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I want to meet people, and tell them what to do.

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I was recently asked on Quora about what career a person that likes to meet new people and give advice should pursue. They were thinking "business consulting." But I think that's likely a bad fit. Here's why:

If by "give advice" she means "no do work but tell other people what they should do" then I don't think a consultancy is the job for her.

Reading between the lines, she is probably early in choosing a career and has very few years of professional experience. That's not a judgment, just likely a fact.

Working in a consultancy as a junior person, she'll meet new people, yes, but not a lot. The senior consultants are the ones who handle most of the client interface work and are out there meeting lots of people all the time. And she'll sorta be giving advice, but mostly she'll be doing lots of "heads down" work, substantiating the money that the senior consultants are charging for the solutions they are selling.

So a consultancy is not a good fit for where to start her career if she wants to meet lots of new people all the time, and be giving advice.

So I said, let's break down these goals and find stuff that matches them, and where you are at:

"1. Giving advice. People seek out advice from those with significant experience that informs the advice being given. Since you are junior in your professional career, you are not really positioned to give advice at this point. You, rather, should be on the receiving end of advice. This is not some empty "pay the dues" notion, where you must suffer and work hard to earn credibility. Rather, this is saying that having done something many times in your life gives you perspective and insight that people are willing to pay for.

There is a set of situations where this is not precisely the case -- and that is when there is a SCRIPT for giving advice. Even here, judgment based on experience is necessary, but in many jobs, having a script that tells you what to say, when, and sticking to it 99% of the time is possible. This can apply to careers as diverse as law enforcement, call centers, human resources, fitness training, tax preparer or crisis counseling. You will be giving advice constantly, but 99% of it will be pre-defined, essentially scripted.

2. Meeting lots of new people. The best solution is working with the public, or in high volume sales. This could be anything from retail shop work, to selling cars, to reception work in a office building, to bar tending, to being a doctor, tax preparer, or IT support specialist."



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