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My first, and greatest, piece of advice is this: Continually reinvent yourself.
Consultants work at the intersection of business and technology to create solutions to the world’s most complex business problems. Both are changing all the time—and so must you.
Reinvent to grow.
This is advice I’ve lived and it’s driven my career forward, from when I joined Accenture in the 1990s to today.
Around 1997, I was comfortable in and enjoying my role, but I thought, “I’m ready to do something different.” So, I decided to become an SAP expert. I never wanted to be typecast in any one skill set.
At the time, SAP enterprise resource planning applications were brand-new, and I asked, “What are all those letters? What’s going on here?” I accepted an opportunity in Germany and spent the summer learning, and I became one of the very first people promoting SAP in the utility industry. With the help of my team, we sold one of our first utility’s client SAP projects in New Zealand.
Take what you know to start a new chapter.
Seven or eight years later, I did it again—and this time, I took a radical step.
I thought about my experience to-date, and I decided I wanted to be known not as just a “technology guy” but as an overall operations expert. I knew clients were looking for people who could bring together the business and the technology. So, I leveraged my strengths in technology to give me the momentum I needed as I moved to business process improvement, this time in Vancouver.
Never go stale.
Regular reinvention takes curiosity and the strength to say, “No, I’m done,” when you feel you’re at your best in that skill set or industry.
Making the decision to reinvent is deeply personal. I knew that when I finished my last SAP project, it was time to move on. It would be another cycle of the same thing, and I would not be working at my best, which is being creative and innovative. I would be repeating. I’m definitely cautious of “rinse and repeat” cycles.
Be open to new opportunities.
The call to reinvent can also come from the outside. A few times, my colleagues and mentors within Accenture knew I was ready for something new, even before I did. And trusting in their feedback, they were right.
If you’re looking to drive your consulting career forward, keep reinventing. Find a new opportunity with Accenture, today.
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