When someone tells you they are a consultant, how many times have you nodded your head and then after a moment’s pause asked, “… what do you consult for?” On the one hand, the consulting umbrella encompasses all types of work in any industry allowing for ample flexibility, but on the other hand, consulting can be as ambiguous as it sounds. At Xtreme, our consultants (also referred to as contractors depending on the company supported) work for our clients. This can be in a specific role or for a defined project, where the nature and length of the consulting activity varies based on our client’s needs.
Depending on the type of person you are and where you are at in your career and life, consulting may or may not be the right choice for you. When I was first introduced to the consulting world, someone memorably told me that there are (generally) two common types of consultants: 1) the people trying to break into an industry or launch their career and 2) the veteran FTEs who are ready to introduce more flexibility into their schedules and variety into their projects. In my mind, I categorized these two types of consultants into the Newbie and the Professional. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of these two common types.
Access. Consultants don’t always have access to the tools and systems that FTE’s have, making it harder to acquire the information you need.
Of course, consultants come from all walks of life, so I’m not proposing a blanket standard for who should and shouldn’t consult. Depending on what you’re looking for next in your career, consulting might be a viable option to consider.