This idea randomly popped in my head today about the similarities between Dr Pepper, Baskin Robbins, and the world of management consulting.
The answer: flavors. I’ll explain.
Many will recognize Baskin Robbins as having 31 flavors of ice cream but fewer probably are aware that Dr Pepper supposedly has 23 flavors making up that sweet nectar.
Similarly, most people think of consulting as one thing. Those people would be woefully incorrect in that assessment.
To be fair, there are some core consulting skills that apply no matter what area of consulting you’re in but the functional expertise you have (like, I don’t know… maybe accounting and finance) can position you for a ridiculously successful consulting career.
And if you’re like me, having a more tangible functional expertise can still keep you close to your roots, make sure you’re keeping your skills sharp, and that you’re on top of developments in your field (think: new revenue recognition requirements).
You also want to consider transferable skills. The fact is consulting has a good amount of turnover, which I talked about a few days ago, and understanding what exit opportunities might exist is a prudent thing to do for most people.
In my (very reasonable and practical) opinion, there will be fewer transferable skills for a strategy practitioner than a finance practitioner.
For starters, strategy teams are smaller at companies which by definition limits some of the opportunities. Also, people want to hire people who know how to get results i.e. execute.
I’m not suggesting going into a career change expecting it’s not going to work out but if it’s a necessary step to get you where you ultimately want to be then you do what you have to do.
One last thing on this – I know there are people out there who want to rebrand and leave their functional expertise behind them. That’s fine. For those people, you probably want to consider going back to school or trying to get your foot in the door at a firm and then rebranding after. It’s so much easier than trying to apply out for something unrelated to your past experience.
Making the consulting jump is no lock doing it the way I suggest (or any other way) but your chances of success are exponentially higher.
And as it turns out, I’m in the business of producing successes. If you’re ready to make your next move, apply to Success Factory now. More details at the link below: