John Ainscough has been an independent consultant and interim for over 13 years and is based in Helsinki and London.
We interviewed John to find out his self management tips and tricks for consultants - and here they are:
As an independent consultant, you are responsible for your own well-being. Ensure that you have the required skills, experience and capability to deliver, excel and add value for the client. Ainscough adds, that Ework have been good to keep in contact with me both during and in between engagements. Ework host networking events and on one occasion, I won a Mölkky game for being triumphant in a small competition. I still have the Mölkky set and play it with my family each summer!
2. Time management
Time management skills are a necessity for consultants. Is what you're doing at that very moment relevant to help you achieve your objective? Be proactive versus reactive to challenges, this will help you manage stress. Jumping into new environments every 6 to 18 months, building new relationships and quickly absorbing the new details can be physically and mentally tiring. When not on assignment, make sure you take time to relax and refresh. Reflect on your previous engagement, document and understand any lessons learned and ask your clients for feedback.
3. Self development
Ensure you are up to speed with your industry certifications, news and developments, emerging trends and topical issues. Consider how you can develop your skills further through reading, training, education, seminars, conferences etc.
4. Keep networking
Network, network, network. With Ework but also your own personal connections with other consultants, interims and clients. Statistically, approximately 50% of engagements in our industry come through Ework or similar partners versus the other half from personal recommendations and introductions. When engaged with a client, it's easy for this networking to be neglected, try not to vanish and reappear when it's time to search for a new assignment, keep in touch with your network routinely.