How to Transfer from Ph.D. to Consulting?

How to Transfer from Ph.D. to Consulting?

Aren’t you happy to have a Dr. added to your name? It is truly a great achievement. But now is the time when you are no longer a student and you need to step out of the world to go and implement your education and expertise in the world. It may cause positive stress within you but once you achieve it, you will be very proud of yourselves. There are many things that you are required to take care of while doing consulting. You need to improve yourself constantly, give the best of our services to our clients, stay up to date with the market updates while advertising our services accurately. Being a beginner, it might not be a one-man job. You can learn ‘How to Transfer from Ph.D. to Consulting?’ through the below easy steps.

How to transfer from PhD to consulting business?

  1. Recognize the skills you will need in the consulting business. 

    It is very necessary to be self-aware and honest with yourself. If you are fooling yourself through overconfidence while telling yourself that you know everything, such a kind of attitude will eat you and your career in its entirety. When you think that everything will be fine, it may be possible that you are withholding toxic positivity in your brain. Even you know that no human being is perfect and it is necessary to embrace your shortcomings. 

The entire view of society that each one of us is perfect makes us all scared to accept and embrace our shortcomings. But the problem is that if you don’t until and unless you don’t accept your weaknesses, you won’t be able to work on them. It is why you need to maintain a personal diary and keep journaling about your strengths and weaknesses. 

Doing introspection or talking out loud to yourself will also help you figure out the ways to your weaknesses. Once you recognize the weaknesses and the skills that you don’t have, you can work upon the ways to achieve those skills through the guidance of a counselor, mentor, or life coach. If it is something that can be self-learned, then you can easily find several relevant books and podcasts. 

  1. Do great preparations for your interview and excel in them

How to transfer from Ph.D. to consulting jobs? If you are a Ph.D. student who is looking for consulting jobs, then you need to be very well prepared for the interview. It is because consulting requires a lot of skills along with speed. Before working upon your skills, you are required to prepare a great resume. The HR team can tell a lot about you only based on your resume. Make the resume as crisp and precise as possible. 

You are also required to know the in and out of your research topic. But since they don’t belong to your field, you have to simplify it and then answer any questions or documents about your research. Moreover, the HR team will also expect you to showcase your communication skills and interpersonal skills since you will be interacting with clients daily. 

So, you are not only required to practice the theoretical knowledge but also the job-relevant skills. If you are someone who has done a Ph.D. in subjects from the humanities stream, then you might also have to work upon the mathematical knowledge and logical questions once again. Interviews will also consist of case questions so you should be mentally ready for unexpected, uncertain circumstances. If your belief in you does not shake even a bit and your self-confidence does not tremble, then you will easily excel in these interviews. 

  1. Widen the areas of your reading

Being a Ph.D. student, you already have been reading a lot so there is no need to increase your reading anymore. However, when you have been researching and studying a particular topic for years, you are bound to filter out some topics of reading. Such reading etiquette is fine being a Ph.D. student but it will not help you function properly as a consultant. 

Your clients might come with different kinds of problems and from different kinds of backgrounds. During the consulting session, they will talk to you about something and if you are not well-read, they will understand that you are not very knowledgeable. Because of your bookish knowledge, you might excel in the interview and get the job as a consultant. But after you start taking clients, you will recognize that you cannot escape without reading comprehensively. 

As a beginner, it may be difficult to take time out to read while you are preparing for your interviews. So, you can take the assistance of various news apps, quiz apps, and apps with placards. You know something rather than know nothing at all. You better be a jack of all and master of none. Having a humble attitude will take you a long way. If you live your life like a student forever, you can always keep reading and getting information from your clients.  If you still lack knowledge in any of the consulting sessions, you need to be genuine with your client and let him/her know that you will read up on it and then you can discuss it further. 

  1. Skills to earn more money 

How to transfer from Ph.D. to consulting salary? Now, you are not a Ph.D. student who only has to care about getting the research done. You are going to be a professional now and hence, you need to be money-minded. No, you don’t need to be greedy. Your services should be ethical and reasonable rather than just a way to snatch the hard-earned money of your clients. But since you are not doing social service, you must think about things practically and realistically. 

Only when you serve your clients best, only then they are going to come back to you and help you increase your salary. If you are in your own consulting business, then you are more under pressure to figure out your marketing strategy and advertising strategy all by yourself. 

Earning more money is not only about how much you earn but it is also about how you manage your assets and liabilities. If you are still in the budding stage, then you might not want to spend a lot on your office designing. If it is a pandemic and you know that you cannot take clients until next year then there is no point in renting an office. You also need to think about hiring individuals under you for advertising, marketing, content writers, and graphic designers for your website. It is the point that you will understand in great detail in the next step. 

If you are in a consulting job, then you are exempted from the pressure of all these tasks. You just need to work upon your reading, your skills and ensure that you keep getting clients. If you are nice and genuine, knowledgeable, and easy to talk to, then there are high chances that your clients will review you positively. Positive reviews are very crucial as they can help you in network marketing. It means that once the client likes your services, they tend to refer you to their friends, family, and other near and dear ones. 

