What Being a Consultant Means to Me
As a Consulting Associate at Arc Aspicio, I provide expertise and insight to help clients solve difficult problems. To be successful, a consultant does not need only to be a subject matter expert on their client’s industry and needs - though this often ends up happening over time.
It is more important that a consultant be adaptable to change, a quick learner, a strategic thinker, and an effective communicator. Here are four characteristics that I see as critical to work on complex projects for our clients:
Adaptable to Change – Consultants work for many clients over the span of their careers, and often for more than one client at a given time. A successful consultant must be able to adapt to frequent changes in clients, team members, and project objectives. They cannot be too “set in their ways or methods”. In other words, one size fits all does not work and flexible consultants serve their clients and meet the high demands of their complex projects
Quick Learner – Given this level of change, consultants must be able to quickly adapt to new situations. Sometimes, this also requires that they be more discerning in what they try to learn, focusing only on what they must know for the sake of the project instead of taking a more expansive approach
Strategic Thinker – A consultant’s objective is not only to identify the solution to a problem, but also to find the optimal path to that solution – usually a more challenging task. A consultant must be able to use the strengths and recognize the limitations of their team, and their own, adapting as needed through the phases of the project
Effective Communicator – Unlike some professions, consulting requires constant, direct interaction with clients. Consultants must be able to clearly communicate their insights and recommendations to clients and stakeholders – this is imperative to the success of any project. Consultants also work within a team. A high-functioning team relies on clear communication between leaders and team members to ensure tasks are delegated and carried out efficiently
These qualities are not innate – good consultants acquire them through experience. With a challenging environment that provides learning opportunities and mentorship, people of various backgrounds and talents can develop and strengthen consulting skills over time. I am grateful that Arc Aspicio recognizes the importance of professional development and provides opportunities for its employees to develop skills that will make them more successful and effective in the workplace and in their lives.
About Arc Aspicio
Arc Aspicio is a management, strategy, and technology consulting firm that takes a mission-oriented approach to complex client challenges. Focused on innovation, Arc Aspicio provides services in strategy, design, human capital, operations, analytics and visualization, technology, and information sharing. The company is known for a strong, collaborative culture that values gratitude, provides leadership opportunities, and explores the future. Our teams use a human-centered approach to working with clients and are flexible and responsive within dynamic Government client environments that often have new priorities and evolving missions. We thrive on these situations and promote continuous improvement and new ideas. And, #welovedogs! Follow us on Twitter @arcaspicio or learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.