So You Want To Be A Consultant…
Consulting can be a great profession if you like adventure, you have a lot of expertise with various skills to offer, and you can afford to be away from home when the opportunities arise. The more flexible you are in geographic locations, tolerant of multiple hotel arrangements, and potentially small work spaces at the client’s site, the better the experience will be for you.
Of course, your client will want to know you have the right people skills as well as the full understanding of the expertise you are claiming to make the money they are offering. Long hours, stressed out days to weeks, and not a lot of guidance can be the typical assignment if you are working for medical device ‘salvage’ companies already in trouble with the FDA.
If you are lucky enough to find assignments more on the pro-active front versus reactive, then the work atmosphere can be much more pleasant during the day to day activities and even helpful for your mental fitness. Finding a pro-active environment and something commutable from home could be even better, especially if you have a family or a significant other near the home front.
By the sheer nature of the profession, moving from assignment to assignment is part of the process. Whether you choose to have a larger company find assignments for you, or you decide to go it alone, getting the next assignment is par for the course. Occasionally consultants find the right company, and a job is posted with the client that both the client and consulting firm agree the consultant can accept an in-house opportunity. Though this arrangement is rarer than common, consultants tend to like their freedom and work in spurts to support their needs.
So, when you gain the skill sets you are looking for, and decide to make your next career move, look carefully at what consulting may or may not offer before jumping into the pile of available talent. There are good news and bad on both sides of the coin. Only you can choose which is best for you and your foreseeable career needs.