As you sit where you are, scrolling through infrastructure job ads online, perhaps it’s crossed your mind to leap from the safety of your in-house communications and engagement role to the exciting realm of consulting. Maybe you’re tired of avoiding the same people in the lunch room for years on end; perhaps you’ve had enough of the corporate chess games you’re forced to navigate daily. Jane in accounts driving you nuts? John in HR making your skin crawl?
At risk of over-promising and under-delivering, I won’t tell you consulting will solve all your problems. But it will deliver the thrill of excitement I know I miss after a couple of years in a comfy in-house role.
In infrastructure, project work is common, even for in-house people. consulting is project work on steroids: instead of one, two, three years on one project, we’re talking one, two, three months. It’s rarely long enough to embroil yourself in the political state of a company, but it’s definitely long enough to leave a solid impact. And it’ll expose you to situations, people and skills you’d never encounter in a steady-state, in-house role.
I learned more about communications and engagement in my first consulting role than I’d learned in my entire preceding 9-year career. I came from a Tier One contracting company, seconded to long-term, large-scale infrastructure projects. But when a consulting firm called and offered a job, I threw it all in and accepted the ride.
I went from a monthly cycle of meeting contractual community engagement requirements – fact sheet here, presentation there, monthly report now, a little nap later (kidding) – to a wild ride of ups and downs that left me bursting with abilities I didn’t know I had.
Suddenly I ran workshops for clients to solve their mining business case problem. I helped clients achieve exclusive runs for stories in major newspapers. I went to a remote Northern Territory town to run an Indigenous engagement program. I drafted a mine expansion social impact assessment from scratch.
I was empowered with an exciting new ability to create my own path. My partner moved to a remote coastal town; I approached my company with a strategy to relocate, keep up my billable hours, and work from home under my own terms. They ran with it. When I relocated, I managed media and communications for a coal terminal company, and ran community engagement for a smelter. I worked flexibly, set my own goals, and walked on the beach most days.
I wrote white papers, business cases, proposals, engagement plans and every manner of collateral for cross-industry public and private sector clients. I had freedom and flexibility to make what I wanted of the work, and at the same time, was paid very well. Best of all, I had open access to an organisation packed with amazing people full of exceptional expertise and know-how.
After ducking out of the workforce to have kids, I re-entered as an in-house employee, once again delivering community engagement for a long-term road project. In less than two years, the sheen wore off and I couldn’t help but hunger again for that variety, that excitement, that exposure that only consulting can bring.
“Like any job, it’s not all fun and laughter. There can be long hours, difficult clients and boring work. But if flexibility and variety are touchstone must-haves – or something you’ve never been lucky enough to have in-house – consulting delivers the goods in spades.”
Melbourne’s infrastructure boom means great talent is hard to find, and the call for consultants increases by the day. I’ve worked for STRUBER for less than six months, and it’s unlike any communications and engagement consultancy I’ve experienced. We’re blowing up Melbourne with energy, digivation, competency and talent, and we need more of it NOW! Specialising in community engagement, awards writing, tenders and bid support, change management, graphic design, video production, marketing and website development we have the process covered.
Think you’re ready to try a new way of working for a company that embodies flexibility, focus and fun? Get on the phone to our People and Talent Coordinator on 1300 319 166.