What are some of the rewards of being an independent consultant?
Apart from the potential financial returns, there are several other rewards in a career as an independent consultant. These include: Work Environment. Would you prefer to work from home or in shared office space? You can choose – subject to your budget constraints, of course. There's also an absence of "office politics". I work from home, so my main daily human interactions are with my family. My cat, however, is my constant companion and my wisest business advisor. Most importantly, he seldom argues with me.
How do you manage your projects?
As an independent consultant I spend much my time doing tasks, such as marketing and administration, which are far-removed from my technical training. Also, although my main consulting business is in industrial energy management and efficiency, I often get assignments in other areas, and they often leverage my interests and skill sets. These opportunities have included process development, due diligence assessments, proposal evaluations, third-party sales, software development, preparing and delivering courses, and writing for hire. The diversity of activities ensures continuing personal and professional growth.
What are some of the demands of consulting?
Credible expertise. Typically peope who become independent consultants do so after working in industry or academia long enough to become proficient in a specific field – sufficiently proficient that they can offer credible expertise in that field to the industry at large.
Any advice to potential business consultants?
Independent consulting can be an interesting a rewarding career. However it also poses many challenges, and it calls upon skills that are not taught in most university courses. It may be a good choice for someone who is technically proficient, articulate and self-reliant.