It is conventional to assume that our career choices are largely determined by our skill sets. While the convention certainly holds, it is our personalities that create long term successes in various career choices. We explore three major careers and the personal ‘soft skills’ required to achieve long term success in each one of those.
Consulting: Consulting is surely a top career choice especially among Business School Students more particularly the MBA. However, the process flow for a consultant’s job requires a ‘people centric’ personality above and beyond any hard skills you may possess.
Whether you’re in IT, Technology, Operations or Strategy, a good consultant ‘has’ to be good with people. Listening skills, patience and presentation are as important to harvest the ideas of your team as the ideas themselves. We advise students and professionals to reflect on these character traits before setting themselves for rewarding consulting careers. Above all, you should enjoy your travels and hotel rooms and have a flexible outlook to work. Not every day is the same and that is perhaps the most rewarding part.
Investment Banking: It is a broad term which became in vogue in the pre-2008 era due to the notion of huge pay checks and fat bonuses. An Investment Banker typically helps company’s raise funds, restructure assets, dispose business units, acquire new businesses and corporate mergers. Experienced Investment Bankers graduate into private equity where a strong general business acumen, experience and sharp financial skills are required. However, Investment Banking success is a slow grind where you require strong analytics, team working, ability to work long hours and a risk friendly personality. It is easy to be discouraged when your working on a deal for 6 months and someone pulls the plug. If you’re the workaholic, resilient and analytical kind then you can ‘find your fit’ in Investment Banking. Further, it is an elite profession and having some big brands on your Resume and being an early starter would be ideal.
Entrepreneurship & Freelancing: Yes, being an entrepreneur can be planned and does not correlate with risk. Entrepreneurs or freelancers in general are trained in fields your passionate about and evolve their passions and interests into careers. The overarching quality one requires is ‘Focus’. While a small entrepreneur may not have a general business acumen of a consultant, he/she is a master in their area of competence. Your passion could be sport, wine, food, travel, writing, wellness, social media etc and there are enough small and large businesses that will keep spurting out of these passions. There are plenty of courses that can train you in your focus area and give you credibility. Once you develop a competency set, there are many opportunities to create your own business at low cost and low risk. With a little courage and specific training, you could manage to cultivate your hobbies into life long cash flows. Being organized and cautiously optimistic can make your dreams come true. It’s that simple really!
Having had an experience in all three areas, I see that it is not how smart I am but really who I am that is the differentiating factor. We encourage you to brainstorm your career and reflect on your strengths and personality with our services.