Today I find myself reflecting on my first 3-months as a consultant. I’m thinking about how much I have grown in my knowledge of systems, my self-confidence, and how important IT Training is!
As an in-house trainer for over a decade, my decision to become a consultant was very hard. Over the years in my role as an IT Trainer, I was either a small group or the sole person for users to go to with any query they had. As a result, I had vast knowledge of the systems and the firm’s inner workings, but I was unsure how to do the same thing at a high standard if I were not in-house.
Another dread of mine was if I could work and motivate myself. If you have previously worked with me in-house, you know that I am a social bunny that hops (or, as some of my previous colleagues have said, skip) around and talk to everyone! So especially early in the dull, gloomy mornings with my high-pitched “morning”, these moments inspired me for the rest of the day. Users had a chance to grab me to tell me any IT issues they were having! But this was something that I would no longer have, as being a consultant and working from home, meant I had no one there every morning, I mean, I could say morning to myself in the mirror, but that’s no fun.
With this in mind, 3-months in, I am still able to not only motivate myself but strive to further perfection; I get an occasional morning call with my fellow consultants and clients, as well as being available in other means of communication. In addition, I have made great new working relationships, which would not have formed if I was still working in-house.
Another big difference I have found being a training consultant is that although I have worked with most the software that law firms have, every firm uses these differently. While working at my previous firms, I had the luxury of learning the systems for a sole firm and how they used it, which, in a way, was holding my knowledge of systems back.
Previous colleagues of mine had a nickname for me, and this was techy Beccy, as I am truly interested in what systems are capable of, and if there is an aspect of a system we weren’t using, I would ask why? During the “testing phase” of a project or learning a new piece of software, I would try and break it and go everywhere I could! As a consultant, I can learn and understand the software inside out and all its functions. You could say I have become somewhat of an expert in these now!
I have found that I am not only working with my clients but also striving to increase the usage of their IT and reduce their struggles. I have found that I have never had the Monday morning feeling so far; many of you are thinking… “Beccy, it’s only been three months; it’s coming!” but I don’t think it will.
So, all in all, I feel like I have adapted well to the fast-paced legal IT consulting industry. However, I still think it is a little crazy that I am on a time-recorded wage rather than a salary, and I believe that will take a long time to get used to, if ever.
I am happy that I took the jump into the Consultancy life but so thankful for having the support from many people, especially my family and the other members of Baskerville Drummond.
The best part of this is that I used to be ecstatic about helping one firm and their IT struggle and had been called many things like a wizard, magic, and superhero, not just an IT Trainer, and now I can support more than one firm and help them with their IT hell!