How Consulting Saved My Client’s Career
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I hope you and your family are staying safe and well in these uncertain times.
We’re in a tough climate filled with unknowns.
Unemployment is rising at an alarming rate. Companies are filing for bankruptcy. We’ve learned the difference between “layoffs” and “furloughs”. And economists say we’re heading toward the worst downturn the world has ever seen.
Times like these are a stark reminder of the tremendous value of having a reliable income stream. Even multiple income streams.
It Can Happen to Anyone
Take my client Terry (not her real name) for example. She had worked her way up to a managerial role in the most prestigious company in the sector. She was doing work she loved.
It even came with a six-figure salary, her own office, and a growing team to support her efforts. And there was plenty of room to grow into more senior level roles in the organization.
It was early 2008 and things were going well.
But then came the economic downturn that’s been called The Great Recession.
The Frustrations of Waiting
The company had to downsize the business and Terry’s role was one of the many that were eliminated.
Out of a job for the first time in a decade, Terry wasn’t sure what to do. Most people in her network were downsizing their organizations or looking for jobs themselves so they couldn’t help. (Terry’s “note to self” was: “pay more attention to building a broader network in the future!”)
Her outreach to headhunters wasn’t yielding results. It was frustrating to sit at home waiting for them to return her calls. And it felt demoralizing to find that those who did call back presented roles that were too junior to consider seriously.
Waiting patiently wasn’t getting her closer to finding a job and it certainly wasn’t helping her pay the bills.
That’s when Terry decided to take matters into her own hands.
Becoming a Consultant
Several of her former colleagues had set up their own independent consulting businesses and she thought, “if they can do this, I can too.”
For the next three years, she became a successful business consultant with a variety of clients who valued the expertise she had developed earlier on in her career.
As a consultant, she had the freedom to set her own hours and choose which clients she wanted to work for. No more “bad bosses”! She loved being able to add value while also learning about new sectors and developing new skills.
Best of all, she generated an income stream that ultimately equaled and then exceeded what she was earning before the downturn. And she could dial her earnings up or down by choosing which projects to take or turn down.
This work led to an attractive job offer with one of her consulting clients, which she took (and that’s when she became a client of mine). And she’s been flourishing ever since.
A Powerful Benefit in an Unpredictable World
For Terry, consulting was a great way to bridge the period between corporate jobs. And her consulting experience has given her confidence that she can land on her feet no matter what happens in her career.
For me, consulting provided my first income stream when I left my 24-year career to write a book. It started with one client as a “side project” and grew into my broader coaching and facilitating work.
Whether it’s an income stream that supplements your “day job” or your main source of earnings, consulting can be a powerful option for having greater control over your own destiny.
And that’s a powerful benefit for anyone’s career… especially in today’s unpredictable world.
Free Training on Successful Business Consulting
If you’d like to explore whether becoming an independent consultant is right for you and how to go about it, check out my friend Ted Demopolous’ free training on Successful Business Consulting.
Ted is a highly successful independent consultant with three decades of experience and has also helped professionals start and build their own consulting practices.
In his free training, Ted shares his insights on how to get started and become successful based on his 30 years of experience as a consultant.
Free Training: Successful Business Consulting in Good Times and Not So Good Times
There is a Chinese saying that ‘When you are poor/down/stuck, you need to CHANGE (your thinking, way of working, strategies, etc). Once you did that, you will pull through.’ I find it so poignant, as people tend to sit there and wallow in their self pity instead of looking outside the square.
Many thanks for sharing this Chinese saying, Angela.
Indeed, taking action and making a change in one’s outlook and thinking are necessary to creating their better future… outside the “square” they find themselves in!