Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Considering Consulting?

This CareerJournal article points how things to consider before making the leap to independent consulting. Some of the recommended questions:
  • Are the skills you possess in demand, and do you have the experience companies will seek?
  • Professionals with, say, more than five to seven years' experience are in greater demand, experts say.
  • Can you handle erratic paychecks?
  • How will you pay for health insurance and your retirement?
  • Are you able to market yourself, even as you work on projects?
  • Can you pay for the liability insurance some companies may require?
  • Do you have financial security for soft spells?
  • Do you like working independently? "It may sound really interesting and fun to set your own direction," says Mr. Morgan, "but you may be miserable doing that."

I'd add these:

  • Do you manage time well?
  • Do you have a network of marketing contacts?
  • Do you know how you will market your services? [Don't plan on making cold calls if you hate making cold calls.]
  • Are you able to walk away from possible projects that just don't feel right? [Make sure your values are centered.]
  • Do you have strong presentation skills? [Not a strict requirement, but they help.]
  • Do you have a specialty that will give you a marketing advantage?
  • Have you considered the need for administrative support? [It's a major revelation when you toss something into your out-basket and no one picks it up.]
  • Can you handle stress?
  • Are you patient? [Are you prepared to present a great proposal and then not see the actual project begin for 12 months?]

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