Consulting travel

By | June 7, 2013

Traveling is an ugly part of consulting. No pretty way to say this, but traveling can be a bummer.  Most consulting firms travel 50-80% of the time Mon-Fri to client sites. Awesome when you are young and mobile. Eager to see the world. A bit crappy if you are married with kids. Tough to find happily-married lifetime consultants.

Traveling is a bit inevitable. Consultants are in the influence business and that happens face-to-face with clients. There is only so much you can do remotely. My guesstimate is that 50%+ of well-paying Fortune 500 jobs require travel. Executives travel. Consultants travel. Business development folks travel.  Any position with the word “global” in the title certainly travels.

Smarter travel. Have you noticed that partners don’t travel on Monday mornings or Thursday afternoons, if they can help it?  It is smart travel. They travel when it matters.

Earlier in my career, there were projects where we would be at the client site M-TH, every week for months. Painful. There were weeks when literally, there was no reason to be there. Waste of time and money. The work that can be done remotely should be done remotely. Save the client expenses, and train your team to work effectively.

Some upside.  It’s not all bad. You bond with your team. You get mileage points that you can lavish on your family and spouse. You eat well. Also, sometimes luck out with great weather, like I did in Seattle this week. Some photos from my trip – Lake Washington when I took a morning run, Mount Rainer from the window seat.

Pier Bellevue

Rainer from plane

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