Consultant: A Handy Guide

Starting a Second Career as a Consultant: A Handy Guide

Many individuals take on a second career for various reasons. Some look to give up their current stressful careers to pursue their passion or life goals. Others want to break the monotony of their professional life and try something new and worthwhile.

If you’re planning to begin a second career, consider consultancy as a viable option. When you take on the role of a consultant, you provide professional and valuable advice to companies and individuals in their chosen area of expertise.

Transitioning from a 9-to-5 job to a consultancy career is no walk in the park. Whether you want to become a business advisor or an IT consultant, you’ll need a solid plan to get you where you need to — or want to – be.

Here are a few suggestions on how you can make the jump to the world of consultancy:

Figure Out Your Area of Expertise

Take a good look at yourself and determine where your strengths lie. Find out your specialty by reviewing the areas where you excel and identifying the skills you’ve mastered outside of work. Then, ask yourself if you have the knowledge and experience needed to appear as an authority figure in your chosen industry.

Add In-Demand Skills to Your Résumé

Companies are on the lookout for consultants who carry a specific skillset. If you want to increase your likelihood of getting a client for your consultancy career, learn (and hone) one or more of these skills:

  • Business Analysis – Companies want a consultant or advisor who can effectively break down a business model and come up with an analytical summary.
  • PowerPoint and Excel – Corporate businesses use these two pieces of software to get a lot of things done.
  • Communication – Some companies are looking to hire marketing consultants who convey the right message to certain sets of audiences.

Connect with People

If you’ve decided to become a consultant, you need to learn how to network with people. Getting rid of your shyness at an early stage is crucial, as promoting your skills as an advisor or consultant falls on you alone. Unlike a big company, you don’t have a team that will effectively make your services known to the general public.

Need help getting the ball rolling? Consider doing the following:

  • Join community groups on social networking sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Attend conferences, meetups, business events, job fairs, and trade shows that allow you to meet people and highlight your offerings
  • Reach out to friends working in your chosen sector or industry

Establish Your Rates

woman writing on paper

Decide how much you want to charge your clients for your advisory or consulting services. Start by looking at the fees consultants are charging in your location and use it as a guide. Alternatively, you can set your fees based on the following criteria:

  • A Daily Rate that You’re Comfortable with
  • Charge by Project or Performance
  • Charge by Using Reliable, Collected Data from Previous Clients

These steps should help you start your consultancy career on the right foot. Transitioning from a traditional corporate job to a consultancy career can be daunting. With these suggestions in mind, however, you can overhaul your professional life and embark on a new career without running into major (and avoidable) problems down the road.

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