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Jonathan Ling
Functional and Industry Analytics Consultant, Melbourne, Australia
April 17, 2019

4 Ways I Built a Successful Consulting Career at Accenture

Considering a consulting career?

Prepare for an exciting and challenging journey.

You’ll gain a breadth of experience across multiple clients and industries within an accelerated timeframe. You’ll also have access to a rich source of expertise, mentorship and training.

These reasons first drew me into consulting in a practice area focused on advanced analytics within Accenture Digital. As an experienced hire, I had some understanding of how I might accelerate my progress, while continuing to learn from others, to excel at this firm. And I quickly learned that four qualities can help build a successful career.

  1. Have a service-oriented mindset.
    Consulting is a service industry; from the entry-level employee to the most senior managing director, we serve clients as well as our own people. Having a service-oriented mindset allows us to see ourselves as partners to our clients, genuinely seeking to create value for them while simultaneously benefiting our bottom line.

    For example, in my first project with Accenture, I was given the responsibility and autonomy to design and create a dashboard from scratch to help the client monitor their operations—one of our major deliverables. Though it was a challenge for me at that time, I relished the opportunity to apply what I learned from successful consultants in the past.

    When approached with a new problem, good consultants first attempt to resolve it, do some quick research or suggest possible next steps, instead of escalating the issue or giving up. They are resourceful problem-solvers with a “can-do” attitude whom the client could rely upon to get issues resolved, or at least constructively addressed.

    Ultimately, success is about being part of something that is bigger than yourself. Sustainable success is not about compromising or accepting win-lose situations, but about working toward mutually beneficial outcomes.

  2. Share your great work.
    Letting people know who you are and what you do is important for both personal and team success. When Accenture delivery leads or project managers are looking to fill a specific role that requires your level of expertise, they will remember and seek you out if they know you produce quality work.

    Take opportunities to do great work and gain visibility in ways that demonstrate your field of expertise. And help others. For example:

    • Share your project work within your immediate Accenture team. People are often interested in what their team members are up to, and it’s a good way to demonstrate who you are and what you’re capable of.

    • Drive or support an initiative that builds up your Accenture practice area, and get other team members involved—especially junior members. You’ll improve the practice while also helping junior team members gain visibility.

    • Be proactive in reaching out to other team members to get to know them and explore how your skills can be mutually valuable.

    • If you’re just starting at Accenture, aim to make visibility a priority. If you plan several proactive steps to hit the ground running as soon as you join, you’ll soon be mistaken for someone who has been around for a long time.

  3. Seize opportunities.
    With almost half a million employees, Accenture is one of the biggest companies in the world. Countless opportunities will present themselves every day. If you’re interested in growing your skills, increasing your visibility, working on projects in developing countries, being a mentor or working in a different country, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to do so.

    Be proactive in seeking out and seizing opportunities that move you toward your personal and professional goals. Ask colleagues, team members and managers, and keep an eye out for information regarding training and other opportunities.

    For example, some of the most interesting and valuable opportunities I was privileged to be involved with include:

    • Taking part in internal Accenture competitions to improve my technical skills;

    • Attending a global conference overseas about impacting the world with digital technology;

    • Being one of the faces of Accenture’s graduate recruitment campaign;

    • And taking part in multiday, fully paid training courses.

    Accenture is big enough that you could have multiple fulfilling careers within this one firm. Have goals in mind and focus on seizing the many and varied opportunities that will help you achieve them.

  4. Set goals, seek advice and take time to reflect.
    Every Accenture employee is assigned a career counselor, typically a more senior person in the same practice area. The counselor’s job is to serve as a mentor by sharing their own experiences and helping with career strategies.

    Share your professional and career goals with your career counselor, ask them for advice and discuss what actions you can take toward those goals. Also consider how you can support your counselor.

    My career counselor is a wonderful mentor, coach and advocate. As a manager in my practice area and with over seven years’ more experience in Accenture than me, she has helped me better understand the consulting world and Accenture’s business, given me invaluable advice on how to achieve my career goals and linked me with pertinent contacts and project opportunities in our practice area. Reaching out to her and having her support has helped me to grow, both personally and professionally.

    Accenture also has an internal goal-setting and feedback system. Make use of this resource, but also take the time to reflect on your own performance and ask for informal feedback from team members, project managers and your career counselor. Reflect on your learnings and appreciate the gains you make each day.

A people-oriented culture
There is a strong people-oriented culture at Accenture, supporting employees on their path to achieving professional success. In the same way, a service-oriented mindset helps you support the success of clients, your team members and Accenture itself.

Focus on doing great work and gaining visibility, while helping others achieve their goals. Seek out and seize opportunities and feedback from varied points of view that help you toward your goals.

As you develop in your career, following these steps can provide you with a solid foundation for success at Accenture.

Learn. Grow. Make a difference with the work you do every day.

Find your fit at Accenture.



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