Myth-busting – What it’s like to work at Infinity Works
There’s a lot of speculation about what it’s like to be a consultant and many people have a preconceived view about consultancy life. But what’s it really like? Our panellists help to bust some of the biggest myths about being a consultant and share their personal perspectives on what makes Infinity Works such a great place to work.
“You become a generalist rather than a specialist in any particular area”
Technology is evolving so quickly that even if you’re a specialist in one area or tech stack, it could become obsolete very quickly! Instead, our consultants become specialists at delivering projects that achieve our clients’ goals, using whichever technology best fits their requirements. Our consultants are multi-specialists bringing a range of problem-solving and project delivery skills to the table to help clients, whatever their issue or challenge. And you’ll be working with a variety of different clients from different industry sectors, broadening your knowledge of industry issues while specialising in delivery.
“There is an expectation to travel UK-wide and stay away from home weeks at a time”
One of our panellists reminisced about the time he spent five years living in a hotel when he worked for another consultancy – he relished the fact that he never had to clean! But while travel can be a fantastic learning experience, not everyone wants to spend weeks or months away from home working at a client location. At Infinity Works, travel is a choice rather than being mandatory. Nobody is deployed to a client site against their will! We have four UK offices – London, Edinburgh, Leeds and Manchester – and people are usually based at the office nearest to where they live, working with clients in the region. However, there are opportunities to work from a new location if that’s something you want to try.
“Consultants never feel part of the team”
Being an Infinity Works consultant means you’re always part of a team, whether it’s a client team, an internal team or a blend of both. Even when a client project is completed and you leave that team, there’s a great feeling of “mission accomplished” before you move on to the next project. Infinity Works has a very inclusive internal culture where everyone feels welcomed. This really helps when you’re moving between different project teams. People build strong friendships here and genuinely get on with each other. And of course, even when there’s pressure to deliver for a client, you’re never alone – the whole Infinity Works team is behind you.
“You are expected to be suited and booted at all times”
At Infinity Works, what matters is expressing your own identity in a way that works for you. For some that might mean wearing a suit and tie, for others, it’s a hoody, jeans and trainers. People are judged on their skills, their performance and what they bring to the team, not what they wear. You’re free to wear what will help you be your best self and enable you to deliver your best work. That’s true if you’re coming in for a job interview too – be yourself! And clients are changing too. For example, some City firms are easing up on a strict dress code and bringing in policies like “dress for the day”, which means if you’re working in the back office you can pretty much wear what you want! People are trusted to use their judgement.
“It’s very hierarchical and there’s lots of red tape”
Infinity Works is the exact opposite of hierarchical. In fact, one of our panellists joined the company because its flat structure means that people are empowered to make decisions and to deliver, which cuts out the red tape. With clients, there will always be an element of process and certain procedures that need to be followed (and certain organisations must operate within strict regulatory frameworks, of course). But being a consultant means you bring an external perspective that’s valuable for clients and can help streamline processes and cut out some of their red tape. Infinity Works’ consultants think outside the box, break down barriers and provide a constructive challenge to ineffective ways of working. We collaborate with our clients to make sure they deliver is as efficiently and as effectively as they can.
“I will just be a chargeable asset and have no say in my career”
Consultants are valued assets at Infinity Works – asset being used here in the positive way it’s intended! Everyone has an internal advocate to support them and offer advice. And you’re in control of your own objectives, training and career path. Infinity Works supports colleagues through internal ‘communities of practice’ where you learn from others about a new type of technology or a different career path within the organisation. In addition, there’s ‘the bench’ where consultants can recharge in between projects by doing training or self-development. One of the panellists explained how impressed he’s been that he got to have a say in the types of projects he does, as he was particularly keen to work with public sector clients. Another confirmed that resourcing decisions are made by considering both client need and consultant preference equally.
“Start-ups are cooler”
Start-ups are cool because of their culture and the fact you get to work with the very latest bleeding-edge technology. But you only get to do that once! When you’re a consultant you have an opportunity to enjoy this experience again and again. You’ll have an opportunity to work with different start-ups, helping them to grow then moving on to the next. Every project is a greenfield project when you view it that way, which makes being a consultant pretty cool! And of course, Infinity Works started out as a start-up seven years ago. What’s great about working for the company now though, is that while the culture has remained very inclusive and nimble, there’s a healthy budget for learning and development, there’s a wealth of experience within the business, and you can work with diverse teams supporting clients in a variety of sectors. Plus, as one of our panellists pointed out, there’s job security. If you’re deciding where you want to work, rather than default to ‘start-up’, think about what you’ll value from a role, then weigh up if being a consultant will provide what you’re looking for.