You are an expert management consultant, which means you may be working for a traditional Big 5 firm or a boutique firm. Back then, there were no attractive alternatives to the usual Monday-Thursday travel schedule – leaving home and family at 5am on Monday, and coming back Thursday at midnight. Thankfully, for all of us, times are changing. There is a growing prestige and attractiveness to global, online high-end consulting services. A welcome disruption has occurred to the traditional consulting model.
Fortune 500 companies and boutique firms are increasingly turning to high-quality online consultants. It’s not surprising that several successful management consultants are flocking to the freelance lifestyle. Many of the excellent self-starter characteristics required to be a successful consultant, are also required for a successful high-end freelance career.
If you are qualified as a management consultant, you have two alternatives to select in terms of career – working for a consultancy firm or working as a freelance management consultant. The first option, of course, is the conventional way. The latter option, working as a freelancer, enables you to work with a more flexible schedule and with freedom. However, becoming a successful management consultant turned freelancer demands self-discipline and intrinsic motivation.
Advantages of freelancing:
- Controlling your own hours without leaving the comfort of your home every week.
- Selecting and vetting your own projects and clients.
- Building your brand online.
- Experiencing a variety of cultures across the globe.
Disadvantages of freelancing:
- It’s not for everyone. It’s only for those who have the self-starter aka ‘be your own boss’ mentality.
- Lack of an office/company structure.
- Finding and funding your own healthcare and disability insurance.
How much can a management consultant-turned-freelancer earn?
We won’t build castles in the sky for you, but we know you have what it takes as a successful self-starter. This depends on the hours you choose to work and the hourly rate you wish to charge. Generally, this hourly rate may vary from $50 to $500. The rate, of course, depends on the industry you serve and the location of the client. Before you reach higher hourly rates, you should focus on branding yourself as a management consultant via efficient networking, garnering positive reviews, and various advertising services. Nevertheless, you need to be consistent, self-motivated and dedicated to the profession to build a stellar reputation online.
Where can you begin?
If you have enough contacts, networking abilities and already built a brand image, you can simply start your career as a freelancer. This requires quite a bit of bootstrapping on your part. Another option is to join online platforms that connect skilled professionals to businesses via posted projects. There are excellent websites/forums that allow you to join free of charge. So, please don’t get suckered into paying an upfront fee.
To brand yourself as a management consultant within these platforms, you need to develop your social networking too. Maintain a comprehensive, professional profile with LinkedIn.
Last but definitely not least, while establishing your career as a freelancer, it is imperative to scout around for affordable independent insurance policies. Please maintain your savings account on regular basis and don’t forget a retirement plan, too.