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Thinking about leaving the public sector to become a management consultant? Read this!

Michael Wyatt

Are you a few years into your career, considering a role at IMPOWER, but anxious about leaving the public sector to become a management consultant? Don’t worry – so was I, and so were many of my colleagues!

Something that enables us to work so successfully in partnership with local authorities is that most of our team worked within local government earlier on in our careers.

Crucially, the ultimate goal of both IMPOWER and the public sector remains the same: improving lives. On our side, we do this by delivering better outcomes that cost less.

If the goal is the same, does the approach differ?

When management consultants and public services staff are working together they spend huge amounts of time collaborating at the problem-solving table, but ‘changing seats’ to consulting does bring some exciting challenges. These include exploring different delivery models, challenging system leaders to align their strategic ambitions and identifying enablers for frontline staff to deliver maximum support for citizens.

Whilst social workers, practitioners, teachers, carers and so on work with children, families and older adults on a daily basis, as management consultants we spend far less time with the individuals and communities who access services. We spend most of our time working with public sector leaders and frontline staff to identify and implement opportunities to improve service delivery and maximise the use of their resources. The goal remains the same, though – to improve outcomes for citizens.

If the goal is the same, does the skillset differ?

Social workers are experts in social care. Teachers are experts in education. Doctors are experts in medicine. As management consultants, we help all three of these professions, but our expertise is in helping public service leaders work effectively in complex systems. For example, on an Adult Social Care project, our role is not to advise a nurse what medicines to give their care residents, but to work with the teams to identify more opportunities for independent living and better overall wellbeing.

How do I know if a career in public sector consulting is for me?

If you’re driven, passionate about helping people and excited by a challenge, chances are this is the career for you!

To give you a flavour of what we do, I am currently working with a local authority to implement a more holistic, strengths-based model of needs and provision mapping for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). The intention to facilitate increased levels of inclusion across the authority, prevent children being removed unnecessarily from mainstream educational settings and enable children to be better supported in a place of learning where they are likely to experience the best outcomes.

If you would like to chat about a career at IMPOWER, feel free to get in touch with our Talent Manager Lauren Azouelos or visit our Careers page.

Written by

Michael Wyatt

Senior Consultant

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