5 things you need to know about consulting

By theconsultant. Published on Tuesday May 24, 2022

In today’s world, voluntary ignorance is not acceptable. When you are starting something new – or different, there are so many do’s and don’ts. Without realizing it, what you thought, is not what actually happens. Consultancy and/or the gig economy is here to stay. No longer are we obsessed with the 9 to 5 job. Many people are looking towards having multiple streams of income and being able to work within their own time frame.

As you enter the consultancy world, here are 5 things you need to know to get you started.

Irregular income

Consultancy looks appealing. It even looks luxurious and giving in terms of income. What you may not know is, in some months you will get numerous clients, other months will be too dry until you start questioning your career move. If you are no longer employed, your income stream will be irregular. It’s upon you to determine how you will balance out successfully and bountiful months with months when there is nothing going on. You should also keep in mind that this is a common phase in the consultancy world and could be a time to reset your priorities. Clients come and clients go and so will your income if you don’t plan well.

Flexible hours

The beauty of consultancy is working with your own time frame. This requires plenty of discipline. No one is expecting you to show up to work at 9am and leave at 5pm. It may involve early mornings, busy afternoons or late nights especially if your clients are from a different time zone. It may also be days when you have nothing going on to days when you have everything going on. Be mindful of this in the beginning so that you can balance between your work life and personal life. Getting burnt out is easy as a consultant but the beauty is when you plan your hours well you can schedule plenty of rest periods.

Flexible pay

Money is created out of value. As a consultant, once you settle into your niche and discover the value you can give to clients, then you will be able to determine what you can get paid to do. However, the pay varies from one client to another. What company ‘x’ gives you may not be what company ‘y’ offers. It may be more or less. The goal is to choose a gig that aligns with your financial goals.

Irregular contracts

From one day contracts to one week contracts to one month contracts to one year contracts. You could be working with all of these types of contracts at one go. It takes time to connect with the right brands especially in the beginning. Once you understand that you will be getting both short term and long term gigs you can be able to schedule your hours against them.

Networking is a must

Sitting down and waiting for opportunities to find you will not get you anywhere. Show up for those events and interact with people. Be bold and send that portfolio to a company you want to work with and follow it up as often as you can. You will get many no’s but when you are consistent you will get that yes. Do not be afraid to talk to people who are in the same niche as you. You never know who may connect you to the company you have been dreaming of working with.

What are some other tips you would give to someone who is starting out in consultancy?