Sara: Thanks for chatting with me today! We love to share our consultants’ stories because you all come from such varied, interesting backgrounds, and you never know who will be inspired to try consulting because your journey resonates with them. Tell me a little bit about the path that led you to consulting with Simplicity.
Greg: I originally went to school for history and education, and one thing led to another and I ended up working at Disney World in Orlando. I thought that was going to be my career, and everything was going pretty well for me there, but something started building inside me. I started to realize that the work I was doing day-to-day didn’t really iterate on itself – it wasn't that the work didn’t matter (it did!), and I always did my best, but it was always the same. I started to think that maybe there could be more – a career where I could add more value. My girlfriend (now my wife), worked in video games at the time, and it was through her lens that I became interested in exploring gaming and production.
Sara: That sounds really fun!
Greg: I decided to go down that road, and took steps to find an entry level position in QA to get my foot in the door, and I ended up finding a QA position with a consultant company. I bounced around there, and eventually joined another consulting company, which gave me the opportunity to work on a game product, which felt like a real step up.
Sara: How did those experiences compare with your time with Simplicity?
Greg: Simplicity is really the only company that made any impact on me personally. To put that in context, that first consulting role I landed was absolutely fine - but the company culture had such a low impact that I don't even remember the name of the company. With Simplicity, even though I may not be working with other Simplicity consultants on a daily basis, I feel like I have a real and meaningful connection to a larger network of people. It feels like we're all relatively like-minded and in somewhat similar positions - not just in title, but in lifestyle. And working as a counterpart to the HQ Simplicity staff has been absolute perfection. I have nothing but the best of feedback there.
Sara: Has anything surprised you about consulting?
Greg: I didn't realize that PM work like this could be filled through consultants helping to make my favorite video games! It's just a different way that people can get involved with and pursue any industry they're interested in or passionate about.
Sara: That's so true. What would you say to someone who's interested in becoming a consultant? What are managers looking for?
Greg: The technical skills necessary for a role are obviously important, but 'soft skills' seem to be about 75% of what these managers and teams really need. To be successful, you need the ability to bring the right people together at the right time to have the right conversation, and you're often managing people's expectations and perceptions of different situations. It takes active listening, flexibility, empathy, and the capacity to engage with a variety of communication styles. It's almost like putting together a puzzle!
Are you interested in the consultant lifestyle? Please visit our consulting page to learn more and start the journey!