The Specific Challenges Posed To Junior Management Consultants

The junior management consultant is not, by definition, one with a great deal of professional experience. This article proposes to clarify the main challenges posed to early career consultants, and even more specifically, in the phase directly after they have accepted the position.



challenge devenir consultant junior


This topic will allow you to have content to answer certain questions of fit during interviews, but its primary objective is elsewhere. It should be noted that, in most major consulting firms, between 15 and 25% of new consultants do not complete their… trial period! This figure is shocking when it is put in perspective of efforts to get an offer in a consulting firm. What may explain such a rate of failure to work as a consultant, even after having overcome the selection process challenges?

There are mainly two reasons.


The Lack Of Foresight Concerning The Life Of The Consultant


A young recruit in a large consulting firm would take the brunt of the real culture shock from this new experience and may well find that consulting is ultimately not for him. I have personally seen the high-performance profile interviewees quickly lose motivation in their early assignments. After often having gone through a training program requiring, for example, very a competitive selection process or to study in several countries, the young management consultant can sometimes begin his/her career with an energy deficit. Starting in consulting, even after the best training, requires you to absorb large numbers of messages, skills, reflexes, standards and experiences in a very short timeframe. This requires a certain resilience that sometimes unprepared candidates do not have.


The Lack Of Benchmarks Regarding The Level Of Requirements In Management Consulting


Management consulting is an extremely demanding sector. And it’s not just buzz. I ignored this point when I started my career in the Boston Consulting Group. I had so often heard in my previous jobs about the “demanding” aspect that I was a bit bored by this type of discourse. But in the case of strategy consulting, it was not a marketing argument. Customers pay dearly for the consulting services they receive and have a legitimate right to expect non-standard results. Clients’ companies expect above-standard results at a minimum from the consulting assignments, i.e., their teams could not provide such standards, otherwise you understand that an alternative within their firm would quickly be found. In this context, it is sometimes complicated for the junior consultant to know how to put a limit on his personal investment in the work. Consequently, some consultants do more. One may become an over-achiever, and this is the ideal situation to say the job is maybe not for him or her. With a few months of experience, the consultant manages faster or slower to anticipate what the firm expects in terms of the level of demand and involvement. A few years of such experience is an incredible asset as far as knowing what level of excellence to expect on any professional task. As part of my current consulting job, being confronted with the excessive demands of customers is very common. In this case, I am now able to tell them very clearly, “For the price of the assignment, your expectations are simply not realistic.” Period. This type of self-insurance is a benefit given by a career in consulting.


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