Why consulting should be your next career move

Maybe right now you have a stable salaried job, or maybe you’ve been laid off and are looking for work.  Either situation is risky and I’ll tell you why. Think of yourself as a corporation - how many clients do you have?  If you work for one company and depend on that company for all your income, that’s risky. Maybe you have stock investments or some sort of passive income, but most people don’t have any other sources of money other than their day job. Why wait for your only client (your employer) to decide you aren’t the product they want anymore? Contract work and consulting are the safer way to go because you diversify your risk. If one client doesn’t want your services anymore, you have others making up the difference. Working for a company gives you a false sense of security, no matter how stable is the company you work for.  Consider the following:

1. A company name gives you credibility. You may be providing the same services you did as an employee but now instead of Jeff, you are Jeff Consulting Inc. As a consultant, you are literally your own business so give yourself a great company name to give yourself a boost in perceived credibility.

2. You may easily transition into areas where a company wouldn’t hire you. Sometimes companies don’t know what they actually need in a position. HR hiring professionals might think they know what the last person’s credentials were that did the job, so they go with that. Oftentimes companies are edging out great potential employees with a huge list of required qualifications. If they hire you as a consultant it’s less risky if you’re not as qualified because they won’t have to fire you, they can just end the contract. It’s like the company and you both get a limited trial and then you can both decide if it’s working out or go your own ways with fewer entanglements than traditional employment.

3. Flexibility in schedule and mobility.  Companies are more comfortable letting consultants work from their own offices, so this could be your house or wherever you want to work. This could mean working from anywhere in the world sometimes. Most tech jobs can be done from home but some companies are just not trusting of their employees. As a contractor it is beneficial for companies not to give you a desk to keep that line clear that you are not an employee – which would mean tax implications for them.

4. Allows you to charge market price. You won’t have to beg for a raise and be at the mercy of your one client. If a client doesn’t pay your value, don’t give them your services because others will.  The more often you negotiate your value, the better the chances you are being paid market price. If you stay at a job too long with 2 or 3% cost of living increases, you will fall behind your market value. Therefore people end up changing jobs because they can easily get a 10-20% or higher raise, which would be much harder just asking for a large raise at a job. By adjusting your prices often, you can stay at the price you are worth.

5. Builds your network. If you stay at one company too long you become isolated. By consulting or doing contract work at many different companies you are meeting new people all the time and you never know when that next connection will be your key to a great opportunity.

6. Expand your horizons. Technology changes fast. By consulting and expanding your network you can keep current on what’s happening in your industry instead of just what your one company is doing. You get the bigger picture. If you are laid off or otherwise unemployed, consulting is the difference between staying in the game and becoming obsolete.

Consulting may not be easy - but we can help!

When you start a consulting business, there are a few things you will want to be aware of.  You will have to provide your own health insurance, retirement planning, and other benefits.  You must be able to work without constant supervision.  You may need to hire an accountant or someone to help you with your finances.  And most importantly, you must be able to SELL your service.  You must be comfortable with getting in front of large corporations and convincing them of the value you provide.  If you need help getting in the door, get in contact with me and I will help you get clients.  

Contact Zach at Zach@stratussearch.com today to learn more about how to start your consulting business.

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