Today's Consultants Must Show Dedication to New Career Choice

Article excerpt

During the last 10 years, consulting has emerged as a growing career field.

The primary factor that has contributed to this growth has been the large number of managers and executives who have been terminated from more traditional career fields and decided, either because there wasn't an immediately available corporate position or because they wanted to leverage their area of specialization, to become consultants. Another reason for this phenomenon is that demand for consultants has increased as companies look for ways to keep their level of full time employees low.

In today's economy, becoming a consultant can be interpreted as being "temporarily unemployed."

If you really want to make a career out of consulting, it is important to convince potential clients that you are serious about consulting as a profession. This is done by being able to articulate benefits of using you as a consultant.

Individuals who approach businesses and offer to do anything they need to have done at an hourly rate are usually seen as professionals.

Before deciding to become a consultant, inventory your skills and ability and determine whether or not they have marketable value. Successful consultants have confidence in basic business abilities, are good communicators, have an ability for long range planning, and have a personality and temperament which enables them to work well with a wide range of personalities.

Consultants must also have the ability to manage their time well and be self starters. The fun part is meeting with the clients and talking with them to make overall decisions about concept.

The less fun part about consulting is all of the things that you have to do for yourself, such as getting out correspondence or anything that attributes to actually producing the product for which you have been contracted. If you're an executive, you may be accustomed to having people around you to do those lesser tasks, and sometimes, individuals find when they start their own consulting practice they are overwhelmed with details they don't enjoy.

Libraries and bookstores are filled with books about how to be a consultant, how to bill, how to price your services, and the different consultant niches which exist. Colleges and universities even offer short courses in being a consultant. You are wise to read these publications and take advantage of any informational seminars or workshops you can identify. …