Monday, July 11, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Consultant-Post Recession

So you think you want to be a consultant. You better think about it long and hard. It's not the glamorous "get on an airplane and bill $3K a day life" that has been rumored.

It's tough out there. Clients are more informed than ever, competition is stiff and pricing is all about who is the best negotiator. We have been involved in bidding where large companies "give" the business away because they have extra capacity and they "just can." TOUGH!

Before you order those business cards, here is a day in the life of Cathy Missildine-Martin, Consultant and HR Rock Star!

A typical day starts (7:00AM) by scanning Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, WallStreet Journal and Google to see what's going on in the business world. Then, if it is blog day, I have to get inspired to write something interesting that HR professionals will read and retweet. This inspiration usually comes in the shower or from something experiential from a client, colleague or student. I love to write now, I thought I would never say that.

After all that, it is time to start the clock ($$$). This year it is all about content. So, whether I am developing a keynote address or a customized training session, or an all day HR Boot Camp, I am building content 24x7. I am thinking about content in my sleep and how to design interactive activities in the's crazy.

My partner, Barbara Hughes and I decided to write a book this year. It has been a great experience, but very time consuming...again more and more content. (I secretly love this process as well, but don't tell her!)

Most of my days are spent marketing, networking, meeting, chatting, and conferencing with potential new clients. it is very challenging and yes sometimes frustrating, in this environment. CEO's are more demanding as far as HR deliverables go, so that is great as that usually comes in the form of HR metrics which happens to be a passion of mine. We see more and more clients focused on their organizational strategy and more importantly, the EXECUTION of their current strategy. I believe this is a result of our current economic environment, companies must be able to change direction when necessary and do it rather quickly. Again, this is good for us, as we love this type of work!

You never can stop the marketing process, it's all about the pipeline and keeping it full of interested possibilities. I feel that if you have something interesting and relevant to say, that is half the battle.

After all of that, I then am off to a SHRM meeting or to teach HR certification or maybe to have drinks with some of my collegues to discuss what's hot in HR.

At the end of my day it may be 10 or 11PM, but I put my head down at night, knowing that I do what I LOVE, with whom I want to work with. Even in a recession, I will take this job over any other!

Can you say that?


Julie Farschman said...

I started my consulting business up again last year and you're right - it's a constant in my mind - no matter what I'm doing business ideas and challenges pop into my head at all hours and in types of situations. Working for myself though couldn't be better!

Unknown said...


Good luck to you....I know you get it


Anonymous said...

Love your choice of photo Cathy! I hope you are running around in a cape with a microphone at the ready! All of us HR Rock Stars should. Puts a new meaning to "dressing for the job you want"!

Unknown said...

I've got it! Thanks for reading and commenting!!