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5 reasons to work as a management consultant

The profession of management consultant is often portrayed in a humorous way, but behind the job description lies a varied and demanding activity. Management consultants are active in almost all industries and company sizes and offer temporary, specialized support. The attractiveness of the profession lies in the increasing demand, the varied work, the diverse learning opportunities, good promotion prospects and the community among consultants, whereby quick comprehension, analytical skills and team spirit are important characteristics.

Spätestens seit dem Video von Harry G., dem bayerischen polarisierenden Comedian, kennt nahezu jeder die Vorurteile, den vermeintlichen Arbeitsalltag und den dazugehörigen Lebensweg von Unternehmensberatern.

Berater selbst schmunzeln bei dem Video, den Beratern nahestehende Personen nicken einvernehmlich und Menschen, die so gar nichts mit Beratern zu tun haben, schütteln zumeist nur mit dem Kopf. Doch bei all dem Humor, den Parallelen zum echten Leben und den Vor- & Nachteilen des „Berater-Lifestyles“, stellen sich zwei grundlegende Fragen: Ist der Beruf des (Unternehmens-) Beraters erstrebenswert oder nicht? Und wenn ja, wer ist für den Beruf des „Beraters“ geeignet?

At this point, we first need to define what a “consultant” actually is. And a little research quickly reveals that there is actually no precise definition of the job description. Although there are now the first courses of study that aim to “produce management consultants”, there is no traditional training or standardized course of study. And so one could be forgiven for thinking that it is merely an advisory function that consultants have in companies.

This very simple description actually describes the profession of consultant quite well, because hardly any other professional field has such a wide range as that of the consultant. The consulting profession is incredibly diverse and covers all industries and company sizes – at the same time, consultants can be found at every level, from short-term team supporters to interim CEOs in national and international companies.

In an increasingly complex, fast-paced and changing world, hardly any company can cover all the activities and know-how required at one point or another in the company. “Make or buy” is often the question when deciding whether or not to buy in consultants. Of course, not all situations and positions where consultants are used can be covered in a few words, but I would say that consultants are always used when it comes to temporary jobs that require specialized knowledge or special skills.

As the scenarios are almost endless as to where, how and when consultants are deployed and, in particular, what skills are required, the consultants themselves are also highly diverse. So it’s hardly surprising that many consultants are career changers and are employed in their specialist field – just not by a fixed company, but by various companies. But consultants who enter the profession directly will also find their way. Often starting out as “generalists”, these consultants find their specialty over time and bring neutral, expert advice to companies.

5 Gründe, die den Beruf des Beraters so erstrebenswert machen:

1) Ansteigende Nachfrage und eine sichere Berufswahl

Almost 150,000 people work as management consultants in Germany. And if you think that’s not much, you should consider that there are currently around 55,000 GPs in Germany. In contrast to the number of GPs, however, the number of consultants is steadily increasing. Conversely, this development, which is due to the constantly increasing demand – at national and international level – means that a good consultant will usually have a secure mandate. In addition, certain sectors or companies always have a need for consultants (except in exceptional situations), even if others do not want to or cannot employ these consultants. This means that consultants are only indirectly affected by any economic fluctuations.

2) Abwechslung, interessante Unternehmen, Themen und Personen

We often hear that employees get bored quickly and lack variety. As a consultant, this variety is part of everyday life. Apart from the fact that no two days are the same, consultants are only with a client for a few months at a time – i.e. between 3 and 18 months, with 6-12 months being the rule. Consultants therefore have a “new job” every year without having to change employer. In addition to this attractive variety, the positions where consultants are deployed are also very interesting. It is not uncommon for consultants to work for the very companies where many employees would like to work, from DAX companies to hidden champions. As a consultant, you often get deep insights into interesting companies and their interesting projects. The reason for this is that important, success-critical or new topics are staffed with consultants. As a consultant, you can be sure that you will never find yourself in a run-of-the-mill mandate.

The positive side effect of all this variety is that many consultants find out within the first 3 years which industry or subject area they like best and specialize in certain areas. It is often surprising where consultants end up in the course of their career and what seems to suit them best in the end. However, no specialization is not an exclusion criterion, as there is always a need for good generalists with the “consultant gene”.

In addition to these fairly factual points, however, the focus should be on the people with whom consultants deal with clients on a daily basis. Consultants are advisors, moderators, sparring partners, supporters and always the helping hand that the customer needs. Many people have the image of the “bouncer” or the “grasshopper” in their heads, but good advisors are quickly the first point of contact for customers and are welcome faces. People are the “business” of consultants and nowhere else can you get to know so many different personalities.

3) Wertvolle Erfahrung und steile Lernkurven

The variety and the people you get to know over the years mean that you can develop rapidly as a consultant. Valuable knowledge can be generated and skills acquired in every company and on every project. Consultants are practically sent from one training course to the next. Hardly any other profession promises such a steep learning curve. A small bonus: the longer you work as a consultant, the bigger and more important the projects become. In addition to the many people at the customer, consultants quickly get to know board members and decision-makers. You can build up a network right from the start and work together with “great minds” and learn from them.

4) Gute Aufstiegschancen und überdurchschnittliche Vergütung

The question of salary is certainly one of the most interesting for some. Of course, there are also big differences between the consultancies themselves, but top starting salaries of €70,000, which are often quoted, are the exception rather than the rule. Realistically, starting salaries are between €40,000 and €60,000. This depends on the degree, personal experience and, of course, the company where the (prospective) consultant wants to apply, or the sector in which the respective consulting company operates. But in addition to the fact that employees with such a salary are in the upper echelons of the income distribution in Germany, there are also very good opportunities for promotion. After a few years, management consultants can double their starting salary and also enjoy bonuses and other benefits, such as company cars, IT equipment, special club memberships, etc. Not to be underestimated are also training courses, certifications and other “advanced training” that significantly increase the market value of the consultant. The motto is: negotiate well, perform well, continuously develop and move up.

5) Arbeitskollegen und Berater unter sich

Finally, one point should be mentioned, which is sometimes the most important. Consultants are often of the same ilk. If you decide to become a consultant or work as a consultant for a certain period of time, you can be sure that you will meet many colleagues in your company and at the various stages of your career with whom you will get on extremely well. Consultants share the same standards and values, the same lifestyle, understand each other in a friendly manner and are very keen to build a trusting relationship. Not least because this can lead to new mandates. However, you should not forget – especially if the job involves traveling, as is often the case – that you are together with your colleagues several days a week, up to 16 hours a day. Many friendships develop and exist among consultants. But even outside of friendships, consultants in a company stand up for each other and support each other. Fights within your own company are frowned upon and only lead to poorer performance for the customer.

Looking back – and I am not yet an “old hand” – I can only recommend the career of a consultant to people who have the “consultant gene”. At this point, “consultant gene” means all the qualities that a consultant must have. In addition to an extremely quick grasp, a structured and analytical way of thinking and problem-solving skills, this includes in particular a very good general education, empathy, the ability to work in a team, strong communication skills and a self-confident and assertive manner.

If these points apply to you personally and you can imagine working as a consultant, then you should take a closer look at the subject and conduct initial (application) interviews.

Are you interested in becoming a consultant yourself and would like to give it a try? You are welcome to apply via our website We will definitely get back to you.

perpetuo GmbH has been an internationally operating group of companies since 2007. The core competencies of perpetuo are management consulting, change management, turnaround management, digital marketing and venture management. The main target groups are entrepreneurs and managing directors of SMEs (hidden champions) in and around Dortmund as well as start-ups.

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