8 Ways You Can Shoot Yourself in the Foot as a Consultant



If you’re looking to get fired soon, make yourself comfortable and don’t follow my advice.

We all make mistakes, but there are mistakes you shouldn’t come near if you value your consulting job. Like, never. Never ever.

Here’s a list.

  1. Don’t infringe on someone else’s authority.

  2. Even if you befriended your client, don’t make deals you’re not authorized to make to stay on good terms with them.

  3. If you know your client would love to ask about topics that you’re not responsible for or know nothing about, don’t answer their questions, link them to the right team. Your answer shouldn’t be a fiction novel. Make sure you have enough information about other teams in your firm, but also make sure you give them the right number to contact!

  4. Don’t hit on your client. (Nor an employee or coworker: p)

  5. No matter how pretty or sexy you might find a client, do not flirt with them.

  6. You don’t want emotions to interfere with work deals. Not to mention it is unethical and unprofessional.

  7. Don’t make fun of someone else’s work.

  8. Mocking someone else’s work is very unprofessional. Everyone makes mistakes, including you. You can simply let them know where they went wrong, we’re all in a continuous learning process.

  9. There is always a reason behind doing something in some way. They wouldn’t have done it if they knew it was wrong!

  10. Directly making fun of an employee/coworker, talking behind their back, or boasting that you could’ve done it better only makes you look childish and petty. Show your good work silently, and lift your coworkers up, it will be worth it for everyone long term, trust me.

  11. Don’t engage in political or religious debates.

  12. Keep your beliefs to yourself. You will definitely regret engaging in a heated discussion regarding your coworkers’ religious beliefs or political views.

  13. Imagine having a dramatic loud discussion inside the office. Other coworkers will pipe in, you’ll become the tea to nearby offices, and to say your manager wouldn’t be happy would be an understatement.

  14. Just as you avoid such discussions in family gatherings because you know they’ll turn into fights; a professional workplace should be free of these sensitive topics.

  15. Don’t turn a deaf ear to your team’s needs.

  16. Through your work, you’re most probably not micromanaging everything, so sometimes, a person on your team has something important to tell you, and you should hear them out.

  17. They might know of a small issue that could be the solution you’ve been looking for for a while now.

  18. Sometimes you’re very stressed that you slow down on the management side. This throws pressure on the shoulders of your team, and they might want to fix that by lending a helping hand. Heart them out!

  19. What someone wants to say could be unimportant sometimes, but you should never make them feel that. Build trust. Make them feel they can always come to you. One day, it’s going to be important. And then, you’ll remember my words.

  20. Don’t Band-Aid your work.

  21. Band-aids can help. Temporarily. They’re an ineffective solution that addresses symptoms and not the real cause behind a problem.

  22. With time, the band-aid – which is the shortcut you take to solve something – will start loosening and its glued sides will come off. And believe me, you don’t want your work falling apart the moment you leave the client’s firm.

  23. Temporary shortcuts can make you gain a couple of hours but will also make you lose your clients’ respect and make you look bad.

  24. Don’t be too consumed by “you”.

  25. Sometimes, especially if you’re new to the industry and are very proud of the firm you belong to, you tend to talk more about what you can do than checking if your client is happy about it.

  26. Listen more to what your clients need, and make sure you get their validation.

  27. Don’t forget to document.

  28. Documentation might just be the most important thing in your job as a consultant. It will definitely make your job a whole lot easier and will help you gain time.

  29. Documenting captures the most important decisions taken to reach a final result. Keeping such information is very helpful, when you come back to the project documented, you won’t have to spend time trying to figure out how things went and where you stopped.

  30. Documentation helps new employees understand consulting processes and what they’re supposed to do.

I hope you value your foot enough not to fall in these mistakes!