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How Do I Become an Organizational Development Consultant?

D. Nelson
D. Nelson

An organizational development consultant assists professionals who want to improve their regular processes or to introduce new organizational systems. For example, an executive whose business is about to merge with another's might hire a development consultant to train and assess employees during change and perform basic project management duties related to planning and task delegation. To become an organizational development consultant, you should earn a graduate degree in the field of your choice first. These professionals are considered to be experts in their fields, so you should aim to gain as many credentials as possible.

For an individual who would like to become an organizational development consultant, management and leadership experience is very important. Likewise, a practical understanding of your field is necessary. The sooner you can work as a manager or designer of business systems, the easier it can be to become an organizational development consultant.

Woman posing
Woman posing

You should plan on undergoing continuous education and professional development, even after earning graduate degrees. Earn certifications or licenses that prove you have an understanding of different management principles. You also might find certifications related specifically to your industry. For example, if you want to become an organizational development consultant who specializes in overseeing business technology implementation, you should gain certifications that show you are an expert operating individual systems.

To become an organizational development consultant who works for a consultant firm, you probably need to start as an assistant to an established consultant. Joining professional associations introduces you to colleagues who might alert you when positions open. If the partners or owners of a firm believe you are a good fit, they might fund further professional training to prepare you to become a full consultant.

People who would to practice as independent organizational development consultants should begin by getting as much consultant experience as possible. To get experience without working for a firm, you should find smaller organizations and start-ups that can benefit from more affordable experience. Consultants normally bid for clients, so you should charge lower rates to beat more established consultants who charge more. If you know entrepreneurs or small business owners, find out if they could benefit from consulting services.

To become an independent organizational development consultant, you should increase your visibility in the industry. Publish papers and take any opportunities to speak at seminars and training sessions. You also should create a web page on which you post your resume and client testimonials.

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