  1. Make your professional brand and image online

Are you aware of the increasing importance and visibility of social media? If not, then you should look up some great consultants online. You can see their Linkedin and Instagram accounts. These two social media platforms are used widely by laymen to look for professionals. Other than these apps, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are also used. 

When you create your professional brand and image, it goes without saying that you are required to make your logo and website. When the company logo and the website win the trust and credibility of your brand that is when you will get more conversions and reach. And this is only how you will excel in this world of digital marketing. 

We also had better memory for logos of companies rather than the taglines as an adult. It means that the visuals are everything. Clients are not going to enter the website page or sometimes even the crisp tagline. The world is fast-paced and no one has time. 

Words are powerful but they have their limitations. And not everyone is a reader. But even using a small logo, you can easily convey your support, confidence, artistic eye, and many other such qualities that are difficult to convey through several paragraphs. It means that you can control a lot of things such as colors, patterns, size, and many other aspects. You can determine several things such as what to convey to them, how to convey it to them, what to get out of them, and many other such things.

The best part is that the graphic designs remain engraved in their minds. They wouldn’t have to go back to your goal and company culture again and again. There are going to be a lot of competitors in this open market but when you create a strong image with the help of your team of graphic designers or your graphic designing skills, your brand will be the only one with the higher number of clients. 

  1. Create engagement with your potential clients 

Now, this may seem like begging for clients but if you are required to let them know about the quality, benefits of your services. The later part depends on them as to whether they want or don’t want to consult you. But creating engagement should be a part of your marketing strategy. 

Gone are the days of intelligent people full of jargon. You are required to come down off your high horse. Your content needs to be informative but in simple language. If they won’t understand what you are trying to convey, you are not likely to get enough clients. There was a time when free webinars were a thing but now you need to find more creative ways of creating engagement. 

Some of these ways include creating IGTV videos, reels and being live on Instagram, putting up question polls, quizzes, games, puzzles, competitions, giveaways, and other such things. How to transfer from Ph.D. to consulting programs?  You can also create short consulting programs for a minimal cost for your potential clients. 

  1. Connect with the people of your industry

Since you are not going to be a student anymore officially, you need to understand the consulting industry. To do so, you need to connect with the other experts and professionals of your industry. Through their shared experiences and wise advice, you will know how to start your venture perfectly. 

The more you communicate with them, the more connections you will make. It is good for your further growth. And whenever you feel like you are stuck in a particular consulting session, you can always mail them your doubts and queries. However, you must be humble and down-to-earth while communicating with them. Since they are going to be much older and experienced than you, then you cannot be very informal, friendly, or rude to them. You are required to maintain appropriate respect and good relations with them. 

Consulting Job or Consulting Business? Which one is better for you? 

Being a beginner, a consulting job is better for you. As already mentioned above, you can see that consulting business comes with a lot of pressure of miscellaneous tasks such as marketing, advertising, content writing, management of assets and liabilities, graphic designing, and development of websites along with engagement. Simultaneously, you will also have to do reading of various topics and improvising of your skills. 

You should not misunderstand that the consulting job does not come with any responsibility. It has its challenges. You will have to work hard on excelling in interviews and passing them in the first place. Only then will you have a job. Even after having a job, you cannot be relieved. You constantly need to maintain your progress and maintain your relations with your colleagues, teammates, and seniors. 

Further, there might be differences in how you function and how the company functions. Cultural differences and ethical differences can lead to mental exhaustion and unnecessary stress. Your company might be charging clients a lot. It is also possible that your company is very traditional and does not have any online professional image. In that case, your growth is also restricted along with the company. 

On the other hand, all these things would be in your control under the consulting business. But as they say, freedom comes with responsibility.

Therefore, though doing a consulting job first is recommended, you need to decide what is best for you. If you are someone who can take up the risk and invest in the business, handle the pressure and workload all at once, want to do something of your own, and do not like to be under someone’s pressure, then you can go for consulting business. If your potential, ambitions, and commitment are more than that of an average individual, then you can begin your venture. 

Are you confused between a consulting job and a consulting business? 

In case you are confused as to whether to do a job or business, you can research more about it. You can also personally visit some consultants and see how they work. You can also try to seek an internship or a temporary part-time job opportunity at their organization. It will help you to understand what you want. You will also get to know how skilled you are. You will recognize your strengths and weaknesses and your state of mind in that working environment. 

If you can find consultants that work in a company, you can interview them and gain insights from them. You can then analyze both the information gathered from a consulting job and consulting business. When you are very much present in a working environment, you receive detailed information as compared to while doing research. You can also rely on the information as you, yourself have witnessed it first-hand and received the knowledge on your own. Therefore, it will be a much better and reliable way of choosing between a job and a business. 


Hence, this is how to transfer from Ph.D. to consulting. It is going to be a slow process but you are required to be patient and focused. You will not achieve anything without consistency and determination. Just like you worked hard on your Ph.D., you need to work hard to build your career as a consultant too. This is only how you can reap anything out of it. 

Having a humble attitude is very important. Doing a Ph.D. is a great accomplishment but your pride in this achievement should not come in the way of your progress as a consultant. When it comes to your potential and your achievements, the sky’s the limit. Thus, we wish you a smooth transition. Have you finally decided whether you want to do a business or a job? 

How to Transfer from Ph.D. to Consulting?

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