Independent Consultant Jobs: Why Consultants Choose Them

Independent consultant jobs may simply sound like a good option for a rainy day or between steady consulting jobs at established companies, but what they offer really adds up to a significant number of advantages over full-time employment. There are many reasons why contract jobs should absolutely be considered as a career option by any consultant or industry professional looking to advance his or her career. However, most consultants end up never giving freelance jobs a real shot for fear of giving up the safety that comes with having a steady job.

The biggest obstacle independent consultants face – finding a steady stream of clients that will keep their income on the rise – is not an insurmountable one, as there is always the option to move to freelance consulting gradually. To start taking on contract jobs, it is not necessary for a consultant to make a permanent cut from full-time employment before establishing a client base that can keep his or her contractor business afloat. The advantages of having an independent consultant business, on the other hand, are numerous.

An independent consultant with an established base of clients is able to choose projects he or she will embark on next and is far less likely to be tied down by a consulting firm's range of clients or industry sectors. The interim assignments are not those passed down to him by his boss, but projects he finds worth pursuing, either for the challenge or the experience. Being independent also means not having to travel to a different part of the country for an assignment unless it is either very lucrative, convenient, or beneficial in some way to a consultant's professional advancement.

Independent consultants are exposed to a much wider network of businesses and industry niches than their colleagues who are employed full-time. Other than forming new contacts and partnerships, contract consultants benefit from witnessing how different approaches to day-to-day operations work at different organisations across a variety of sectors. This can provide any independent entrepreneur with invaluable insight into business operations that can later be applied to his or her own firm. The diversity of roles and industry sectors contract consultants are exposed to inevitably brings both more experience and a broader network of contacts who may some day prove useful.

Work-life balance becomes an important factor in everyone's professional life at some point. Being one's own employer and setting one's own pace is definitely a plus in this respect, especially for consultants who appreciate having more time on their hands either to spend with family or simply to pursue their hobbies. While contractors work just as hard as permanently employed consultants, unlike the latter, contract consultants get to choose the when and where and for how long for themselves.

Contractors and independent consultants earn at least as much and usually more than consultants who are employed full-time. At the same time, more and more frequently, businesses tend to not look for permanent employees if they can hire a freelancer for a specific assignement. This applies in particular to the recession climate, in which there is a wider range of interesting and challenging assignments available to independent specialists, including interim executive roles. These do not only provide an opportunity to broaden one's set of skills, but they will also no doubt look very attractive to any prospective employer in the future when highlighted on one's resume.

Finally, by virtue of frequently switching between different short-term assignments, independent consultants have an easier time finding the niche that is best suited to their skills, as well as better insight into a wider range of career options which they can commit to pursuing in the long term.

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