When I am asked what I do for a living, and I reply with “Consultant,” my response is typically met with a friendly, sometimes puzzled nod which is often accompanied by a variety of follow-up questions that require me to provide further insight. To the non-business world, consulting is often considered a buzzword with no real clarity on what the career entails. I often boil my explanation down to a simple phrase: A business has a problem, and they enlist our help to support them in addressing complex questions about their external operating environment. These could be related to their competitors, customers, or the market more generally. They may need help with something tactical such as designing the UX for a new product, or something strategic such as an acquisition or market entry. As a Consultant, my objective is to support my clients in answering these questions in an approachable way and recommend actionable strategies that will help them achieve their goals and improve performance.
Working in an industry-agnostic firm means that no client or business problem is ever the same. I could be working on competitive battlecards for a Fortune 500 software company in the morning, discussing potential M&A targets with a pharma company mid-day, and interviewing customers of a family-owned CPG company in the afternoon to determine customer satisfaction and roadmap opportunities.
So, what does my day look like? It should come as no surprise that there really is no “typical” day in the life of a Consultant, but some common tasks that are executed on an (almost) daily basis include:
- Client meetings
- Internal team meetings
- Conducting research, including a combination of desk and primary research
- Building content including reports and presentations for clients
- Junior team management
- Stakeholder management
- Emails and other organizational tasks
My “typical” workday:
8:30-9:30am – Emails and planning
My morning routine is typically accompanied by two cups of coffee, and involves checking and responding to emails, as well as planning what the rest of my day will look like by organizing my calendar. I also spend some time reading up on the current news and keeping informed about new tools, approaches and thought leadership in our industry.
9:30am – HelloDay!
The HelloInfo team meets each morning to brief on what our day is going to look like, discuss any issues anyone is having with their projects, and share any notable developments. This fosters a culture of transparency and collaboration, and ensures we remain connected even when working remotely.
10-10:30am – Check in with team
Most of my engagements at HelloInfo are in a team setting, whether I am collaborating with a fellow consultant or leading an engagement where I am guiding more junior team members, or a combination of both. Having a daily meeting where we brief on project progress, updates, responsibilities, concerns, next steps, and more ensures the projects run smoothly. There could be multiple meetings of this nature throughout the day to accommodate different projects I may have running simultaneously.
10:30am-1pm – Crunch time
I typically use this time to conduct research and produce content. This could include a variety of tasks such as standard desk research, conducting quantitative and qualitative analysis, building presentation slides, and writing recommendations.
While the content is unique and customized for every project, we have templates and best practices we apply across projects based on common industries, business challenges, objectives, etc.
1-3pm – Meetings, meetings, and more meetings
Afternoons are often filled with back-to-back meetings with a variety of stakeholders and objectives. These could include a needs analysis call or proposal discussion with a prospect, project update meetings with clients to share progress and obtain feedback, project presentations to the client, and often the client’s C-Suite, vendor meetings to kick off new projects, and/or primary research interviews as part of our research initiatives.
It should be noted that we aim for meeting-free Fridays to provide space for focused work to boost team productivity.
3-4pm – Action items
Following the day’s meetings, I spend some time planning on any action items that came out of those meetings and brainstorming and discussing with the project team the best ways to execute the action items. This typically involves more internal team meetings.
4-5pm – More crunch time, daily wrap up
As the end of the workday nears, I spend any remaining time on continued project execution, other time-critical tasks, and responding to any remaining emails I was not able to get to throughout the day to ensure I maintain a constant stream of communication with both internal and external contacts. I wrap up my day by reflecting on any action items that I was not able to execute during the day, challenges faced, and lessons learned, which all contribute to my improved output and productivity in the coming days.
As I mentioned earlier, no client or project is the same, and I often have multiple projects running simultaneously, which creates an exciting variety of experience in my days that require effective time management to ensure no tasks are overlooked or communication/deadline is missed. While meetings and deadlines have dedicated times blocked in my calendar, the responsibility of managing the rest of my schedule falls entirely on me. This means that some workdays are longer than others, but this level of flexibility promotes an unbeatable work-life balance, which is becoming increasingly important in the workforce.
HelloInfo is always looking for quality team members to join us. If you are interested in joining the HelloInfo team please reach out to us . For more insights on HelloInfo please visit our blog, .