Consulting is an enjoyable profession that can offer special benefits, satisfying employment, and a good living. If a professional goes about the process properly, becoming a consultant can offer several rewards:
* Focusing on what the consultant does best and enjoys most. Although being a consultant includes many tasks that the professional might not enjoy doing, those tasks take up a small amount of the consultant’s time. When a professional’s consulting business becomes more successful, he or she can hire others to perform any of the tasks that the consultant finds less desirable or feels less skilled to perform, such as web design, accounting, or tax-form preparation.
* Working flexible, convenient hours. As consultants, professionals can set their own hours, working at times when they do their best work. Flexible hours allow consultants to work during weekends or evenings, allowing them to run errands and perform child-care duties during normal working hours. Many consultants find they gain more time when they start working from home and no longer have to commute nearly 2 hours a day.
* Living in preferred locations. When professionals work in corporate offices, they must live nearby, commuting daily to work in the office. As consultants, professionals are not tied to a specific location for work. They can live and work in places of their own choosing.
* No longer dealing with office politics and meaningless activities. When professionals begin working as consultants, they discover they have extra work time that used to be absorbed by attending meaningless meetings, or answering e-mails and memos that are not focused on serving customers. Consultants no longer have to deal with office gossip and politics, yet they must overcome the isolation of working alone. One way to stay connected with other professionals is to join and become active in a professional society.
* Living large. In the corporate world, a professional’s accomplishments and work needs are secondary to those of the company. As consultants, professionals own their intellectual property. They can write articles, make conference presentations, write a book, or even develop proprietary lines of products. These outputs become their own assets.
The benefits of becoming a consultant sound enticing; however, the freedoms that are offered often come with a cost. Having flexible hours might be appealing for professionals who have to drop off kids at day-care, but that flexibility means the consultant might have to work Saturday morning to complete work for a client. Nevertheless, with diligence and effort, professionals can start consulting careers, live a more balanced life, do what they thoroughly enjoy, and earn a good living, too.
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