What is it about consulting that is so gratifying? Sure the problems are intellectually stimulating and it feels great to solve them. But why is it so popular?
Consulting as a profession resonates with each of us for different reasons. However, there are some common themes that come up when we discuss how we approach our own professional development, client relations and community service. Perhaps Dan Pink and others express it best when they talk about why people love coming to work and why they look for more than just "getting the job done."
We get a lot of satisfaction from work when we can pursue, and achieve, three things:
- Autonomy: We want to have control over our work.
- Mastery: We want to get better at what we do.
- Purpose: We want to be part of something that is bigger than us.
Think about management consulting. Especially for independent consultants, many of who have deliberately graduated from larger firms, we take control over our marketing, client selection, project management and team selection. Most of us spend a considerable amount of time reading, going to conferences and in discussions with other consultants about approaches and practices. Finally, we are participating in the building of companies, communities and nations by our improvement of public and private sector organizations. Who wouldn't be thrilled at that?© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA