Consultants Practice Always-on Career Management

By Scot Herrick | Job Search

Jun 10

Consultants work at the beat of a different drummer. Not the salespeople selling the gigs to your management, but the consultants who come in and do the work once there is a signed contract.

A consultant works differently when it comes to managing their career compared with a typical knowledge worker: they practice career management all the time.

Working for a consulting company is different then working as an employee for a company. In a consulting company, you are always looking for the next gig. Always. Even if your contract is for a year, you are always looking.

The reason you are looking is that if you don’t, you won’t have a job. A consultant, when not working, “sits on the bench,” a term that means the person has costs, but no revenue. Sitting on the bench too long and you have no worth to the company and are let go.

For an individual consultant, that translates to always-on career management.

Most of you are not consultants – but are told that you should treat your job with your company as if you were one.

Four questions:

How would you treat your work if you were a consultant and your three month project was ending?

What would you be doing right now to ensure that you had another gig in your company?

What job skills would you need to know to take on the next work event in your department?

Who would you need to talk with about securing the next project in the department?