Your Guide to Public Sector Consulting in Washington, D.C.
Public sector consulting is a highly competitive field, so how do you get into public sector consulting? Discover more about public sector consultants and how to start your career in the industry.
What Do Public Sector Consultants Do?
Public sector consultants work with the public sector and government organizations to help improve their performance and transform the way they work. Consultants analyze existing structures and problems within an organization and then develop plans for improvement.
What’s the Difference Between Consulting and Freelancing?
Both freelancers and consultants are temporary workers for a larger company or organization, but the services and skills they offer set them apart from each other.
A consultant is tasked with broader system-based problems to identify the issue and create a unique solution. In most cases, consultants don’t have to implement the solution; they only have to provide the structure and direction of the solution for the organization to implement themselves. Typically, consultants are experts in a specific area and are seen as long-term partners in improving and working with a company.
A freelancer may be hired on a project-by-project basis and is focused on completing or working on an aspect of an existing project. Most companies see freelancers as cheap, temporary labor. Freelancers aren’t strategic partners to help the company grow; they are temporary employees tasked with a single project.
Why Is D.C. a Good City for Public Sector Consulting?
Consultant work is best in a major city or hub of industry. With larger cities, you have a better chance to create meaningful relationships with more companies that can help you find a contract.
Washington, D.C. is one of the best cities to become a consultant—when it comes to politics and government, it’s the only city worth mentioning. It’s full of government contractors, lobbying firms, and nonprofits that can all benefit from consultant work, as well as the multiple international businesses and political organizations—all promising territory for a budding consulting career.
What Are the Difficulties in Becoming a Consultant?
Being a consultant isn’t always straightforward or easy. It can be complicated if you don’t know the industry. Learn more about how getting into consulting and trying to remain in business can prove difficult—but not impossible.
1. Finding New Customers
You need to know how to get consultancy work if you want to stay in business. That means accruing a steady stream of clients. This can seem a bit obvious, but in the competitive field of consultant work, you might have to spend a lot of time on advertising and networking to land a new contract.
2. Keeping Existing Customers
Once you know how to find consulting jobs and gain new customers, you need to keep them. If you are continually cycling through new clients, you’re wasting time. Your goal should be to create long-lasting, quality relationships with your clients. Even difficult clients who have high expectations or fast turnaround dates may be worth keeping—it’s better to have hard work than no work.
3. Maintaining Profitability
Consultants are being forced to find more ways to provide value to their clients while trying to manage the overall increase in overhead costs. Clients are only looking to find the best deal on the market, and it can be difficult for consultants to make competitive bids on contracts while also remaining profitable.
How Do You Get Started in Consulting?
Because consultants are usually entrepreneurs and run their own businesses, it can be complicated to establish yourself in the industry on your own. Here are a few things that can help you break into consulting.
1. Polish Your Resume
Your resume and cover letter are the first places you can stand out from the crowd. While you can have a good foundational resume, make sure you make small tweaks and customizations for each potential client so you can speak to their needs. Spending time to optimize your resume and cover letter will help potential clients know more about you and better highlight your strengths.
Consulting is competitive. Hiding in an office all day won’t get you new clients or build your professional network. Don’t just rely on social media to build your professional network; go out of your way to meet and network with more people. Networking events can be a great place to meet new people and build up your contacts.
You should also network with other consultants. They can help you find new clients or contracts they’re not a good fit for but fit your skills and expertise.
3. Find a Mentor
A seasoned professional can be a major bonus to anyone looking to break into consulting. They will be able to bring a massive resource of experience, insight, and knowledge that can help you become established and skyrocket your career.
Use Davinci Offices
Rent a Davinci meeting room in Washington, D.C. for your next meeting to put your best foot forward.
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Contact us today if you have any questions about renting a meeting room or office space in Washington, D.C.