The tech industry needs you
There are many different avenues to becoming a change consultant, this could be starting in a similar role such as project management or switching from what might appear to be an unrelated sector such as teaching or sales. With the need for dynamic thinkers and problem solvers growing within the tech industry, individuals considering making the move into change consultancy may have the right skills to tick the industry’s boxes.
More than one career path
According to research by Careershifters, 53 per cent of UK workers wanted to change their careers completely, with 79 per cent of individuals stating they wished to move industry altogether. The report also stated that many people feel as though it is too late for a career change, or that they don’t possess the relevant skills needed to make the move due to a previous career in an unrelated sector.
It’s never too late to switch career paths and change consultancy is a career that lends itself to a wide range of experience levels. Many members of the Entec Si team started their careers on a different path before joining us.
I was a primary school teacher and PE Coordinator for eight years before starting my career in change consultancy. I was surprised to find out just how transferable teaching skills are to change consultancy. Fortunately for me, my years of teaching had meant I was incredibly organised and I had developed great communication skills, both attributes that lend themselves well to consultancy.
Putting people at the heart of change
People are the core of every change project. That’s why change consultancy work ensures any transformation considers the needs of employees and delivers solutions that takes their opinions into account. At its core, consultancy is about problem-solving so being a dynamic thinker is crucial to delivering a successful transformation. With a sharp focus on employees, consultants often need to be able to think on their feet to create solutions and tackle pain points within a business.
One of the main skills needed for a successful career in project management is strong leadership, including critical thinking and negotiation skills. Leadership is often a skill that develops over time from exposure to new scenarios. However, there are also plenty of qualifications such as PRINCE2 or becoming a Scrum Master that can help individuals on their path to consultancy and gain confidence in their leadership skills.
To succeed as a change consultant, specifically within the tech industry, a sound understanding of the latest technology and trends is essential. As an industry that is consistently evolving, businesses will entrust consultants to know and suggest the best solutions, as well as develop thorough implementation strategies, communicate clearly and provide training programmes that highlight the key benefits to the workforce.
Managing a successful transformation
A successful consultant needs to be able to manage their schedule efficiently in order to keep projects running on time and to avoid reputational damage or financial repercussions. Change and digital transformation projects can often increase the workload and responsibilities of key individuals within a business. Therefore it’s essential for consultants to not only manage their own workload, but also have a holistic overview of a team’s capacity to ensure there are no pinch points.
When managing a change project, communication skills are imperative to ensure all stakeholders are kept informed with all the relevant information throughout the project. This might include keeping customers up-to-date with changes or communicating the need for and impact of change to employees. Consistent and clear communication ensures that everyone impacted by the project has the chance to ask questions and voice any concerns.
On the surface, my history in antiques dealing would appear to be completely unrelated to change management. However, there are a lot of overlaps between my past and current role. A specific example is communication, which I think most people don’t realise is such an integral part of consultancy. Whether we need to create a communications plan around the change we are looking to implement or set up a designated feedback and queries system for employees to ensure they are being listened to, a project just wouldn’t be successful without good communication.