The Yellow Brick Road To Consulting At Caja

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At the end of the long yellow brick road lies the destination: Consulting. Be sure to befriend the Scarecrow, the Tinman and the Lion- you might need their support and guidance along the way.

The Scarecrow represents intelligence (Just bear with me on the whole Wizard of Oz thing). Google define intelligence as the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. Though there are many forms of intelligence, you might want to pick up a degree or two. Or three. The first degree for me was English since I couldn’t pick any combination of subjects in high school– In India, I had a preset combination of subjects that I had to choose from. It was a decision between Accounting and Commerce, Engineering and Medicine. During my English degree we had a practical module on Public Relations, which got me interested in Human Resources, leading to my first master’s degree in HR. I wanted to upskill myself with a more psychology-based course to be able to work and understand people better which led me to do a Master’s in the UK in Leadership, Communication and Humanitarian Challenges.

Since working both with and at Caja, there is a constant learning curve proving that the kind of intelligent you need to thrive today is not just academic. It’s being accepting of new things. It’s being pushed out of your comfort zone. Intelligence is not just about IQ it’s about EQ as well.

Which brings us neatly on to The Tinman, who represents compassion. It’s important to build trust with each other at the office and with the clients we work with. A compassionate work environment fosters a safe and encouraging space to develop creativity, loyalty – building trust and collaboration to improve employee engagement. As consultants, it’s not enough to just be curious, we also need to be compassionate especially with clients. It could be being concerned for their wellbeing and wanting to improve their situation and to make the work we do more efficient. And if you have satisfied clients, you always have your door open for future work.

The Lion represents courage and is perhaps the most useful character to befriend against adversity (or, to continue this painful metaphor, against the Wicked Witch of the West). Courage against adversity is crucial in consulting. Being able to take risks, like when I purposefully turned my life upside down and moved continents from India to the UK. Little did I know juggling life pressures such as COVID, university and working all at the same time would give me my first window into life as a consultant, and how ironically grateful I am for it. And it’s because of this time, I was able to balance and prioritise multiple things to do and people to meet. See, as a consultant, it’s never just one thing at a time. There are always multiple things to prioritise and complete.

To summarise then, my path to consulting wasn’t easy or straightforward. But the good news is, it’s by no means at an end. That yellow brick road had plenty of twists and turns, with the occasional sudden stomach-loosening drop. There are times when I wished I could just click together the heels of my sparkly red shoes, and everything would be solved. Yet, in hindsight, I don’t wish that was the case for one second, because just as you crest the hill of a blind summit, there’s always more of the journey left.