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For those looking to change their career and have thought about consulting, now may be the time for this hot career. Consulting firms generally look for subject matter expertise as well as project/program management skills when considering mid-career hires who don’t have consulting experience.
There are several ways you can approach consulting as a career alternative – as an independent (working as a review leads for both alternatives and some very high-level pros and cons for each.
Independent Consulting contractor
Pros: Allows independence as to clients and assignments you take. The per-hour pay tends to be higher for independent contractors. You develop direct relationships with your clients which can be leveraged into additional assignments and introductions to other potential clients. Some expenses related to your role as an independent may be tax deductible (speak to your Accountant). Lastly, this can be a viable short term alternative while you are looking for permanent full-time employment if consulting is not your long term career goal.
Cons: You may have gaps in assignments which will create gaps in billable hours ($). You must find your own clients or sub-contract with a third-party consulting firm. Your benefits are not covered, so you will need to pay for these yourself. Vacations are not paid.
Direct Consulting Employee
Pros: Gives you the full backing of a consulting firm. Less pressure regarding assignments as these should be scheduled by your firm. Full benefits (generally) as well as paid vacation. Upside potential for increased bonus for additional assignments/work identified.
Cons: Less control over assignments, pay is likely to be lower than an independent.
- Accenture – Accenture is a well known, highly respected consulting firm.
- Boston Consulting Group – Also a very well known and highly respected consulting firm.
- Gartner Research – Gartner provides an overview of company as well as the ability to explore opportunities by business unit. I didn’t see a specific link to add a profile, but you can apply through the search jobs function.
- Capgemini – Capgemini also provides company background, career opportunities as well as how to apply for specific opportunities. There is a split between functional roles: Consulting Services, Technology Services, Outsourcing Services, Financial Services and Local Professional Services. It looks like you must decide which of the functional roles you would like to explore and conduct your search from the functional area. The site also allows registration.
- Capco – The site provides company background, recruitment events (none are scheduled at the moment) and job search. If you click “apply for a job with us” you can submit your resume/cv.
- Sologig – This website provides leads/potential assignments for freelance (independent) contractors and consultants. Similar to job search sites, this is a clearing house of assignments for both employers and contractors.
- Consulting/Freelance – Extensive About.com website which provides resources for independent consultants and freelancers. Site includes a wide range of information on how to get started, what you need (rates, taxes, contracts, etc.). This is an excellent resource for those who are just getting started in freelancing as well as already established freelancers
- Independent Consulting Bootcamp – This site provides tons of information that can help you make decisions about your career as an independent consultant.