IT consulting jobs require interpersonal skills

by Editor 5/29/2008 3:55:00 PM
IT consultant jobs,IT consulting roles

In IT consulting, communication skills are vital, says a new ComputerWeekly article, citing several industry insiders who have made the move to consultancy.

While many professionals employed in IT industry perceive consulting as a desirable career option mainly for the money and interesting projects that go with it, not all of them are cut out to make the move.

“Consulting is very much more people-oriented and people skills are much more important than in many in-house roles where you can be more focused on the technology," says Rebecca Smith, who had made the move from IT industry to Deloitte’s technology delivery management arm.

"In house, you are working with the same people and get a chance to build up a rapport. In consultancy, you are involved in projects that last perhaps three to six months and you need to integrate quickly into the team to get the work done,” she says.

She also points out that IT consultants need to be able to adapt to management styles on different projects and be quick to acquire industry terminology and get up to speed on operations for each project.

Linda Jureidini-Cox, IT Practice associate director at the Hudson recruitment consultancy, shares some further insights:

"You have to be comfortable managing client expectations and making decisions, and have a can-do attitude. You have to be a very good listener and be able to convert a good idea into a practical solution for the customer. There is often a misconception that you go into a client site to do a particular piece of work, but with consultancy there are add-ons, and everything is billable."

Recruiters consider both character and a person’s extra-curricular activities when selecting candidates, says Julia Harvie-Liddel, recruitment director at Accenture:

"We look for examples of where people have handled sensitive or difficult situations - not necessarily just commercially but in extra-curricular activities - and where they have been able to move a group of people forward to a successful conclusion. We want people who are capable of working in teams and influencing and driving things forward, not being the one who sits in the background.”

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