The world of consulting is vast, varied and offers many different kinds of opportunities. Essentially, a consultant is someone who makes a living by providing expert advice to people working within a specific field. As you can imagine, that is clearly open to very broad interpretation and means that basically all you need to become a consultant is some form of expertise.
If this is the case and you think there are people out there who might be able to benefit from the type of expertise you possess, you have what it takes to become a consultant. Here are some of the most popular types of consulting jobs and an outline of what they entail.
1. Strategy consulting jobs
Business strategy, or strategic management as it is also called, is the most important level of decision making that drives a business forward. As a strategic management consultant, you’ll be looking at questions regarding long-term vision and trajectory, the best way to allocate resources, and how different departments work together and fit into an overall portfolio.
In order to do this successfully, you need to have a solid understanding of the market you’re working in and be able to engage in in-depth data analysis. On the plus side, these types of consultants make good money in job income.
2. Operations consulting jobs
In these types of consulting jobs, you’ll be looking at things like process management, procurement, outsourcing, and supply chain management. You need to be a master of finding the optimal way of doing things in order to increase efficiency, cut costs, and generally improve the quality of the product at hand.
These implementation consultants are also brought in during times of flux or change within an organization to help oversee the changes and point out the “how” questions that could improve implementation and deployment.
3. Business consulting jobs
This is the most general category of consulting on the list and basically covers everything from employee training to laying people off. Overall, a business consultant looks at how a business’s practices are doing harm or good and seeks ways to improve.
Organizations will usually hire business consultants when they need someone who can look at problems objectively, find ways to capitalize on an opportunity, or a need a neutral party in order to handle a controversial issue.
Business consultants usually begin their work with a SWOT analysis, which identifies a business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The most successful business consultants have a niche area of expertise.
4. Financial consulting jobs
The ability to make informed financial decisions is key to the success of any business. Of course, depending on the size and structure of the organization, these decisions may have to account for any number of complex variables. Generally speaking though, as a financial consultant, you will be looking at things like corporate finance, restructuring, risk management and litigation.
These types of consultants will also need to work closely with the client in order to provide advice and expertise geared toward their specific situation. Most often it is necessary to attain specific qualifications and a licence in order to charge for the service of providing financial advice.
5. Human resources consulting jobs
This is becoming an increasingly important field of consulting work. As employers become more and more aware of the need to manage employees effectively and tackle workplace issues in a smart and sensitive way, the field for human resources consulting is booming. These consultants are expected to provide advice on things such as training and development, employee engagement and satisfaction, conflict resolution, and talent mobility.
At the end of the day, the job of a human resource consultant is all about helping an organization get to the point where everyone feels the personnel is being used as effectively as possible and there are few workplace issues.
6. Risk and compliance consulting jobs
Laws, regulations and ethical standards are changing all the times. A risk and compliance consultant is there to make sure that an organization is up to snuff in all fields and has appropriate company policies in place. This job involves sourcing out issues before they’ve developed into real problems.
The risk consultant is the person who is tasked with finding any areas where activities such as fraud, abuse, or discrimination are taking place, ultimately protecting the organization from fines and lawsuits.
7. IT consulting jobs
Another area of consulting that is rapidly developing is IT. Businesses appreciate that in order to stay competitive, they need to be up to date with the rapid changes in technology and be able to use them to achieve their goals. Information technology has grown far beyond its initial mandate though and it now includes components like systems integration, enterprise architecture, software management and data analytics.
IT consultants will look at questions regarding how technology can help reach strategic goals, whether or not the existing IT setup can be optimized or needs to be place, and how to effectively incorporate these changes into the existing framework.