IT Consulting: Is It For You?

Feel like your IT career is coming up short in the job satisfaction department? Many IT workers are turning in the office nine-to-five routine to try their hand at consulting.

Perhaps you feel that a company layoff is coming. Perhaps you’re looking for a change. Perhaps you want to be your own boss. Whatever your reasons for wanting a change, IT consulting can be a great career option. However, before you decide to be a full-time consultant, there are lots of important factors to consider.

Remember that pay will fluctuate.
Many people who own their own businesses say that they’re always in either feast or famine. When you are a consultant, you are your business. The payoffs are yours, but so are the responsibilities and the risks. Think about your situation, and conduct a realistic budget check. Do you have enough savings to weather a dry period or the time it takes to get started? Talk to other IT consultants to see what kind of financial cushion they recommend, and research how long it might take you to establish your business.

Be prepared to network nonstop.
When you own your own business, it’s important to take advantage of every opportunity, which means you should be prepared to constantly market yourself and always be ready to network. Whether you’re at a professional association meeting or a friend’s back yard cookout, you have to be ready to talk business and make potential contacts aware of who you are and what you do. If you prefer to have a job that is strictly about clocking in and clocking out, consulting may not be for you.

Can you stay on track without supervision?
Being a IT consultant can be great because you don’t necessarily have a manger. However, some people have a hard time maintaining responsibilities when no one tells them what to do or when to do it. If you are the kind of person who needs a supervisor or assistant to help you stay on task, seriously consider whether you can be consistently reliable in a consulting position. You must also be organized enough to keep tasks and clients straight.

Do you thrive on the unexpected?
If you like every day to be the same, consulting is not a great option. In consulting, you have to be able to roll with the punches, work with different clients on a variety of assignments, and be willing to have a somewhat erratic schedule. Although some days will offer flexibility to have a morning or afternoon or even whole day free, other times you might be swamped and need to work long hours to get a job done.

If you’re looking for a change or if a door has closed and you’re searching for a window, IT consulting can be a great way to earn some dollars, be your own manager, and set your own assignments. Consider both the benefits and the costs. It could be the right career move for you.

For more information about XSell Resources call 215-706-4500 or Contact Us.

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