The ANALyst

Leverage, optimise, synergise

Rollercoaster


Its the 30th day that I have been working 15 hours non-stop (well with the exception of two weekends ago), and frankly I am a bit tired. So instead of cranking out the power point, I have just collapsed on my bed and am aimlessly surfing. Somewhere in the midst of it, I stumbled upon this blog once again, and well, it was time for another post!

Some of the physical challenges of a being a consultant have been well documented often times – travel, long hours, deadlines etc. But this is isn’t the biggest challenge, this isn’t what makes you age faster, it’s the emotional and mental challenges that do. Consulting is like a never ending rollercoaster ride, from amazing days to horrible ones. There are days when you will feel on top of the world and there are days when you will wish you could run away (as I once did). For a day to be amazing all of the following need to happen

1. You need to have achieved your goals for the day

2. You need to be on top of your deadlines

3. Your team lead/engagement manager/project partner needs to be happy with your work

4. And most importantly, the client needs to be happy

Any one of these can go wrong to turn your day from a good one to a bad one. Really everyday is evaluated separately.

One thing I have gotten better at over time is dealing with emotions. Remaining calm (even if you have a hurried look on the outside) is very very important. Equally important is to put things in perspective – to think about the bigger reason for you being there, the value that you will add to your clients and most importantly to realize that at the end of the day, this is your job, not your life. It enables you to live, but it is not your reason to live. It is important, but only to a point. If it gets really too stressful, you must walk away, your family is more important.

This is one of the things though, that make consulting an exciting place to be. It is another element that makes life unpredictable – you have no idea what tomorrow might bring – just hope!

If you had a good day today, smile!

If you haven’t go to bed and remember the sun will rise again and tomorrow will be a new day!

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October 12, 2010 - Posted by | Consulting

2 Comments »

  1. Sounds a bit like you are straight on your path to a solid burnout. Good to hear that you still got your values in the right order, though.
    Also, your argument that there’s “just hope” for the next day on a consulting assignment rather gives me the shivers than makes me go “yay, that’s why I love consulting!”. I know, sometimes one needs to rationalize things and make it sound better than it is, especially for one’s own ears… but could it be that you are simply on an understaffed project (long working hours, even working on the weekends – bad sign!) and that project management doesn’t _manage_enough, both in terms of workload and in terms of well-being of the team? Just saying…

    Comment by Florian Hollender | October 12, 2010 | Reply

  2. You hit the nail on the head Florian with the comment on understaffing. The project is grossly understaffed, but as a junior (relatively) person, there is not a lot of avenue to influence staffing decision. There is some scope for setting realistic expectations with the project leadership, however that is very limited.
    Most requests are usually not granted and can often be looked down upon. I don’t know if this is peculiar to my firm or common across the industry.
    Furthermore, I’ve noticed that a lot of projects that were sold during the recession are only being executed now – but at pricing that was set during the recession. Hence an increased pressure on keeping resourcing down to make margins!

    Comment by banalyst | October 12, 2010 | Reply


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