The challenges consultants face when moving into new roles

The challenges consultants face when moving into new roles

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Summary

After spending 5 years working at Deloitte, Al Dea made the move from management consulting to become a Product Marketer at a tech company. In addition to working as a PMM, Al also is a career coach, he runs CareerSchooled, a career advice blog, and advises professionals including many consultants on career changes of their own. Al took the time to chat with us about his decision to move from consulting to marketing and shared his process for how he made the transition, as well as some lessons he learned that all consultants can use if they wish to make a career change.

After spending 5 years working at Deloitte, Al Dea made the move from management consulting to become a Product Marketer at a tech company. In addition to working as a Product Marketing Manager, Al also is a career coach, he runs CareerSchooled, a career advice blog, and advises professionals including many consultants on career changes of their own. This final article in his series is based on the invaluable skills that he learned whilst in consulting. 

I think consultants are in a good position to make career changes. Most recruiters and hiring managers value skills like critical thinking, analysis, project management, communication, etc, which are all things that consultants have. These will be valuable in any role that you take. Furthermore, at least at bigger more established companies there are often alumni of consultancies at that company, or they may actually target consultants looking to make a career change, so you will be in good company.

I think where consultants sometimes struggle is in taking the diverse experiences and skills you have and packaging it up neatly to fit the hiring needs of a specific role, function or job. It’s the classic “jack of all trades, master of none” complex. When hiring managers and recruiters are hiring, they are looking to fill a specific need with an individual who has the skills and experiences that tie to that specific need. Generally speaking, the best way to hire to do that is to get someone who already has that set of skills and experiences. Ex: If you need to hire a Product Manager, it’s best to hire someone who is already a Product Manager.

The challenge consultants have is that unless you’re directly applying to an internal consultant type role, you don’t always have that direct job or experience. Sure – you may have gotten those skills on a project or a particular client case, but the hiring manager may not deduce that right away, or, especially at larger and more popular companies you are going up against candidates who already have the right skills and experiences, so its a lot easier for a hiring manager to pick one of those candidates than to pick you. To overcome this, you need to make sure that you apply to roles where you have the skills and experiences for, and make sure you make it clear to hiring managers that you have those baseline skills and experiences. It’s great to also talk about some of those extra skills that you have that can be an additional value-add, but only after you’ve made it clear that you have the specific skills and experiences they are looking for.

If you’re interested in hearing more from Al, please check out his website, connect with him on social media, learn more about his career coaching services.

 

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