The big, loud call of consulting - Why this may be the right time to become a consultant

By: Ranjini Sivaswamy, 14/09/2015


Hemant Soreng, is an author, blogger, high-altitude mountaineer, ultra-marathoner, amateur cyclist, digital professional and an entrepreneur. This absolutely exhaustive list of things that Hemant does couldn’t have been possible if he were a full time employee at a corporate. Hemant is a consultant in the digital marketing space. As a consultant he has the freedom to choose the projects that he wants to work on. He also gets a splash of variety into his projects mix of projects. Moreover, Hemant makes ample time for the things that matter to him in life. Seven years ago, Rakesh Godhwani quit his corporate life and decided to reinvent himself. Within a short while he found himself doing things that replenished him like never before. He is a teacher, author, leadership mentor, start-up consultant, cyclist and yoga practitioner. His spectrum of experience widened and strengthened when he chose to work as a consultant. Rakesh takes up variety of assignments that range between a duration of two days to three months. He prefers short assignments and enjoys the flexibility, hassle free nature of them. Such strategic career shifts opens up new avenues – that which defies routines, fruitfully using your skills, and brings happiness to the work table.Both Hemant and Rakesh found themselves things they love to do and can earn a living from.

Meraki, they say in Greek, for giving “something of yourself” into what you do. For some of us, the Meraki quotient, the need for doing something soulfully, with creativity and love is very high. The point of contention comes in when we are unable to realise this feeling in the environs of corporate work culture. That’s when Monday blues start kicking in. At some point, some of us decide it’s time to set ourselves free and become independent consultants and freelancers. Even if we do not become entrepreneurs, we would be happy in roles that are entrepreneurial in nature.

The biggest advantage now is that our companies are opening up their rungs for consultants and freelancers. Companies are embracing the concept of an Open Talent Economy[1] making the borders of their organization fluid enough to leverage external talent. There is a growing need for freelancers and consultants as the possibility to hire expert talent on a need basis gives companies a significant edge on both cost and efficiency. More and more companies that are asking themselves the question why hire a full time employees when you can rent one. [2] 

If you haven’t yet decided to become a consultant, there is no better time than now. Here are five reasons that explain:

  1. Consulting is disrupting - Consulting is all set disrupt the way our companies worked until now. Companies want to move from the fixed costs of hiring to the variable cost of freelance talent hire. Consulting gives them a great opportunity to utilize talents without burdening the company with hiring costs. Mature economies are embracing the consultant culture and the business is thriving worldwide. Less hiring, more consulting will be the way forward for effective talent utilisation.
  2. Start-up culture – With bustling new energy in the entrepreneurship scene, the need for consultants is higher than ever before. Consultants are considered a boon for the budgets within which start-ups work. Also, these ambitious start-ups are looking for high quality work.  You will surely enjoy the process of making a difference to a new enterprise in their budding years.
  3. The Consultant-Freelancer Connect - If you thought the channel of access between clients and consultants is broken, technology is today bridging that link. There is a booming online staffing industry that has made hiring a have mobile and online networking platforms that make it all the more easy for you to find work and for companies to find you. Platforms like Flexing It are democratising the process in a big way.
  4. Internet and ecommerce – New age businesses have thrown open the need for diverse talents with niche skills. If you have a niche skill, there are ample opportunities awaiting you.
  5. The unbeatable sense of freedom at work– Yes, coming back to ‘meraki’. Do something that will make you happy and will carry your fingerprint.

If you are beginning to look for new consulting assignments, the best places to start off are small size, midsize and start-up companies. Big companies might disappoint you as they aren’t yet as receptive as the smaller companies inutilizing consultant services. And when it comes to finding clients and the right projects, the internet is your best companion. Look up for projects on Flexing It, Upwork, Peopleperhour, Freelancer and more such websites. Also, built a strong professional network through Linkedin and establish an agile online presencewith Twitter.

Before you take the plunge into consulting, all you need to make sure is that you have a skill that you can monetize, says Hemant. Hone your skills toevolveinto an expertise - that is what will make you a valuable consultant whose skills will be of demand with companies. Though pursuing a consultant career is a high risk move, it is equally ahigh return opportunity, assuresRakesh. Since you have read through to reach the last sentence of this article, the calling inside your mind must be really powerful. And it must be the right time for you to make the move! 


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