Thinking about making the switch from a permanent role to consulting? Working with a recruiter and adapting to a new employment structure can seem daunting – but the pros at Queen Consulting Group can help you navigate the transition to a new consulting career and make the choice that’s best for you.
Emily H., a new addition to the QCG team, chose to do just that. We sat down with Emily to find out what information was important in making her decision to become a consultant, and what real-world advice she had for someone planning a similar move.
QCG: How long were you working in a permanent position prior to this consultant assignment?
Emily: I had worked with my previous employer for 4 ½ years before moving into my current role as a consultant.
QCG: What factors did you consider as you were deciding between the two choices?
Emily: I reached the point where I wanted to do something different, but I wasn’t certain if I wanted to take on a new role at my previous company or if I wanted to go on the job market and try my luck at another career and/or another company. I wasn’t on the market long before the idea of working as a consultant came up and I decided to strongly consider it.
- Ultimately, it came down to the same factors whether I considered full-time employment or consulting:
Does the company culture feel like a good fit?
- Do we have similar values?
- Will I have more, less, or the same work-life balance?
- Does it seem that, not only will I be compensated for the value I bring to the organization, will I also be recognized and acknowledged for the value I bring?
- Will there be opportunities for professional growth?
Once I started interviewing with potential new employers, I felt more at home with both Queen Consulting Group, and the company with whom I am currently contracting. It was an easy decision once I got to know both parties better.
QCG: Making this switch, what were you most concerned about? Excited about?
Emily: I was very nervous at first about taking a consulting role as I had only had one previous experience with contract employment during graduate school, where I signed a contract each semester to teach courses at the university. However, I didn’t have the benefit of a firm, like Queen Consulting Group, who could negotiate terms with my interests in mind. Having someone in your corner definitely helps.
Because Queen Consulting Group has been such an advocate for me as a professional, the nervousness that I initially felt about taking a consulting role quickly disappeared. I’m happy that I’ve been able to work towards building expertise in a particular field and for the chance to broaden and deepen my skill set. I’m also excited to learn more about the industry (healthcare) and am enjoying the opportunity to work in this field as a writer.
QCG: What have you encountered that was unexpected or different than you had imagined?
Emily: At first, I thought that my coworkers at my contract assignment would treat me like a contract worker, not like an official team member – but this is not at all the case. They have been as welcoming as possible. The same goes for Queen Consulting Group. I’ve been incredibly lucky with both companies in that I feel like I am part of the team.
I also thought that I would really only focus on the tasks for which I was hired but, in the last few weeks, I have been asked to assist with planning and executing the contract company’s annual conference for their customers. I wasn’t expecting to work on this but it’s been really fun to help out. I feel like they see me as an asset and a team member, not just a consultant.
QCG: What advice would you give to someone thinking about making the transition to consulting work?
Emily: Find a consulting firm that will be in your corner and will have your interests in mind. As a consultant, you want an ally who will take care of you. If your consulting firm makes you feel like you’re a priority from the very beginning, they’re likely to contract with organizations that will treat you the same way. That’s key.
It can feel scary to know that your contract expires in a set amount of time. But, you might be offered full-time employment or you might find that you’ve sharpened your skills and are ready to move on to the next challenge. Consulting work comes with options by nature and can yield more opportunities than are possible in a traditional, full-time employment situation. Ultimately, be open to it – and do what is right for you.
If you are a top performer looking for opportunities to advance your career, the expert recruiters at Queen Consulting Group are ready to connect you to your ideal job. Contact us today to learn more about our commitment to your success.