For some people, being a full-time, steady employee is what works for them. They enjoy the consistency and reliability of a full-time job in a particular industry. However, there are some “employees” that tire of this monotony and begin to consider a career as a consultant. They crave the flexibility and comfort of dictating your own schedule and workload. Even better, NYC companies in high-skill industries such as IT, engineering, finance and healthcare are creating hybrid workforces of employees and consultants.
Sometimes, though, making the career jump to consulting can be overwhelming – and with good reason. There are many aspects of being an IT consultant that get overlooked that are crucial to embrace and embody to be a successful IT consultant. (These are the qualities that staffing firms typically look for in possible candidates.)
We have compiled a list of the most prominent aspects of consulting so you can decide if a career as an IT consultant is truly the best move for your future – if you can handle all of these, welcome to the world of consulting!
Income control – As a consultant you will (typically) make a higher salary than you would as an employee. And, you have the ability to control what jobs you do and do not take, in turn controlling your income on a more regular basis. However, a down side to consulting is that there are typically no benefits – something that you must be comfortable and able to manage on your own.
Flexibility – Consulting requires immense flexibility in many ways – scheduling, aptitude and work style. You are inevitably going to have IT clients in different industries, with different needs and with different work environments. You must be willing to assimilate to their needs.
Travel – While this may not always be glamorous, it is definitely a big part of the job. Whether it is a 6 week or 6 month job, relocation or travel may be required, depending on if you need to work out of the client’s actual office.
Self-Employment – Being a consultant is like running your own business. It requires careful planning and business management to keep all of your projects in check. Being a detail-oriented self-starter is a must to be a successful consultant.
People person – Maintaining an IT consulting career may be the most challenging aspect. There will be inevitable downtime between jobs and projects. In order to move from one project to the next, it is imperative that you are a people person. You must be networking constantly as a consultant, even while on a job. Keeping in touch with previous clients and partners will guarantee that there will be more opportunities to come.