The function of consulting in Myanmar is to provide external expert advice and guidance where it is requested. Consultants come in to improve or fix a certain component of their client’s business, but those components vary between functions and industries. Depending on the requirements they may be asked to improve processes, assist with strategy, or asses current positions. For example, an accounting and finance consultant (or team of consultants) may be hired to advise the operations manager on ways to streamline processes in order to increase profitability.
The function of consulting is to provide a fresh pair of eyes, and on a day to day basis they may be researching by analysing data and doing market research, organising proposals for prospective clients, meeting with clients, or giving presentations. A good consultant possesses a rare skill set as they need to not only be knowledgeable, experienced, logical and thorough but they must also have excellent communication and leadership skills. Like project management (the two have many overlaps and can often be intertwined) there is a set task, and they are often hired externally, and the duration often varies.
There are many great things about being a consultant, as not only is it well paid, but the job provides exposure to many different companies and cultures, as well as being wonderful for networking which may provide future opportunities. On the downside it is often high stress with a lot of pressure to deliver.
As a consultant is considered to be an expert in their field, a certain level of education is required. Consultants may start their career out of universities and take a role in a large consulting firm such as Deloitte (which has an office in Yangon) , in which case they will be trained and nurtured, beginning with a research based role and as their experience grows be given more responsibility and transition into client relationships. Working in the top four management consulting firms are particularly coveted positions, thus to acquire one, normally a good academic record as well as extra curricular activities is a minimum as a good communication consultant is not only analytical but social and communicative.
From there, a consultant will gain experience and as their career develops they will take on more responsibility and most likely further education such as an MBA. Most senior roles require such a level of education and experience. Another option that an excellent consultant can take is to move into a particular company, as they would have honed in their expertise, and may choose more consistency, for example moving into the role of a HR manager. This is a very achievable step as through their work one will have built a network and viable contacts. They may also choose to move to another industry or firm in a consulting capacity, as the skill set of a successful consultant is highly transferrable.
A consultant may also come from another direction, and after years of experience in management roles, and proven expertise in their field may choose to not be dedicated to just one company, and may provide their services in a consulting capacity, which provides more freedom.
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