gig, pay is great because HP is selling your services for a lot and because you don't actually work on HP's own projects.. all that is important is making sure your client thinks you're Neo from the Matrix. Which when you've got the resources of someone like HP behind you, isn't that hard to do.

technical role > expert > play corporate game > corporate consultant

'play corporate game' is the part where many top technical people stop.

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semicolonsrock
Aug 26, 2009

chugga chugga chugga

Are there any sites a la Abovethelaw or Dealbreaker for consulting?

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