For some of us, a big (sometimes overwhelming) reason on why we join the consulting profession is to enjoy the benefits of travel. If you’re young, you want to travel in order to enjoy the wide array of benefits such as paid-for food, transportation, stay, points, and alternative travel. Sure, there are some consultants who prefer to stay local, but the overwhelming majority of us want to be a travel consultant. With this in mind, sometimes it may so happen where you’re put on a local project which hinders your ability to enjoy travel perks. Here is our guide on how to quickly change your fate and get staffed on a traveling project.
Be Wary of the Amount of Time You’ve been Staffed on Your Local Project
Look, if you’ve just recently been staffed on your local project, you’re going to want to give it some time. There’s no worse look than being staffed at a client for only two weeks and already proceeding in asking to roll-off.
You have to gauge the amount of time (and the current phase) of the project you’re in. If you’re passed development/implementation and are in RTS, you’re probably fine in asking to roll off. But if you’re in the midst of your project, this is the time when you’re client needs you most, so you probably shouldn’t ask to end your engagement.
On the other hand, if you’ve been staffed on your consulting project for a long time (we’ll put it at 1 – 1.5 years), it’s totally acceptable to ask your staffing partner for a new role. With this in mind, you’ll want to give your staffing partner a heads up – don’t expect to roll off the week after you ask. Just make sure you have a solid reason and backing to justify your ask. Saying “I want to be put on a travel role” isn’t enough. It’s better to say that you want to take on a new project, role, industry, etc.
Network, Network, Network – The fastest way to being a travel consultant
Just because you’re staffed on a project doesn’t mean you should stop networking. If you’re on a local project and want to quickly traverse into one that requires travel, networking is your best friend.
Find partners, managers, and VP’s whose projects you’re interested in. Then, you’ll want to reach out and either start a relationship or strengthen the one you already have. You shouldn’t directly ask to be put on their project (unless you have a strong relationship), but rather let them know that you’re interested in the areas they’re working in, and ask them to let you know when there is an opening for a role.
The more contacts & connections you have, the faster you’ll be able to hop projects and get the one you want.
Look for Projects in the Pipeline – Look for travel required consulting roles
Most, if not all consulting firms have a staffing portal. Here, you can see upcoming projects that have open roles. If you’re on a local project and want to change to a different project (in our case – travel), you’ll want to constantly – most likely every day – scan the internal portal for upcoming engagements.
Once you find a traveling project that you’re interested in, note the project manager and do your due diligence. Instead of reaching out through a cold email, see if any of your connections know the project manager. That way, they’ll be able to give a warm intro which will look 10x better and also increase your chance of being awarded the engagement (since your mutual connection will vouch for you).
Unless you work in a boutique firm, we’ll give a modest estimate of 20-50 new projects uploaded to your staffing portal every day. If you’re scanning through the internal site every day, you’ll find the new postings and in turn, be the first consultant to reach out to the project manager.
Complacency – we’ve seen it too much in the consulting industry. People being staffed on a project they don’t like and thinking they have no power in changing their path.
If you’re on a local project (or even a traveling one that you don’t like) and want to change your outlook (such as being a travel-required consultant) – start today. Better yet, start yesterday.
Start networking, start scanning your internal staffing portal, and remain persistent. Again, be wary of the time you’ve been on your current project. You simply cannot ask to roll off if you’ve only been staffed for a month. Instead, work on networking and looking for opportunities down the road, so when the time does come – you’ll have something lined up.
Have any tips for how to roll off a project? Let us know in the comments below.