Whatever you read on the web about consulting and what consultants actually do, which is a huge ton of bullet points, let me summarize it for you. Free of charge 😉
Of course, the actual complete list of tasks you should expect from a consultant greatly varies according to your business and the consultant expertise.
They are, however, all part of 4 main categories. Even if you're a financial consultant, architecture expert, programmer, manager or whatever, those 4 roles are the one you must remember during all your consulting career.
As a consultant, you're expected to criticize and analyse the current business situation of your client. Reporting to them what their weaknesses and strengths are and provide actual solutions to their problem.
And not only the problems they share with you, but the problems that you only can detect.
Now that've imagined the solution to your client's problem, the only way to realize it correctly is that you actually do the work. You probably won't have to build the entire solution's architecture, but you certainly need to build the base for the client's team to continue following your guidelines.
Be careful though, many junior consultants mistakenly think that their favourite framework is the obviously the best one on the market. Think first about your client's infrastructure: the team, their habits & the core business of the company.
Yes, you need to be aware of the company habits but that doesn't you mean you can't make a plan to bring change. That's probably why you were hired in the first place. Now that you've build the solution plan, your role is to mentor the team, to coach them through this transformation.
You will need to teach your partners to use your new tools, methodology and architecture.
Don't be stubborn with your plan though. Embrace change if needed. Accept suggestions and modifications. You're not a "all knowing" person. Or maybe you are but remain open as much as possible. Being open is positive and will improve your professional relationship.
Remember that testing tools and/or features is the key. You don't know the future. Think agile and prioritize tasks that will have the bigger return on investment for your client.
In the same way that stores test new products, you should first test a few solutions. And that may be the most difficult part of the job. Because most of the time you think about a new and better architecture, and finish building the solution before testing it. And honestly most of the time it works, but sometimes... well, you know... But testing does not require much effort and could save you a lot of time.
Finally, my bonus advice is: don't be afraid to become a consultant. Some people think "But I don't have the expertise in my field, I could never guide a whole company!". In reality, we all have our own expertise, not only from our professional career, but from our personality or our social experience.
Don't be afraid to make the jump 💪