Any good journey starts with a map and tools to help you reach your destination. Below are some tips to help get you moving in the right direction towards consulting success.
Develop a Roadmap First.
Take a few moments to develop a road map plan before you start the ignition on a new project. By thinking tactically and constructing a roadmap on the front end, you can spot potential hurdles before they slow you down. A plan will also help you stay clear-headed throughout the process so you don’t get caught up in detours.
Communicate Effectively with your Crew.
Just as a racecar driver needs to communicate with his Pit Crew, proper communication between the team is necessary for project success. Check in regularly with both your project manager and client to make sure everything is on track.
Document, Document, Document.
Document each phase of the project thoroughly as if you are creating a manual for a car. This will provide you with a record in case there are concerns about the project and may even provide a blueprint for future projects.
Track your Time.
You may feel as if you spun out at the end of the week, but it’s important to track your time. Having a routine will keep you from forgetting.
Dress for the Winner’s Circle.
You don’t need to show up with an all-leather interior, but most people make initial decisions about you in the first five minutes they meet you. That abbreviated window could be an excellent opportunity to project a confident, professional image.
Turn Downtime into Prep Time.
After a high-intensity dash to the finish line, decompress by making note of the lessons you just learned. Reflective thinking will help you streamline your pressure-handling processes and prepare you for the next big race. Use any time away from the track to reflect on past projects, research new ones, take a class, or gain knowledge from other consultants.
If you do make a mistake, own up to it and fix it without a hassle. Mistakes happen but the most successful consultants correct things quickly and get right back on track.
Drive with the flow of Traffic.
Adaptability is key. If priorities change and your manager asks you to move from one track to another, embrace the new challenge and demonstrate your ability to learn on the go.
Even the most well-tuned car can have a transmission failure under stress. Although it's not always easy, take criticism with a grain of salt. Think before speaking and don't let anyone else's poor attitude affect your own.
Get Roadside Assistance.
Even with talent and years of training on the track, some jobs simply can't be completed by one person. If you're doing everything possible to accomplish a task and still foresee a roadblock, ask for assistance. Identify duties that can be delegated and request backup from your manager.