Friday, 4 July 2014

“Is Management Consultancy an Attractive Career Option?” - Professor M.S.Rao

“In the knowledge society the most probable assumption and certainly the assumption on which all organizations have to conduct their affairs is that they need the knowledge worker far more than the knowledge worker needs them.” - Peter F. Drucker

Students can choose lots of careers to grow professionally. Unfortunately, they are not aware of some careers that are highly lucrative with exciting opportunities. Most of them opt for conventional careers to play safe and grow conventionally. However, there are a few students who opt for unconventional careers and achieve amazing career success in their lives. It all depends on the awareness of various careers and right guidance at the right time. Most of them don’t receive right guidance from others. Here is a career that offers you lots of exciting opportunities for your growth and success - management consultancy. It gives you an immense job satisfaction apart from giving you lots of money, status and an exciting life.

Management consultancy is a collection of knowledge workers who offer advisory services to resolve organizational challenges. They provide solutions to problems. The consultants who work in such companies are the highest paid people in the world. They have to do research about the companies to provide solutions to their clients. It is a highly challenging job where lots of your energy, efforts and time is required. Above all, it requires your passion to find solutions to problems. We all find solutions to several problems in our lives. Similarly, we must find solutions to the problems faced by companies. Most companies think conventionally and don’t think unconventionally to find solutions to their problems. Hence, they approach the management consultancy firms to resolve their problems. It is the management consultants who think unconventionally with a focus and create solutions to corporate problems to achieve organizational excellence and effectiveness.

Competencies to Become a Consultant

Management consultancy is a knowledge-intensive service business which looks for right talent to serve its clients. Management consultancy companies search for candidates with several qualities such as intellectual abilities, inter-personal interaction qualities, personality, ambition and energy, education and experience. Consultants must be analytical and original thinkers. They must be good at critical thinking and problem solving skills. They must be ambitious, committed and dedicated to their profession. They must be able to manage volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. They must have basic knowledge and skills with respect to the main business disciplines such as accounting, HRM, organization, IT, marketing, logistics, finance, and strategy. They must be ready to travel globally. Companies prefer fresh candidates to mould them as per their requirements.

Exciting Career Opportunities

Management Consultancy offers a steep learning curve which the Gen Y is currently craving for. It is like earning and learning. You work with big clients and associate with them. It changes your thinking and lifestyle. Your status will improve amazingly. It provides you a solid platform to grow in all aspects. Above all, it offers you an exciting culture of ‘work hard – play hard’ which no other career offers. It is nicknamed as the ‘graduate graduate school of business’. 

‘Up-or-out’ Policy – A Unique One

Most management consultancy companies adopt ‘up-or-out’ policy. ‘Up’ refers to promotion of an individual to a higher level in the consultancy firm’s hierarchy. An ‘out’ decision means that the individual must leave the consultancy firm. The firm offers only two options. Either you move up the firm’s hierarchy – within a predetermined period – or you have to go. They believe in the policy of meritocracy rather the so-called seniority. It is obvious that only the fittest will survive and the rest will be out and it is good for firms and individuals. For firms, it is improving the organizational bottom lines; and for employees, it is looking for other areas where they are most suitable. Some firms provide outplacement for their employees who are sent out to convert them as allies rather than as adversaries.  Hence, up-or-out system is very good for both employers and employees.  Both ambition and fear will drive the employees to give their best to their employers. The up-or-out system is a carrot-and-stick model. You either get a carrot (promotion) or you get the stick (exit the firm).  Therefore, this policy is good to weed out the unsuitable employees and retain the committed and dedicated performers to grow as partners at the senior level.

Become a Consultant, not a Contractor

After working as a consultant in the management consultancy company, your experience will help you become an independent consultant with lots of freedom and money.  If you are highly ambitious with a risk appetite, you can also excel as an entrepreneur. Hence, become a consultant rather than a contractor. To summarize, there are lots of opportunities in the world which many people fail to identify and exploit. Have an open mind to look for such opportunities and explore them. Pursue them with your passion to fast-track your career to lead a luxurious life.

“My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions.” - Peter Drucker

An Introduction to Management Consultancy Marc G. Baaij (SAGE Publications Ltd; 2013)

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