Growing up, being a QHSE consultant wasn't exactly in my top 10 list of dream jobs. I didn't all of a sudden wake up one day and think "you know what, screw being a paleontologist, ISO standards is the domain for me".
I think it is the kind of field that you just fall into and either enjoy it or hate it. For anyone thinking of becoming a systems expert there are a number of perks to it. There is a lot of variety in what you do and it is something that you can do anywhere in the world quite easily. Being an international standard, ISO9001 for example is exactly the same in Australia as it is in Italy. One of my first positions was a QA Manager in a casino in Macau. For a 19 year old it was a pretty amazing experience that taught me a lot. It also made me grow up very quickly and learn to deal with people a lot more experienced than me.
Over time you will also understand how every single function of a business works. I have many clients these days where I could honestly walk in one morning, fill in a tender document, roster the staff for the week, do the accounts payable/receivable, handle payroll, do a risk assessment on the tasks for the day and then have a meeting with myself.
There are some negatives though. Writing procedures is boring. There I said what every QHSE Manager is thinking. Sitting down and writing a procedure will lead to procrastination, playing angry birds on your phone or staring blankly in to space contemplating which Jessica you would rather be spending time with, Biel or Alba. But it has to be done.
You will also deal with some knobs from time to time. It may be an auditor or it may be a business owner or one of their employees that just plain gives you the shits. I have had some wonderful auditors over the years, I have also had some that make me want to drown them in their coffee to end their power trip and save the sanity of some poor first time auditee down the line.
But in all honesty it is a wonderful job for someone like me who enjoys travel, not sitting at the same desk every day and meeting new people all the time.
If you are interested in getting into ISO systems management please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I am happy to answer any questions.