Let’s talk business

I don’t talk a lot about my job here but let’s get into it a bit.  I am in the consulting business and specifically I specialize in short term, high gain type contracts.  I am asked a lot for advice on starting out.  This is usually what i tell people:

1.  It takes a lot of quality networking.  When I was starting, I volunteered and mentored a lot.  I got my name out there.  The pay was not great and I had a lot to prove.

2.  Work with a few good companies.  I have under 5 people that I work closely with.  If I get outside offers, I select one of the vendors and ask them to work it out for me.  In exchange, if one of the vendors as a good opportunity, they know that I will bring my A game and will likely win the contract for them.

What I love about consulting:

  • Interesting projects – I get to choose the contracts based on the kind of projects I like.
  • No politics –  When you are a consultant, people trust you more because they know that you don’t care to go up the ladder.  I am not trying to get a promotion.  I’m just here to get my job done and get out.  This also allows me to focus on my job and not be distracted.
  • Compensation is great – I also get offered free gifts (not that I always accept them) – hockey tickets, concert tickets, meals paid for, etc.

The bad:

  • Lots of networking, lots of meetings to get to the right people.  These meetings are information-gouging meetings, both ways.
  • Continuous education.  This is a good thing and a bad thing.  It’s great to be able to choose which courses/certifications will be beneficial for your career.  It’s bad because you always have to plan which certifications will be beneficial and you will be paying for the course and also for the time away from work.
  • Not feeling like you belong.  Depending on the organization you are with, sometimes consultants are really left on their own.  Sometimes the consultants can integrate really well but you can really feel left out if you are not invited to team lunches, corporate meetings, 1 on 1 meetings, breakfast get togethers, etc.  Sometimes you miss those RaRa type conferences.
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