This is the first article in a series where I’ll talk about the essential traits of an E-g consultant. Most of the material comes from a typical talk I have with prospective employees.
First, I should make it very clear that while we at E-g love many thing about consulting, we absolutely do not think we are somehow superior to people that don’t love consulting. One of the wonderful things about this world is that each person is bestowed with gifts and talents that lead to tremendous variety in what we do when we go to work everyday. For example, I know without a doubt that I would make a terrible NICU nurse. While I have tremendous compassion for sick babies, I simply don’t have the emotional courage to do that job but I have a lot of respect for those that do. Our value as a person is not rooted in what we do for a living.
Second, we always try very hard to match our folks up with the technology, location, people, methodology, etc… that they love the most. The reality is that it simply can’t happen all the time and if you’re not flexible in many areas, life as an E-g consultant may not be your cup of tea.
On with the show.
Location, location, location
E-g serves the greater Indianapolis area in terms of physical presence. This means that we will travel around Indy to serve our local clients. When we started the company, we expressly wanted to avoid traveling that required us to be away from our families outside of normal working hours and this is still an important priority for us.
So, what does “travel around Indy” really mean? It means that we should expect that we will, at some point, work on-site at a client for a long project that is not close to home (relatively speaking). I usually tell folks to imagine being on a project for a year and driving from the NE side of Indy to the SW side, which could be 50 minutes one-way on some days. We also have clients that are further away (60-90 minutes), but we purposely limit that travel to what averages out to be 1-2 days/week worst case. Additionally, where longer travel is involved, we do our best to include that travel time in the work day so people aren’t getting up with the roosters and coming home at night. Our goal is a 40-hour work week with reasonable travel expectations because family and life are a priority. If a consistent 20 minute commute is one of your goals, it will be a challenge to meet that at E-g.
Do we ever hop on a plane and go somewhere for work. Sure! Usually, it’s for a conference or a meeting with a remote client to get a project started. In the rare cases where we do travel large distances for client work, it’s always a situation that fits with the person. Some people (e.g. single or older empty-nest people) may actually enjoy such travel for a season.
People at E-g do a great job at finding creative ways to make use of their time on the road. I love to listen to audio books, podcasts, lectures and yes, I’ll occasionally just jam out on my ride home. A commute can also offer an opportunity for some great reflection time.
Flexibility in travel is certainly a must when it comes to being an E-g consultant. It’s really just an essential bit of what we do and if you are the type that can embrace it and find creative ways to make the most of it, sweet!