Dont forget to google it and take a vacation!

Most experienced consultants use Google daily to find descriptions of problems and solutions, knowing your way around Google and making a good search, can mean the difference between identifying and solving a problem within minutes or hours.

google logoMany times a customer have asked me how to solve a problem, that I didnt know the answer to on the top of my head, after all there is a lot of issues and only so much memory and experience. Not once have I recieved any negative responses from saying “let me do a little research and i will come right back to you”, on the contrary the customer is happy and relieved that I will help them. Dont drop the ball and say “no sorry cant help you”, must customers dont have the time or experience to search for an answer them self, why else would they be asking.

With your knowledge about the product and the problem, you think of what kind of information you are looking for. If for example you are looking for information about a problem, a description of what it is or why its there, search on error messages, event log codes, or words you would describe the problem with. This will give you results of others describing the same problem, usually theese results will give you more information about why the problem is there or direct hints at how to fix it.

Next look up the identified problem, it might be a knowledge base article, hotfix or a fitting title describing the problem, now youre looking for solutions, how to fix it, what to do etc.

Within minutes you might have found just the answer to why the problem is there, and how to fix it – easy ! The more you practice at Googling It, the better you become, and this makes a huge difference for you and your customers confidence in you as a consultant, they realy dont expect you to know everything, but they do expect you to be able to find the answers to just about anything.

You could say that the difference between a good consultant and a great one, is how good he is at searching for answers. The days where a consultant knew everything there is to know about all Microsoft products is long gone, there is just too much to know. Now its how good he is at using his ressources, Google, Microsoft Partner Newsgroups, colleagues, etc.

On that note I would give another advice, dont forget to take a vacation – personally I am leaving for Egypt to dive for two weeks in a couple of days. Working as an IT consultant can be fun, challenging but also intensive and draining. Remember to take a break once in a while, not being online all the time. A vacation can give you energy and renewed interest in making that extra effort.

Enough advices for now, You probally found this post because you googled for an answer to a problem that I wrote about, I hope you found your solution and please leave a comment I realy do appreciate them, even if its just a “thanks – have a nice day”.

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