Consulting Myths: What I’ve Learned in My First Year of Recruiting

If you asked me a year ago what I’d expect to learn in my first year of Recruiting, I wouldn’t have even been able to scrape the tip of the iceberg on the amount of knowledge that I would gain in such a short period of time! I was told my first year of Recruiting would be “like drinking from a fire hose,” and I now assuredly know this was not an overstatement. Beyond learning the difference between Java and JavaScript, I’ve learned what hiring managers look for on resumes, what personality traits make a great consultant, and why so many people love consulting. I’ve also learned there tends to be an existing theme of misconceptions that surrounds consulting, causing people to shy away from, or completely miss out on, opportunities that could advance their careers and fundamentally transform their lives. Because I, too, once believed in these misconceptions, I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned in my first year of Recruiting to dispel some of the top myths:

Myth #1: Consulting is fending for yourself while independently seeking and interviewing for new opportunities every few months.
What I’ve Learned: I often hear that candidates are apprehensive to consult because they don’t want to search for a new job every few months. I always respond to this by explaining, “That’s my job!” As a Recruiter, I’m here to support you as a consultant by knowing the types of opportunities you would be interested in, where you would like to take your career, and how we are going to get you there. If you’re partnering with a trusted consulting company, you won’t need to fend for yourself in the market. In fact, when partnering with a consulting company like Q, you’re backed by an entire team! Our team will help you navigate your job search through finding opportunities, editing your resume, preparing you for interviews, gathering and sharing insider knowledge on teams, clients, projects, and more.
What I Advise: If there were ever a time to try consulting, now would be it! In today’s market, there are literally more jobs than people. Strong consultants tend to stay with clients for 12-24+ months at a time. Do your research to connect with a trusted consulting partner and take it from there. Not sure how to identify a trusted consulting partner? Check out this article.

Myth #2: Job status equals job security.
What I’ve Learned: Many people believe a permanent role is more secure than a consulting position. However, in a rapidly changing technological market, I’ve learned that job status does not equal job security. Rather, your skills determine job security. Regardless of market conditions and whether your position is permanent or consulting, the more relevant skills you have, the more secure you’ll be in your career. In fact, in the Great Recession of 2007-2009, top consultants with top skills were consistently busy while many permanent employees were laid off. In a similar situation would you rather be tied to one company as a permanent employee or tied to an entire market as a consultant?
What I Advise: The best and quickest path to gaining new skills? Consulting! Instead of waiting around for your company to get on the “bleeding edge technology” train to provide you with new learning opportunities, as a consultant, you are able to dictate the direction of your career and choose the skills you want to learn. Therefore, be proactive in your pursuit of gaining new skills and remain open to new opportunities. Perhaps you should respond to that Recruiter that messaged you on LinkedIn. Your dream job could be hiding in the next consulting opportunity.

Myth #3: Job descriptions are all encompassing and accurate.
What I’ve Learned: Many people are intimidated by job descriptions and get discouraged from applying to positions because they may not meet the exact requirements or are a few years shy of experience. Job descriptions are usually wish lists. Hiring managers tend to include all the “nice to haves” with the hopes of finding what we in the recruiting world call a “rainbow unicorn” candidate.
What I Advise: When reviewing job descriptions, don’t take them at face value. Don’t let a few unfamiliar requirements discourage you from applying. In the meantime, familiarize yourself with the terms, systems, or technologies you’re unaware of so you can show aptitude in the interview. Most importantly, stop doubting yourself! Try to maintain a positive mindset and go for it. It’s true what they say, “You’ll never know until you try!”

Myth #4: The Golden RuleTreat others how you want to be treated.
What I’ve Learned: I’ve always been a strong advocate of the golden rule. However, I’ve learned that in some instances the golden rule is more effective when you apply a little empathy.
What I Advise: Treat others how they want to be treated! In any given scenario it’s important to know your audience. Applying this to business and the job search process is especially important. When working with a Recruiter, set your expectations early and determine the best form of communication. When interviewing for a position, read your audience and prepare to speak to the interviewer. When joining a new team, be understanding, adaptable, and flexible. The best consultants (and the best Recruiters) tend to share the same qualities. They’re empathetic, communicative, adaptable, and, more than anything, they’re active listeners!

To conclude, choose your consulting partners wisely and you’ll have a full team supporting you behind the scenes every step of the way. The more skills you gain, the more opportunities and job security you’ll have. It’s time to stop over analyzing job descriptions and doubting your experience. Consulting may not be for everyone, but for those of you who enjoy learning new things, solving problems, helping others, taking control of your career, and understand that “change is the only constant in life,” you may be the perfect candidate for Q Consulting.

Are you interested in learning more about what it means to be a consultant? Reach out to me. I am happy to share more with you! /">