Following on from my previous blog, Occupational Psychology: ‘So what exactly do you do?’ it got me thinking about what it means to be a Consultant. Here are my insights into what it means to be a real, live, working, practicing Consultant.
Any of my fellow consultants out there feel free to allow yourself a knowing smile in response to any of the following that you recognise:
You know you are a Consultant when…
- You spend a significant amount of time travelling – plane (occasionally), train (frequently), automobile (all of the time)
- You are constantly trying to figure out how to ‘pack light’ – making sure that everything coordinates with everything else, but without getting bored of wearing the same thing every week! You might have even Googled this looking for inspiration!
- You regularly visit parts of the country you never thought you’d see, unless you or your relatives lived there – Dartford, Milton Keynes, Wolverhampton, Maidstone, Peterborough, personally spring to mind!
- You look forward to cheese/beans on toast (*delete as applicable) after several days in a row of gorging yourself on hotel food
- You have a favourite A road or service station (you know which ones have the best coffee and the nicest toilets) and there are some motorways that you like more than others. You might even stubbornly resist the advent of SatNav because you are so proud of the razor sharp navigation skills you have developed over the years
- Climbing over and under desks to try and turn on projectors and finding working plug sockets feels like an everyday occurrence
- General furniture removals also starts to become of your unofficial job description – as no matter how specific your room layout requirements are for a training course it’s never ‘quite right’; cue shifting desks, chairs, requesting extra/less flip charts and arranging the removal of oversized TV cabinets on wheels, which you clearly remember not requesting!
- Wishing you had a lighter laptop, smaller bag, or more sensible shoes as you trek across the windswept, rain drenched landscape of an anonymous city centre in search of the train station or ambiguously addressed client office location
- Feeling eternally grateful when you realise that this evening’s hotel room has a decent sized bed, a respectable excuse for a room service menu and free Wi-Fi!
- Strategically planning the contents of your fridge: figuring out what you will eat before you next go away and what will stay fresh once you do and will still be edible on your return. In the meantime you again prepare your home, partner, plants and pets for another spell of temporary neglect whilst you are off changing the world in your own small way
- For the ladies (mostly!), getting away with wearing the most ridiculous, extravagantly designed high heels during a training course because you know you don’t really have to walk anywhere
- Finally, being constantly fascinated by the people you meet, the way no two training courses are alike (even if it is the 27th time you’ve run it this year) and the kick you get out of realising that what you are doing is actually making a difference to someone