Being a Consultant Means Helping People Help Themselves


When you think about the best part of being an IT consultant, what usually comes to mind is the creativity and the exciting challenges. You may help a company by coming up with innovative solutions for how to implement a project they’re working on or by protecting their data against sophisticated security threats.

However, you may also find yourself confronting more mundane issues. As illustrated in a recent article from CultofMac.com, the problems that people approach you with could be commonplace and routine, including malfunctioning email, password recovery problems, difficulties recovering files that have been accidentally deleted, and a failure to sync different devices.

Two assets to bring to your consulting job include:

  • The ability to communicate effectively with people, minimizing the need to waste time on multiple clarifications and follow-ups.
  • Effective solutions for helping people help themselves.

Regarding the second point, people generally don’t want to have to run to IT for every tech problem they encounter during the day. If they need to do this, it means that they’re wasting their own time and also impeding the productivity of IT staff, diverting their attention from other problems, tasks and projects.

Maybe the business you’re working for needs to set up an efficient in-house help desk (in addition to whatever tech support they may need to offer customers). Maybe people need to have easy access, via website or files on their desktops, including clear step-by-step instructions for the most common tech problems they’re likely to encounter. Perhaps the solution also involves running training seminars, particularly if you’ve just helped introduce a new type of software to the business or implemented major changes to its IT organization.

As a consultant, you need to be able to communicate clearly both in spoken and written word, and anticipate, prioritize and solve problems in a quick and cost-effective way. You may also need to come up with solutions that improve the efficiency of day-to-day operations, which includes managing the problems that people deal with on a regular basis.

Ultimately, you need to demonstrate to your employers that you’re saving them time (and potentially increasing profits), in part by preventing their employees from getting bogged down in everyday problems and turning to IT staff for issues they could resolve more quickly on their own. This may not seem like the most exciting role you may play as an IT consultant, but it’s something the business you work for may need in order to complete projects and daily tasks more quickly.

As you go through the hiring process, consider all the problems you may be required to address in your new job. When it’s relevant to do so, demonstrate to your employers that you’ve considered these issues. And for further advice on improving your chances of landing an IT consulting job, don’t hesitate to contact us and follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.