24 Oct 2022
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Telecom Consulting Insights: Realities of the Job

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By Tyrone Showers
Co-Founder Taliferro


I loved the work and found it incredibly rewarding, but that doesn't mean it's easy. If you're considering a career in telecom consulting, here are some things I wish someone had told me when I started out.

Hit the ground running

In my experience, telecommunications consultants are expected to hit the ground running and be able to adapt quickly. If a client wants a new system implemented because they need it by Friday, you better have it ready for them by then. You'll have to work under pressure and deal with various project situations. In addition, you'll have to work collaboratively with your team members and independently when needed - all while maintaining quality and accuracy in your work product.

It's a more casual work environment

Telecom consultants are a mix of people from different backgrounds. Many PhDs and engineers are working in telecommunications, but there is also a large contingent comprised of other professionals who do not have specific technical experiences. This mix of personalities creates a casual environment where everyone works together to solve problems and provide solutions to customers. While we all take our jobs seriously and want to help our customers succeed, we also understand that there's no need for us all to be buttoned up every single day. This job isn't an excuse for you to slack off or be disrespectful; we're still representing our company (and yourself), so you should always treat others respectfully, regardless of how everyday things may get during work hours.

If you're working for a larger consulting company, there are opportunities for internal assignments too, but most of my jobs were client-facing roles.

This is one of the main reasons why I liked being a consultant. You get to work on projects for clients but also for the company. The best part is that there are internal assignments too. Even though your primary goal is to help clients achieve their goals, you may get to work on projects for internal and external clients.

If you're working in telecommunications and you're thinking about becoming an independent consultant, remember that this could be an excellent option for you if:

  • You want more control over what type of work you do (or don't do).
  • Have an entrepreneurial spirit - create your opportunities where ever possible.

The real work begins after the "sale"

You probably think that your job is done once you get the sale. Nope! If a customer signs on with your company, they become another number in an endless stream of people to call or email. You need to ensure they are getting value out of the product and service—and if not, why not? You'll also be responsible for ensuring that everything works smoothly between their network and yours.

If anything goes wrong with the installation or ongoing support (which happens more often than you think), it will be up to you as a consultant to fix it.

You're always selling.

If you're a telecommunications consultant, the only way to make any money is if you are selling something.

No matter what customers say they want or need, they don't want that. They will always ask for something more expensive or better quality than what they have right now, and it is up to you as a consultant to convince them that this new item is what they need. This might be an upgrade in speed or storage capacity on their broadband plan, an upgrade of their mobile phone package, or even switching providers altogether if there's a better deal available elsewhere.

The key here is not simply getting them to sign on the dotted line—you also need to get them thinking about buying more from your company again in the future (and hopefully, this time, upgrading more expensive items.)

Meetings, meetings, and more meetings

The first thing to know about working in telecommunications is that there are a lot of meetings—so many that you'll start to wonder if there's something wrong with your own body and it doesn't have blood flowing through it.

It's not necessarily bad. You do get used to them, but at first, they can be frustrating because there are many cases where you might have worked on something for a long time and then have to go through the same process all over again just because someone else has decided their opinion matters more than yours does. The best way around this is to ensure everyone knows that what you're doing isn't up for debate or change once it's done and approved by management (and sometimes even before). I recommend writing down scenarios where people question your decisions. This makes things easier when everyone realizes how much time they wasted arguing over little things instead of getting actual work done.

As far as how long these meetings last. I've seen some go for six hours without anyone noticing except me since I kept track using my phone timer app :). But usually not, though usually, only two hours tops.

You often work 50-60 hours weekly, but they are billed as 40.

If you're considering a career in telecommunications consulting, know that it's not the job for everyone. But if the following traits describe you, then this could be your calling:

  • You must be able to work long hours
  • You must be able to work under pressure
  • You must be able to work independently
  • You must be able to learn quickly

Being a telecom consultant is hard work

The pay is good. The hours are long and unpredictable depending on client deadlines, but that's what you sign up for when you choose this career path.

The work environment is casual and client-facing, so switching from a client meeting to an engineering meeting quickly and efficiently is essential. You'll also need strong interpersonal skills as you communicate with internal and external teams throughout your day.

Telecom consultants are tasked with solving technical problems in multiple business areas (engineering, sales, operations), which means there will never be any dull moments. And finally - just like any other consulting role - being able to solve challenging problems for clients will provide great satisfaction over time.


I'm glad I decided to leave telecom consulting and try something new. The experience was invaluable.

Tyrone Showers