The Signs That Consulting Is Right For You

Consulting is a career that comes with many perks such as flexible hours, new projects and clients every few months, and autonomy over your work. After hearing this, you might think that consulting is your dream job. However, there are a few things to consider before jumping into the world of consulting. There is a lot of buzz going around about the lucrative industry which is why many professionals are considering making that move to the more fluid and flexible career. It is important to recognize whether or not consulting will be the right fit for you. So, here some of the signs that will tell you that consulting is the right career choice.

 

You Like To Focus On The Work You Are Doing

Do you see yourself as someone who likes to roll up their sleeves and working hard to create outcomes? Then, consulting might be the right fit for you. By going into a career in consulting, you leave behind all the other aspects of being an employee. This means no managing of other people, no more performance reviews, no more worrying about the last company meeting, and no more thinking about your next steps within the organization. Now, some people enjoy managing others and want to be involved in a company’s long-term strategies. However, consultants are primarily detached from all those other things, so if that sounds like something you would enjoy, you would then enjoy working as a consultant.

 

You Lie Control Over Your Schedule and Workload

While consultants don’t exactly work less than other employees do, they do have more of a say in what they work on and when they work. So, if there is a new project to work on that you are not interested in, as a consultant, you can decline that project. Employees, otherwise, wouldn’t have that same luxury. In addition to this, the time you spend working is based on the deliverable. So, when you are able to take away all the other aspects of being an employee, you find that, as a consultant, you can work fewer hours but show more results.

 

You Have A Specific Expertise/Niche

If you are someone who enjoys working in a particular field like email marketing or even social media, then consulting might be the career choice for you. Most companies, when hiring a consultant are looking for someone who can give specific expertise on a project or initiative. They are not seeking general advice on a broad range of topics. However, this is not to say that consulting is your chance to change your expertise. For example, if you have worked on brand marketing your entire career to this point and suddenly want to go into digital analytics, consulting will not be the best way to go about that. Your best bet would be to work as an employee where you can get your feet wet, learn from the other teams within the organizations and get that hands-on experience before you make the jump to consulting.

Ways To Motivate Employees During The Holiday Season

Alexandra ArivillagaMaintaining employee morale during the holiday season can be a pretty arduous task.  Whether it be that the winter days are longer, impending vacation days, or financial holiday stress, employees tend to become preoccupied and somewhat disengaged. Ultimately, it is up the managers to navigate ways to keep employees engaged and on track to meet year-end goals. Developing an enriching culture during the holidays will encourage employees sustain or even improve productivity. How can managers successfully accomplish doing so? Here are a few tips to help keep employees motivated during the holiday season.

Give the office a festive facelift

Transform the office into a space that embraces the holiday spirit. Employees would much rather be at work if they were in a space that was warm and inviting. Managers could even use the decorating the office as a team building  opportunity. The weekly or bi-weekly office meeting could instead be replaced by entire office decorating together.

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Learning in the Workplace

Alexandra ArrivillagaEvery year, companies across the country invest billions of dollars in spending on employee education and training. While research suggests that employees who work at companies with comprehensive employee development programs are more engaged, most of these programs don’t actually work.

According to a study conducted by Deloitte, the majority of the companies surveyed for the study claimed that retention, engagement and culture top the list for priorities. These same subjects admitted that improving employee learning programs was also a top priority. One might deduce that these subjects believe that ongoing learning and training is the way to improve retention, engagement and company culture.

While this may be true, another consulting company found that many of these development programs are not effective.  The following tips are suggested for improving employee development programs:

Managers are the Key

In the past, managers played the role of mentor and passed along valuable skill sets and advice to their employees. While ideally that is still the case, the manager is often overburdened today, and may not have enough time or incentive to continue this tradition. In order for managers to effectively coach their employees, the managers need the support, space and time to do this.

 

Skill Set Shelf Life

The kind of information gained through a mentorship or a formal program have the potential to help an employee throughout their career. However, when looking at technical skills, these change practically by the day. Technology is changing all of the time and a skillset relevant today may literally be obsolete tomorrow. This heightened realm of innovation underscores the necessity for frequent training. Instead of spending months on one skill, employers should be identifying ways to share relevant information immediately, then move on to the next.

Be Flexible

The goal of these development programs should be to equip your employees with new information and skills that give them tools to be more effective or knowledgeable in their role, or at least for them to stay more engaged. With those goals in mind, you don’t want this experience to be too overwhelming or come at the expense of their work. That means there should be some flexibility in terms of when they undergo this training. That could mean having modules that are easily watched on their phones or multiple options for in-person training sessions. If the employee has some choice in when or how they participate in training, there’s less of a chance that it will be viewed as an inconvenience.

Because retention, engagement and culture are top of mind for so many companies, it makes sense that they are actively spending a significant amount of capital in education and development programs, as it directly addresses those concerns. However, it’s important to realize that training alone is ineffective.  Proper training needs to be accompanied by support from managers, offered regularly while maintaining flexibility in how the employees participate.