Mainly I'll answer this question for university graduates who are just
starting their careers. If you are already established as an expert then just
skip down the the final paragraph.
If you have just graduated then it's unlikely that you would be considered an
expert in what you do. Students who have done post-graduate studies often
think that they should be considered experts because of this. Generally when
seeking employment a post-graduate degree (including a doctorate) will only
help if you are seeking work in a research or academic environment - AFAIK
those organizations don't hire consultants except in very rare situations.
So as a graduate you won't be considered an expert. This doesn't mean that
you can't get a consulting role, just that you can't get one in a sane
organization. There are certain large
consulting organizations that will hire
graduates and send them out to client sites. But if you join one you'll be
a permanent employee with an average income and you won't feel like a serious
consultant. Basically you are unlikely to start consulting straight out of
university (there are some companies that hire graduates on consultant rates -
I don't know why they do it but if they do it for you then good luck)!
OK so now you are asking what you have to do first? Well that's simple, just
become an expert at something! ;) I believe that the best way to do this is to
work for a clueful company. Generally this means not working for a large
company as they generally have too much beuracracy. If you work for a small
(less than 100 employees) consulting, outsourcing, or software development
company then you are likely to find yourself in a clueful environment. Then
you have to learn as much as possible as quickly as possible. After a few
years you should then have an opportunity to seek consulting work. Be aware
though that such small companies generally pay less than big companies would.
In the long term you will be better off by working where you can learn the
most rather than where you can earn the most.
Now generally people don't just follow this plan to become a consultant (I only
know of one person who planned their career like this). They
usually work for some sort of consulting company and then get unsatisfied for
some reason which causes them to quit, then becoming an independant consultant
will seem like a good idea if they have the skills.
How do I get work as an independant consultant?
Back to main consultant pages.
Copyright © 1999 Russell
Coker, may be distributed freely.