Consulting is one of the greatest professions in the universe. If you handle it right, you can live in that special corner of the world that you’ve dreamed about, do what you enjoy most, have more free time than you can imagine, and make a good living while you’re at it. However, before you quit your job and convert your spare bedroom into an office, you should know a few things.
What Should You Know Before Going Out On Your Own?
Reality 1: If you think working for someone else is precarious, try working for yourself.
The consultant’s life has lots of peaks and valleys. Most successful consultants will tell you that they have either plenty of money or plenty of time, immigration consultants in hyderabad but rarely do they have both at the same time. Life is champagne and caviar while you’re on a project, but once the project is over, it’s quickly back to macaroni and cheese.
Reality 2: You’re not going to get rich quick.
Sure! We all hear about Tom Hopkins, Tony Robins, and Ken Blanchard, who earn $20,000 a day, but the billing rate of the average training consultant is less than $100 an hour. If you consider expenses and the number of non-billable hours, it comes out to a fairly modest wage. The top 10 percent earn a very nice living, but that takes discipline, hard work, and a little bit of luck.
Reality 3: Life isn’t going to be easy.
When you work for a large company, you are judged by your professional expertise. If you know your stuff, your coworkers will look beyond your shortcomings. That changes the moment you leave your corporate home to become a consultant. Of course potential clients want to hire the consultant with the highest level of professional skills, but the consultant who most often gets the job is the one who markets the best, has the best connections, and delivers the most convincing presentations.
Reality 4: You’ll starve waiting for the telephone to ring.
Once you leave the security of corporate life, you’ll be surprised by how quickly your co-workers forget you. Some professionals are able to negotiate a contract with their former employer, but that’s becoming increasingly rare. States are clamping down on the use of former employees as consultants or contractors because many companies use this as a way to avoid payroll taxes. Many large corporations now have policies prohibiting hiring former employees as consultants. If you’re expecting to start your practice by working for your former employer, I recommend that you find out what their policies are about using ex-employees as contractors. Even if your company does have policies against hiring former employees, there is usually a way around it. They can hire you through a temporary agency, though you may earn less.
When you leave the corporate world, where everyone knows who you are, you’ll be surprised at how invisible you become. At the small products division of Magnatek, you were a legend. New recruits were weaned on tales of when you worked 30 hours straight to finish the INB project and how you saved Sam Sniffles’ rear during the DuPint presentation.
Nevertheless, no one outside your company has heard these wonderful stories. If you want to continue paying your mortgage and putting food on the table, you need to pick up the telephone and begin playing “dialing for dollars.”
Reality 5: Consultants are treated differently.
Many companies see consultants as peddlers. Countless other people, who say they have qualifications similar to your own, have rung their telephone and knocked on their door. Don’t expect immediate respect. To make it through the first 90 days, you’re going to need to develop a tough hide.