The Pros & Cons of becoming an Independent Consultant
Millions of professionals in every industry are now embracing the freelance lifestyle. Consulting is no different. A lot of consultants are now quitting their corporate jobs to work as independent consultants. It’s not uncommon to see LinkedIn profiles with headlines like ‘ex-BCG’, ‘ex-McKinsey’ etc.
So, is it that easy to just quit your job and become a freelance consultant?
Well, not quite. Like almost every other aspect of your career, freelancing comes with advantages and disadvantages.
In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of becoming an independent consultant. And if you read it until the end, you’ll also find foolproof techniques to overcome the cons.
One of the greatest benefits of being an independent consultant is flexibility. Working in management consulting as an employee may get a bit chaotic sometimes. Employees may have to work long hours and travel quite often. But as an independent consultant, you can choose your own hours, projects, and location.2. No hurdles to career advancement
When you work as an employee in a big management consulting firm, or in any other consulting field, things may get very bureaucratic and competitive. Not only you have to be excellent at what you do, but you will also need to keep your seniors happy. You may be able to avoid all of this and focus purely on consulting if you become an independent consultant. So, if you want to take on bigger responsibilities early in your career, you should go freelance.
Becoming a freelancer means that you will have a whole lot of new experiences with a variety of businesses. Every freelance gig and client will bring exciting experiences with them. Oftentimes, working in the same firm as an employed consultant results in a Monday to Friday routine which goes on for years. But it is highly unlikely to happen if you work on your own terms as a freelancer. So, if you want to experience new things quite often in your career, you should definitely consider becoming an independent consultant.4. Ability to position yourself as an expert
As an employee, the results you produce for clients are the company’s results, not yours. This means that there’s hardly any room to create a personal brand and let the world know who you are. But as an independent consultant, you can promote your own brand freely and position yourself as an expert in your field. Quite a few consultants who have worked as employees in big management consulting firms are now going independent and promoting their own brands. Maybe you should jump on the bandwagon as well.
As an employee, one thing is certain - you will constantly have some work to do as long as you’re employed. But as an independent consultant, you will have to find new projects and close clients yourself. Constantly being on the hunt for the next project can be exciting at times, but it may also be exhausting at other times.