4 Tips For New Consultants To Hit The Ground Running

iStock_000066992083_SmallWhen you start a project as a new consultant, go the extra mile to make sure you are prepared. Since you will only be on-site a short time, show you are responsible by keeping in contact and using information your supervisor has provided.

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Familiarize yourself with upper management
It helps new consultants to learn the structure of their project teams. Be friendly and ask about the high-level professional background of your supervisors and their higher-ups. Understanding your colleagues' backgrounds lets you know their areas of expertise and where you can turn if you have a question about your job. Whenever possible, ask colleagues to lunch. Follow social cues and do not intrude if people need time to run errands and see family. Work with the situation by asking if the person you want to get to know better can take a short walk or coffee break with you.

Store contact information
When you meet members of your project (including other new consultants), your director and project lead, take the initiative to gather their contact information. Also provide your contact information, in paper and digital form. Create an email signature that contains your cell phone number, email address, office number and office address, if needed. You may want to connect on LinkedIn or the company's internal social network. You can also use apps like Evernote that read business cards and convert them into digital contacts.

Review previous project-related work
Learn what project-related information is useful for the project. Ask how you can improve upon this work or add to it, if necessary. Learn about the client's interests, goals and dislikes. After you have gotten a clear picture of what the client would like to see, talk to your recruiter about any preferences for the work completed or challenges the client faces.

Talk to your recruiter about your progress
As you reach milestones with your project, check in with your recruiter to make sure your performance and attitude are satisfactory. You can call in the first few days or the first week. After you check in a few times, ask your recruiter how often you should call. Ensure you are on track to receive any certifications required by the client. Also provide your recruiter with updated references from your project team, especially when you do exceptional work.

Easily adjust to frequent changes and new people, and you’ll build confidence. Think of the work you do as proof of your most important achievement: Taking on social and career challenges with grace and excitement.