Are you tired of the mundane 9-to-5 lifestyle and thinking of launching your own career inIT consulting? IT consulting is a profitable and rewarding career path for many. But before you make the leap, here are a few things to consider.
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Are You Comfortable Pitching Yourself?
Consultants sell themselves. To be successful, you must be comfortable tooting your own horn. No one else is going to do it for you—at least not at first. After you’ve completed a few successful gigs, gather testimonials from those clients. Use them on your website and other marketing collateral to help land new clients. Marketing is a continuous process that must be done as regularly as you do client work. If you have a solid network of professional contacts, you have one thing going for you.
Do You Have a Financial Backup?
If you’re really lucky, you’ll walk out the door of your company on your last day of work and straight into a lucrative consulting assignment that will pay the bills and then some. But what happens when that gig ends and you don’t have a new one lined up? Ups and downs are common in the first few years of business, so you need to have savings to get you through those initial slow periods.
Do You Have an Advanced Degree?
While it’s not necessary, an advanced degree can make you appear more credible to potential clients. At the end of the day, it’s your proven results that count and what you can offer the company. But if you have the bandwidth to pursue an advanced degree, it could help you land your first few consulting gigs. GetaRealDegree.com is a resource that will help you decide on the right degree program, whether you’re looking for an online or in-person program.
Do You Have What It Takes to Run a Business?
Many new consultants fall into the trap of thinking consulting is a dream gig because they can focus on what they love. In reality, going out on your own as a consultant means you’ll be doing a lot of things other than the skills you’re offering to clients. You’ll be running your own business, which means prospecting, sales and marketing, bookkeeping, billing, accounting, and even debt collection when clients pay late. Some consultants love the varied aspects of the career, while others struggle with wearing multiple hats.
Are You Cool with a Crazy Schedule?
Consultants rarely follow an orderly schedule, especially in the IT field. Unplanned outages, security breaches, and network failures are never predictable. It’s not uncommon to have multiple clients calling at the same time with urgent needs. You must prioritize your time and be capable of rolling with the punches to enjoy the consulting lifestyle.
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and the organizational skills to juggle multiple roles simultaneously, a career in IT consulting might be just what you’re looking for. If you can cope with all the facets of the consulting lifestyle, it can be a profitable and rewarding career for those who like to hold the reins to their own futures.
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