Posted by: LYF | July 20, 2011

What’s being a consultant like

I love being a consultant.  This is the first job where I can truly say I love doing what I do.  It’s so god damn intense and I love everything about that.  People give you work you won’t know how to do, with timelines that are completely unreasonable with the expectation that you’ll produce without any complaints.  The work pace is extremely rapid and iterative.  You’ll get an assignment at 9 with the expectation of an outline after lunch to make sure you’re on the right track.

“Yes, sir.  No Sir.  Three bags full Sir.  You know who the sir is?  The client.”  That’s how one partner capped off a conversation with me as we finished our coffees.  Then he got up to leave because he had a meeting with [big name CFO].  “Hey do you have a problem working in another province?  No?  Hmm, maybe we’ll send you out to Vancouver for a few days.  I’m going to cc you on some stuff.  You might not get the work, but read everything I send you anyway.  It will be a lot.”

A manager pushes you.  Then you push back.  Five emails come in about a proposal.  You forgot you set up an info meeting to understand some software.  You answer the emails.  It’s now 30min later and you have to start on the work for the manager you pushed back on.  There’s no way you’re making that info meeting.  Cancelled.  The proposal is in limbo until after lunch.  That gives you the rest of the morning to work.  Then you realize it’s almost noon and you had lunch scheduled with colleagues.  All done to daft punk with one headphone in.  Boom.

At the moment I’m working on two presentations that will be given to upper management at a leading Canadian Hospital.  Do I know anything about health care?  Nope.  Am I a pro at power point?  Haven’t used it in two years.  Do I have enough time to get it done?  Three days seems unreasonable.  It’s like when someone tells you you can’t do something and you look back and say fuck you and get it done in half the time.

Life is good.


  1. Awesome post. You’re totally captured the stream of conciseness blur that is working for a large professional services firm. You have to thrive on that chaos. Its like a train flying down the track a million miles an hour, on fire, headed for a cliff (in a good way)

  2. This sounds fantastic. It’s one of the reasons that I want to change jobs from being a Business Analyst at a big bank to becoming a CA. There just seems to be much more potential for growth in that context.

  3. It’s good and it’s bad. You have the opportunity to do lots of really cool stuff, but there have been days where I’m running on 2 hours sleep, getting grilled n’ drilled in back-to-back 4 hour meetings.

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