The world of consulting is full of questions.
For people looking to get started in the world of consulting, it can be challenging to even know where to begin. How do you get started? What challenges can you expect? What’s not being talked about that should be?
In this episode of the Humanitarian Entrepreneur podcast, I’m hoping to address all of those questions and more with my guest, Sharanya Sekaram.
Sharanya is an independent policy and advocacy consultant in gender, based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She is currently focused on gender-based violence, resourcing women and girl-led organizations, and VAWG in humanitarian and emergency contexts.
Sharanya holds an LLB (Hons) from Staffordshire University and a Masters in Conflict and Peace Studies from the University of Colombo; she is also currently reading for a Post-Graduate Diploma leading to an MA in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Colombo.
She is passionate about the democratization of information and resources, as well as access to networks and spaces and is currently working with the Coalition of Feminists for Social Change, (COFEM) as their Advocacy Consultant and with VOICE as their Regional Technical Lead for South Asia. You can find Sharanya on Twitter @sharasekaram, her blog – “Sharanya Sekaram’s Blog”, and on LinkedIn.
If there’s someone that you know who wants to enter the world of consulting but seems unsure how to take their first step, please share this episode with them. Together, we’ll change the world on our own terms, we’ll question everything, and we won’t just accept what is being handed to us and what we’ve been told to be true.
Thanks for joining me on this ride. Enjoy!
In This Episode:
[01:56] – How did Sharanya get interested in consulting?
[03:14] – People come to consulting for different reasons but often it comes from a place of necessity.
[03:52] – Sharanya identifies some of the biggest challenges when she first started out.
[05:40] – Time zones can be a big challenge for international teams. Here’s how Sharanya was able to manage them.
[07:45] – Sharanya shares how she addresses the challenges and differences in pay and treatment for consultants wanting to work internationally.
[09:03] – The pay structure can vary for consultants working locally versus those working internationally.
[11:38] – Sharanya explains what reclaiming self-care as a feminist act means to her.
[13:47] – Tiffany adds her thoughts around the importance of self-care.
[15:49] – We hear advice for people looking to enter the world of consulting.
[18:12] – Sharanya talks about why she schedules breaks for herself.
[19:31] – The importance of walking away and setting boundaries, according to Sharanya and Tiffany.
[21:54] – Here are some tangible steps first-time consultants can use to get their foot in the door.
[24:18] – Sharanya leaves us with her final thoughts.