WHY ECONOMISTS NEED CONSULTANCY SKILLS
Most of today's professionals are going to be forced into consultancy at some stage in their life.
For some it is the only way they can see of getting the income they aspire to.
For most people today's job market means that you can expect to be made redundant two or three times in your career. Each time you may have to survive the period of unemployment with your consultancy earnings. Each time you will wonder if you should go back to a job or become a
By the time you are 50 there is no choice. Most of the people over fifty in Britain today are effectively unemployed. They have no realistic chance of getting a full time job again. For them consultancy is the only possibility of a decent standard of living for what should be the most productive part of their lives.
However, the fact that you are brilliant at your job does not mean that you will be even adequately competent as a consultant. You have to have consultancy skills as well. These are so important that many people with good consultancy skills make a good living even when they have no noticeable professional skills - which is not to say that they are good consultants.
The jobs are so different that you will find yourself totally deskilled when you start out in your new career.
Now, you are an achiever. You do things. Then, you will be a persuader, trying to persuade others to do things.
Now, you are a team player, a member of a tight organization. Then, you will be an individual trying to influence an organization from outside.
Now, you have strong networks within the firm and within the industry. Then, you will not be able to tap into networks from your old firm or your client's competitors. You may even work in a new industry where you have no networks.
Now, you are an acknowledged expert in widgets. Then, you will be selling consultancy to anyone who will buy, schools, factories or garden centres. Any context dependent skills you have are wrong. You have to generalize, but recognize when generalization is wasted.
Now, you make full use of the management information system, market research and any information in the firm. Then, you will have limited access to confidential information and will have to negotiate before you are allowed to see anything else. You will have to learn new ways of getting information.
Now, you are working with old friends and colleagues, and you know how to deal with them. Then, you will be talking to people you have never met before and will never meet again, persuading them to talk to you, to give you information and to do as you say.
Now, you have a track record and have the credibility and authority that go with it. Then, you will be treated with suspicion by the staff of every new client - just another consultant.
Now, you give orders. Then, you will only be able to make suggestions through the right channels.
Now, you are working with the problem all your working life, month after month year after year. Then, you will have to learn all about it and solve it in a matter of days or weeks, then move on to another job.
Now, you have an office, a secretary, a computer, a management information system, a photocopier, and the support of a host of accountants, clerks, technical advisers, laboratory technicians etc. Then, you will borrow an empty desk in your client's offices, and write up your report in the back bedroom.
The skills of the consultant can be taught. Profitable Consultancy runs one-day and weekend courses. Courses can be tailor-made to the special needs of clients wanting to do one kind of work or work in one geographical area.
The Consultancy Business (One day)
Marketing Your Services (Three days)
International Consultancy (Three days)
Working Abroad (Three days)