What Advice Would Help An It Consultant Succeed in the Field?

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    What's a single piece of advice you would give to someone starting out as an IT Consultant to help them succeed in the field?

    Embarking on a career as an IT Consultant can be as challenging as it is rewarding, so we've gathered wisdom from top CEOs and general managers to set you on the path to success. From the importance of prioritizing continuous learning to the advantage of improving interpersonal skills, explore the nine invaluable pieces of advice these experts have shared for newcomers to the field.

    • Specialize in Business Automation
    • Seek Bigger, Long-Term Projects
    • Become a Cybersecurity Pro
    • Focus on Process Automation
    • Embrace Diverse Project Opportunities
    • Establish a Strong Online Presence
    • Improve Interpersonal Skills

    Specialize in Business Automation

    For someone starting as an IT consultant, my top advice is to specialize in small-business automation. This niche is crucial; by helping small businesses enhance efficiency, you're directly impacting their success. This approach not only builds a strong client base but also creates lasting impact and satisfaction. It's about making a real difference, one automation solution at a time.

    Justin Silverman
    Justin SilvermanFounder & CEO, Merchynt

    Seek Bigger, Long-Term Projects

    From my observation, IT consultants who actively reach out to gain experience on bigger projects become successful more quickly, if not more easily. It's essential to get in the driver's seat of your career and try being selective about the kind of work you do. The more deliberately you select your projects, the more focused your personal growth and career path will be. It's easier to complete whatever entry-level work you're being assigned, but if you're keen on speeding up your career progress, let everyone know you're up for a challenge. Bigger projects always provide valuable opportunities to connect with more people, and long-term projects can enable you to grow into more senior roles if the client account is big enough, without having to client-hop every few months.

    Ben Lamarche
    Ben LamarcheGeneral Manager, Lock Search Group

    Become a Cybersecurity Pro

    Cybersecurity is as evergreen as it will ever be. There are millions of businesses and individuals that are under-prepared for cybersecurity issues to come. Unfortunately, too many businesses are especially reactive to these issues. That means that when a cybersecurity incident happens, they are quick to bring in the pros. Be one of the pros, and you will have no issues advancing your career.

    Trevor Ewen
    Trevor EwenCOO, QBench

    Focus on Process Automation

    Definitely focus on automation. As an IT consultant, one of the best things you can do for your clients is to help them automate their processes. Doing so can save them both time and money, thereby making you an indispensable part of their operations. Automation is a rapidly-growing field within the IT sector, and it's poised to become even more significant in the future.

    For example, leveraging language models like ChatGPT for automation can streamline routine tasks, including responding to common inquiries or drafting reports. ChatGPT, in particular, can assist with tasks such as report writing, email composition, and even code generation, making it a valuable asset in any company's automation strategy.

    Amy Tribe
    Amy TribeDirector, OGLF (Our Good Living Formula)

    Embrace Diverse Project Opportunities

    If I have to give one piece of advice to someone who is just starting his or her IT consultant journey, that would be not to say no to any opportunity to work on a project that comes your way. In the beginning, it's important to work on projects or tasks that come your way, even if it's something new to you and your expertise. Any work or project you do at the very beginning of your career is not going to be a waste; rather, it is going to provide you with knowledge and experience that is more diverse and will give you a broader perspective. This will make you a great IT consultant and an architect of the future.

    Gaurav Singh
    Gaurav SinghCyber Security Leader, Under Armour

    Establish a Strong Online Presence

    My tip for those starting their journey as an IT consultant is to establish a strong online presence. For IT consultants, developing a compelling online persona is an absolute necessity for achieving success and advancing in the field.

    Build your very own personal brand! Believe me, building a strong online presence plays a vital role in propelling your career as an IT consultant. In today's landscape, many recruiters and employers rely on social media platforms to discover and hire candidates. Maintaining a professional website can significantly enhance your chances of being noticed by potential clients or employers.

    Your online presence effectively serves as your digital portfolio, where you can exhibit your skills, showcase completed projects, and highlight your professional accomplishments. It also grants you the opportunity to share your perspectives and insights on the latest IT trends, thereby further solidifying your expertise in the industry. Remember that a well-established personal brand sets you apart from your competitors and fosters trust with prospective clients.

    Lucas Ochoa
    Lucas OchoaFounder & CEO, Automat

    Improve Interpersonal Skills

    From my experience, interpersonal skills can and should be improved with practice, especially when you've chosen consultancy, which is a client-facing role. Your people skills will not only help you connect with fellow consultants and learn from them but also help build relationships and earn the trust of clients who are generally wary of consultants. Stellar communication skills will enable you to deal with people according to their technical aptitude. Instead of oversimplifying matters for well-established IT personnel or using complicated language with people who aren't tech-savvy, successful consultants know exactly what to say to satisfy their audience. Attending networking events in your industry, taking up a social hobby such as golf or gymming, and generally stepping out of your comfort zone can help you hone many of your soft skills.

    Joe Coletta
    Joe ColettaFounder & CEO, 180 Engineering