With the consulting business going towards its peak and with the increase in demand for business consultants all over the world, more people are trying to shift their gears and move into the consulting field. Some people become successful and some see failures. Hence, it is crucial to know all the advantages as well as the disadvantages in becoming a consultant, before shifting your career path. We all know that a consultant can either be independent or he can work for a consulting firm. Based on the way in which he works there are various factors that come into picture, which might either lead him towards success or downfall. Let us discuss the benefits and the drawbacks of being an independent consultant.
Benefits of Being a Consultant
Freedom of choice: As an independent consultant, he or she is allowed to choose the assignments that come in his or her way, as there won’t be any peer pressure or managerial pressure, in taking up an assignment. So the ability to perform his job with a complete freedom would be the first benefit.
Huge Exposure: An independent consultant would get to work with varied clients and client environments. He will be exposed to various business problems which are disparate in nature. This will help him to improve as a person as well as a consultant.
Work-Life Balance: An independent consultant can structure his working hours as the way he likes it. He is the soul decider on his working style, which gives him enough time to spend for his personal life.
Challenging tasks: As a person grows up in his consulting career, he would be faced with a lot of challenging tasks, which will be the best fit for those who are passionate about their work. The job satisfaction aspect will be achieved.
The Downside of Consulting
Uncertainty: A consultant will never know what is ahead of him. As he completes a consulting job with a client, he will be in a state where he won’t know who will be the next client? What will be the nature of job? What will be the clients expectations? How much will he get paid? All these questions will have no answer, and this might lead to a stressful situation.
Varied Income: Since the consultant will be working with different clients, it is difficult for him to adapt to the changing income level. Clients will have their own mode of payment. Some clients won’t pay until the assignment is complete. Some will not pay for several months even after the assignment is complete. The consultant has to face all these situations.
The downfall of a project: A consultants advice might not always turn out to be productive. The adoption of a strategy proposed by the consultant might well lead to the failure of a particular project. The consultant will have to own the complete responsibility and cope with the situation.
Market Conditions: The varying market conditions will have a direct impact on the consultants, as the clients would not want to hire a consultant, when the market is down.
Lastly, an independent consultant will have to perform his jobs all by himself, which might make him feel isolated.
If you are seeking a consulting career, you should know the ill effects that consulting might result to you and make yourself prepared to go for the hunt as a consultant.
Daniel Ward has been an indepenedent business consultant for the five three years and currently works for DinaliC.com – a firm that specializes in SAP business consulting staffing and placement.