Working as a Consultant

08/02/2018

finger pointing to consultingConsulting is a very broad industry. As it expands more and more it includes a wider variety of roles.
As a form of self-employment it can often be seen as a more independent and flexible way of earning a living than being traditionally employed by an organisation as an employee. This article outlines some key information for you to help explore whether working as a Consultant is the right route for you.

What is consulting?

Consulting is providing a third party with advice and expertise on a subject in exchange for a fee.
A Consultant may provide advice for the third party to implement, to improve a process, and manage change or offer a neutral and independent stance on a problem or issue. It is expertise that the business does not currently have.

You could work for a Consultancy firm who will give you projects to work on where your knowledge skills and expertise are needed or you may work independently and find your own projects to undertake, through your own network referrals and by relying on your professional reputation.

Fields of expertise may include Management, HR, Finance and IT.

What makes a good Consultant?

A good Consultant is an expert in their field with demonstrable experience of finding solutions, investigating issues and providing advice to clients. Projects may be short term, therefore a Consultant needs to source opportunities to ensure they have enough work to make a living.

It is beneficial if you have excellent relationship building skills and a knowledge of your value in the market, customer service skills along with excellent communication skills will also enable you to be a successful Consultant in your area of expertise. Although there are many different types of consultancy careers, all consultants bring new perspectives to businesses, which is where you can add a valuable contribution.

Sourcing consultancy opportunities

There are a few different techniques you can use to source consultancy opportunities:
• Generic job boards and industry specific jobs boards
• Approaching consulting firms in your industry
• Networking with your contacts and speculatively approaching companies that may require your skills, knowledge and experience.

Websites such as https://www.consultancy.uk/ will allow you to search for opportunities by functional areas (HR, Business intelligence, Marketing, Lean management) Industry (Accounting, Engineering, IT, Food and Beverage) and company size amongst other criteria.

You can also find articles, blogs and industry news to help you keep up to date with industry news, identify where there might be opportunities and approach them directly detailing that you know about the recent changes, challenges, etc. and advise how you could add value or support them at this time or on this project. Even if they don’t need your expertise at this point it can be a great introduction and something to re-visit in the future, reminding them you have already been in touch and are really interested in working with them.

Social Networks and creating websites

Creating a strong LinkedIn profile is a great place to begin when thinking about using social networks to source opportunities, network with your professional contacts and to market your business and brand. If you are new to consulting, you may not need a website just yet. A LinkedIn page is free and will also be optimised to be found by Google, guaranteeing that if someone searches for you in Google, your LinkedIn profile would appear on Page 1 of the results. LinkedIn allows you to post information and write articles which will demonstrate your knowledge.

If you opt to create your own website, you need to ensure that your branding across all of your online platforms is consistent, along with the message and information you provide. Ensure your call to action and contact details are easy to find.

Renovo is one of the UK’s leading providers of outplacement and career transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please call 0800 612 2011 or email info@renovo.uk.com

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