You’re an experienced professional, but you’re tired of your current gig.
You’ve heard of consulting and considered giving it a go.
So, what’s stopping you?
You are smart, capable, and results-oriented. Yet, look around the Consultant Opportunity Fairie is nowhere to be found. Now, you can just accept your current gig and never pursue consulting. Or, you take a big leap of faith and land your first Consulting gig.
Because there is a client looking specifically for YOU.
But before you jump in, there are some things you should take into consideration. Let’s explore 5 things you should consider prior to taking the Consultant leap.
#1: Evaluate your financial risk
You have a good job and income, but you still dream about becoming a Consultant. However, Consultants sometimes encounter breaks between projects. If you want the comfort of your current gig, you can pursue consulting part-time without walking away from your current income. This option provides extra income while gaining consulting experience.
#2: Determine what success looks like
Perform research including reading consultant opportunities and looking at Consultant profiles on LinkedIn. List out what you want your life to look like as a Consultant. Prioritize the list. Go after what you want rather than just dreaming about it. When you visualize what your life as a consultant looks like, you can evaluate your options and narrow your focus.
#3: Determine your value
To be competitive, you need to constantly sharpen your skills. You should evaluate your strengths and weakness. Develop a plan to differentiate yourself from your competition. Plan for your on-going development in areas related to your functional expertise, leadership, communications, problem-solving, and technology. As you increase your knowledge and expertise, your marketability and income will grow.
#4: Know your worth
New Consultants often struggle with calculating project costs. As a result, they undervalue their worth. Become comfortable with negotiating money, determining your market value, and estimating the time commitment. Whether you decide to own a consulting business or work for a firm, you should understand your worth and be your biggest advocate. You should avoid settling for a low rate due to wanting the gig so bad.
#5: Decide if you’ll offer strategic or tactical expertise
Clients often expect five or more years of experience before they consider a Consultant to be an expert. Create a list of hard and soft skills including leadership, communication, conflict resolution, and team building. Determine if your strength lies with providing strategic planning as an advisor or performing tactical staff supplemental work.
If you’ve been considering becoming a Consultant, there’s no better time than now. There is a client out there that needs your unique mix of skills and knowledge. But before you jump into consulting, consider these 5 things so you can make the best decisions for your career.