You’ve probably encountered many people throughout your career who say they are consultants, but you may not know what they do. Consulting can take many forms; some consultants are self-employed and are the boss of their own business, and others are independent contractors who work for a consulting firm or are freelancers. Each of these options has its drawbacks and its benefits; for instance, you may lose some autonomy as a contractor, but the consulting firm you work for will find clients for you.

Consultants Offer Expert Advice and a Fresh Point of View

Consultants are hired by companies and organizations to offer a fresh look at problems or challenges within a company that may be invisible to employees. An organization can become so accustomed to the way it conducts business, or its hierarchy of decision-makers can become so rigid, that it can suffer from a lack of vision and adaptability. Consulting can help jumpstart a stagnant business by reintroducing the spirit of entrepreneurship and pointing out new ways to handle old problems, or uncovering poor business practices.

Consultants are most frequently hired to help companies in the fields of accounting, human resources, employee training, marketing, and project management, but you can provide consulting for any business in which you have some expertise, as long as you have more knowledge of a subject than the people who hire you.

If you think you would like to try consulting, there are a few points to consider. Are you good at, and feel comfortable with, delivering presentations and talking with professionals about their work-related problems? You will be spending a lot of your time in face to face interaction. Are you able to manage job insecurity and a lack of steady income?  Consulting is based on temporary work that last from mere weeks to months, or at other times, years. Do you have valuable expertise that you can demonstrate to a potential client? If you have a passion for entrepreneurship, then consulting could be a rewarding career choice.