Consulting A Distraction? Or Complementary To The Job Search
Consulting Considerations • Help Transition to New Career • Support Job Search and Networking • Continued Professional Development • Provide Income and Emotional Support • Caution!
Transition to New Field • Career change – ‘try on’ new career, industry, function. • Critical hands-on experience, develop skills – with relatively low risk. • Provides references and contacts in new field – assuming you perform • May be potentially worthwhile to work for free – allows you contribute and to get up to speed at your own pace. • Trial position to permanent role – lower risk way for company to bring you onboard. • Means to differentiate yourself from the competition – who may not be willing to do this approach. • Easier to get company to hire as consultant, then you become indispensable. • BUT - this will be a fulltime job even if part-time pay - as you are looking to impress. • Trial position to permanent role – lower risk way for you to decide if company, industry, people are a fit. • Job/role/work content is what you expected. • Are you set up for success – objectives& resources • Easier to depart.
Support Job Search and Networking • Strategic support to job search • Project work in chosen field – continue to communicate and work with people in your field. • Stay connected and engaged. • Viewed as a leader in the field if you have several assignments in process. • BUT - Quality of the projects/people will be judged and reflect on you. • Networking • Provides a business purpose for you to interact with the person – not ‘looking for a job.’ • Discussion showcases your abilities in work environment, not in job-search mode. • Quality of the projects/people will reflect on you and the quality of the networking relationship.
Professional Development • Resume development/enhancement • Board seats, strategy, operational improvements, etc. Successful, reference-able consulting projects enhance your position with potential employers. • BUT – commitment levels required (skills/time) vs your ability to deliver is key issue. Will impact potential quality of references. • Professional development • Keep connected in your field, keep up-to date, and get deeper knowledge in specific areas – that you may not have had the ability /opportunity to do as a senior executive. • Multiple projects provides broad opportunity to get deep engagement in many areas. • BUT – hands on means ‘doing the work, not delegating to others to do the work’. Make sure you still have those skills. • Personal branding • Raise/maintain your profile – the go-to person • BUT - Ensure the roles you accept are in keeping with your ‘brand’/stature in industry, otherwise the roles will define you.
Income, Emotional Benefits • Some income • Cover some living expenses - ideally income replacement. • BUT – you may earn at same ‘rate’ as previous job, but inconsistency of projects will lead to substantially lower total annual earnings in the short term, unless this is a career choice. • Keeps busy, engaged • Projects, interim management, operating role • Learning, skills stay sharp. • Wait-out the market issues. • Emotional value – external validation • Real proof that you’re of value in the market. Smart, capable people are willing to pay for your services. • Potentially a career…flexibility of time, topics, travel – Fun. • Evolve a part-time activity into a systematic, fulltime business…
Caution! • All consulting requires ‘work/output’ – powerpoint presentations, customer proposals, primary research, cold calling, internal meetings, calls, etc. • Many of these activities are not related to job search activities: identifying companies and networking into them. 60-70% of time spent in consulting may not be relevant to your job search. • Consulting does not pay as much as a real executive position and is much more work. • BD – finding new assignments • And then delivering on those assignments in a quality manner. • Allure of consulting can be a source of procrastination for the real job search.