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Homepage Hero: Doug Priest

An interview with Doug Priest
Senior Project Manager | Worldwide Public Sector, Critical Infrastructure

Sara: Tell me about your current consulting role!

Doug: Right now I am working in Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector on Critical Infrastructure. It’s exciting and impactful work, focusing on public utilities, transit, and cities. Right now I’m working on go-to-market efforts with several partners, account analysis and strategy, and communications. I’m about three months into this position and really enjoying both the day-to-day work and the positive impact I’m having.

Sara: That sounds amazing! Can you describe the path that led you here?

Doug: My career path has been winding and unconventional. I have a PhD in history, but also a throughline of technology work in my career, particularly in project and program management. Prior to joining Simplicity, I was working in government, and before that I had worked in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors - all with a focus on technology operations.

What really ties my path together is a desire to do meaningful, high-impact work that makes the world a better place. It turns out there are a lot of ways to do that, and that motivation has led me in a number of different directions. 

I actually think that the variety of experiences helps me provide a different and valuable perspective in the tech world. While I used to worry it was a professional weakness, it’s actually become one of my strengths. If you’re someone who, like me, has varied experience, consulting might be a good option because it can help you find just the right fit for your unique mix of skills and knowledge. 

Sara: What do you love about working as a consultant with Simplicity?

Doug: I really enjoy the sense of community among the consultants that work for Simplicity. I have to admit I wasn’t expecting that when I started, but it’s been extremely welcome. Although we don’t work together on a daily basis, our monthly calls go a long way to building community, putting faces to names, and helping us all grow our professional networks.

Simplicity also offers a very stable and sustainable way to do consulting. Particularly as someone with a family, that ability to have an easier path to benefits than I was expecting with consulting makes a big difference. Both of those things are a bit different than I think most people would expect with a consulting gig. It’s been great!

Sara: What advice would you give to someone who is interested in becoming a consultant?

Doug: By its nature, consulting can be a lot of different things. I think it’s important to figure out what you want out of consulting first. You shouldn’t just necessarily take the first opportunity in front of you. What are your priorities both from a professional and personal standpoint? What do you want to accomplish? Once you’ve figured out what you’re looking for, seek out an organization that shares your personal and professional values. 

Are you interested in the consultant lifestyle? Please visit our consulting page to learn more and start the journey!

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