Employees believe it is their employer’s responsibility to task them. They come to work and do the tasks they are given. They often complain their boss doesn’t delegate enough to them and spend a lot of time justifying their lack of output. This was my mindset for several years.
Traditional consultants are brought in by organizations to evaluate. They are hired for an outside perspective and to institute new procedures, technology, or sometimes office culture. Often consultants are hired for one reason and end up achieving success for something totally different. They are there to help the analyst use new technology in order to work quicker and realize that it is actually a lack of organization that has slowed them down. Consultants are not permanent they are hired to improve and move on.
You must think like a consultant even when you are a traditional employee on paper. I was inspired to write this blog because in less than 24 hours I heard the same advice on two podcasts. Both Colin Cowherd (sports) and Dave Ramsey (finance) said something along the lines of “we are all contractors/consultants a lot of us just have one client.”
Right now I only have one client and that is the Military Commissions Defense Organization. I try my best to approach each day like a consultant. My job is not to sit and wait to be given tasks but to identify areas for improvement and take it on! To leave the office better than I found it. On campaigns they call it ‘work yourself out of a job’ meaning you create enough structure while training those below you that three months later your job is being done by others and you are able to focus more on higher goals. Just like a consultant I look to make my client (bosses) life easier in any way possible. I look at my job as a one day contract each day and each day I make their lives a little bit easier I know they’ll want me back the next day.
Apply the consultant mindset to your job search as well. Imagine if someone was paying you to find your next job and build out your network….would you be fired soon? I work with many job seekers, primarily in D.C. Hopefuls Fellowship, and they fall victim to life. They get busy with other things, friends come to town, or they got a lead and decided to just sit idle until they hear something. It happens to us all! I use to wish that I could just pay someone else to build me a network and find me the right job. Of course I quickly learned only I could do that for myself and that I was not being a good consultant for myself, I had adopted the employee mindset. I expected people to just help me because I asked and waited for things to fall in my lap. I would go several days without doing anything and blame other people for my lack of success. Much like employees I waited for things to come my way rather than take the initiative!
I challenge you to take 5 minutes and reflect over the last month. If you had hired yourself as a consultant to go out and build the career you have always dreamed of would you fire yourself?
We are less than a month into 2018 and I’ve already to spoken to several young job seekers who probably all would fire themselves right now. The common short-coming of each person was the lack of a plan. They had no real strategy or goals they were all just throwing things against the wall to see what sticks. D.C. Boot Camp is a 16 module course that provides not only information you are lacking on how to best build the career you want but more importantly it shows you how to plot out a plan for success. Having a clear drawn out strategy with measurable benchmarks will do absolute wonders for your mental health, stress, and overall career success.
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