Moving from Industry to Consulting – One Year On

By Ben Wootton

I’d read that one key difference between working in industry and consulting is the accelerated rate of learning as a consultant.  Since I made the transition to consulting at the start of 2020, I’ve certainly found that to be true!

Having worked in the telecoms industry for a number of years prior to joining Cartesian, I turned to consulting because I wanted to broaden my skill set and work more closely with businesses on their strategic goals, whilst also working in an environment that would push my personal development – and a year into the role, that is exactly what I got! If you’re thinking of making the transition to consulting, here are three things you can expect:

1. Getting exposure to a multitude of areas

As a Management Consultant, it’s very likely that each project will be different from the next, and that means quickly coming to grips with the project’s deliverables and the client’s strategic goals. We focus on how to add value from Day 1, working with our client to identify opportunities for improvement alongside bringing in relevant industry insights. In my first year, I’ve worked with a variety of technologies and across multiple business functions.

As projects can be as short as one or two months, it has also been crucial to focus on the objectives and be solutions-driven. My operational experience in the industry has been invaluable, but I’ve also learned the importance of developing my transferable skills, from project management to continuous improvement methodologies.

2. Working on ‘cutting edge’ projects and propositions

Cartesian works with many of its clients to lead and advise on their strategies. For me, this has meant being a part of projects at the forefront of a client’s agenda, working on some of their priority initiatives.

Over the past year, I’ve worked on security and design projects, across Unified Comms, SD-WAN, and IoT products. I’m particularly proud of a project I worked on that involved deploying a digital solution for UK care institutions. It was great to see that initiative rapidly come to life and know the positive impact it’s going to have for customers.

3. The emphasis on developing your personal brand

Finally, the importance of building your personal brand really stands out to me as a Management Consultant. After all, our product is ourselves, and demonstrating to our clients the quality of our deliverables means having attention to detail, committing to our deadlines, and creating solutions that put the client’s business priorities first. It’s also meant dedicating more time to my personal development, whether that’s wider industry reading or allocating time each week for training on the latest technologies and business practices.

I’m only one year into my journey as a consultant, and it’s already been a fast-paced and productive year. Thanks to everyone that I’ve interacted with along the way, both at Cartesian and my clients, and I look forward to another great year to come. <>