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What is a consultant?
For those of you that do not know, a consultant is according to Wikipedia a specialist within a certain area. In my definition of consultant this person also utilises this expertise to conduct work on contract. I see the term consultant being used in many different ways, but my definition reflects the way I work as a consultant.
My line of work is consulting within Business Information Systems. I am an expert in this field and are hired by other companies to give advice on their systems or processes, and do implementations or upgrades. Now you know what I do for a living and how I define a consultant.
The downside of being a consultant?
In my daily work I am hired on contract to perform certain tasks. These contracts can be anything from a few days to several years. And sometimes I am hired for one day, a week, for half a year and so on. How much I have to do for these clients are dependent on the phase of the project, my role in the project and the contract agreed between the customer and our sales team.
The sales team is good I would like to point out, so I mostly have stuff to do. But every consultant (according to my definition) will face times where there is not much to do. We never have routine work (if not as part of the contract) so if we don’t have any assignments we don’t have assignments. Between projects we are on the so-called bench.
And that is boring.
The dangers of not feeding a hungry consultant
In my experience people working as consultants most often are people with ambition. People who like to earn money. And climb the career ladder. The high turn-over in my line of business emphasies that. Consultants are hungry. They strive to make the customers happy. And to deliver the best possible outcome for the projects. We are hungry. At least that is my experience.
So when we are on the bench, we get more hungry.
A consultant needs to be self-driven. And we are. We go through one online course after the other. But there are only so…