One of the big selling points of working in consulting, is the training that the company gives you. The training can often be virtual i.e. you sit at home in your underwear and listen along on your headphones and conference call. Then there are the instructor led courses that you’re sometimes sent on – when you finish a project, you have a couple options
- You get dressed in your Sunday best and head over to the local office and pretend to work and try and “volunteer” to do hardcore bitch work – this is the least favorite of my options
- Your next option is to take some much needed vacation – but who wants to blow PTO (paid time off) while on the bench? I earned my PTO – no one is going to force me to take PTO time unless I want to.
- My favorite option is taking training courses, either virtual or instructor led.
Most of the consultants I’ve know want five things out of their career (in no particular order):
- Do meaningful work – and not build decks all day
- Get promoted – having minions to manage is a great perk
- Make decent money – Audis don’t buy themselves
- Actually have work/life balance – most never do, because they feel like failure when they’re not stressed out 24/7 (This is a particular “disease” of consultants)
- Enjoy the perks of travel – status, miles, flex tripping to Malta or the Maldives
However, one of the real perks of consulting is getting the training and advancing your knowledge and marketability. Accenture’s training facility (Q Center) in St. Charles, IL would be an example of a great perk … I like going for our core training courses because I generally meet no one from my office – it is a worldwide melting pot. Additionally, I go for the food … seriously!
There is also the great gym and playing in simulated game shows with your project team – sounds like a good time doesn’t it?
Well to be fair, personally I work within the process and make it work for me – getting approved for trainings can be tedious if you don’t chase the courses or approvals. In consulting firms, the “HR” staff is pushed to get people into billable roles as quickly as possible, so it makes bench time particularly difficult for new consultants. One of the major beefs with new consultants is that they get put on crappy projects with an even crappier role – if only I knew about maximizing the training budget, when I was a new consultant – I would have been on more project game shows!
So I’m off to Chicago on the Monday morning commute … hopefully I’ll get on Accenture “Minute to win it!”