What career advice do you have for job seekers in 2016?
For recent college graduates, my biggest advice is to learn how to talk about the challenges businesses are facing. Read, check out blogs and immerse yourself in the business landscape and current technology. Ensure that you can intelligently discuss issues as well as problem-solving for the industries you are interested in.
People new to the workforce, can be intimidated by consulting. They may not have a handle on what a career in consulting looks like. Make sure you take the time to learn about this career path. There are many opportunities for problem solvers, and this is the perfect industry if you love new challenges, an environment of constant learning and variety. At CapTech, we give young hires the opportunity to shine within smaller groups. There is the potential to quickly become a leader. I encourage people to open themselves to the idea that consulting can be a great career.
For more experienced consultants, especially those who are working for one of the Big Four, I would encourage you to take a step back and look at your day-to-day role. Evaluate whether or not you are getting the client exposure you want and learning new things every day. Are you able to participate in complex problem solving for organizations and to build solutions that matter? Are you creating value? And are you happy to get up every day and go to work? Evaluate and define your path for the future. If you are unable to understand your path, make sure you have someone who can help you define it within your organization. If there isn't someone available to help you understand your career path, you may want to look outside your current organization.
If you are in a big organization, strive for breadth and depth of experience. Try to avoid taking a narrow path, especially if you are a recent graduate. If a trend shifts or a skill becomes unneeded, you don't want to be too deeply invested in one thing. Industry expertise is also important. If you are worried about your experience being too deep in one area, try to ensure it is in an industry where you are developing unique expertise.
One piece of career advice that I think can apply to anyone, whether at CapTech or outside our organization, is that if you don't know who you are mentoring and who is going to replace you in two years, then you aren't being a good leader or manager. Look for opportunities to provide leadership and mentorship to those around you, especially in consulting. The only way to grow is to create leaders around you. If no one looks to you for mentoring, you may want to evaluate where you are in your career. Figure out if there is a better place for you, where someone may invest in you and help you become a leader within the organization.
What are you looking forward to as we enter 2016?
I am excited about supporting our services through the hiring and development of top talent. Our new hires will support CapTech's 2016 business plans and deliver exceptional service to our clients.
I'm also looking forward to our continued national expansion. Markel Ventures' recent investment in CapTech will give us a more powerful story to relate to companies that may not be familiar with us.
What are the biggest changes you see taking place at CapTech, and how do these impact our employees?
We are about to put in place a new HR and financial system. Historically, we have done a good job of recognizing and rewarding our consultants for a job well done, but this new enterprise software will make it even easier. This tool will give us greater visibility and transparency into our workforce.
Another big change is a shift in the persona of the clients approaching us for solutions. In the past, we met with more traditional IT buyers. We now see more business executives, coming to us with what I would categorize as business problems rather than technology-focused problems. We are pushing ourselves and our consultants to think differently and bring more clarity in articulating the business value of our solutions.
What are you most thankful for?
I'm very thankful for my team. Because they are incredibly capable, I can focus on more critical aspects of the business. I'm also thankful for our company's strong leadership team and for being able to work with people I love spending time with. I'm grateful that I'm able to say, "I love coming to work every day."