Into every progressive career, a period of unemployment may fall. Whether it is the result of low employment in your geographic area, corporate restructuring and job loss, being fired from a role or walking away from a work environment that didn’t fit, unemployment happens. And it is unpleasant and stressful when it does.
Can consulting be a valuable career move for professionals who are switching careers, or while investigating new opportunities? If you have ever thought about consulting as a “side gig” to supplement your income or expand your portfolio, that is only two of several reasons that talented professionals should pursue consulting, at least once in their career.
Your Skills Are in Demand
Increasingly the demand for talented professionals goes unmet by organizations who find it difficult to recruit full-time executives or employees. Location has a tremendous bearing on a business’ ability to find the talented human resources they require to remain competitive. Large cities like London, for instance, have few problems finding people to fill essential roles, but suburban organizations may struggle, and this is true in every country.
If you are able to work remotely and you are a technology, digital marketing, advertising, graphic design or communications professional, you can easily subcontract as an independent consultant. Organizations unable to source full-time staff often outsource their needs, which is an ideal fit for a professional who is unemployed and job searching, while looking to replace income during the transitional period.
Networking Through Consulting
Many of the most coveted positions are not advertised, they are shared by word of mouth or recommendation. A professional network is essential to building your career, but if you are like many people, you may find networking awkward.
Consulting is an excellent opportunity to introduce yourself to new organizations and professionals within your industry. It is also a great way to segue into a new career, by consulting as a contractor in other niche sectors. As you grow your portfolio of consulting work, you can also earn referrals from clients that help you expand your professional branding and recognition.
Make sure to indicate on LinkedIn that you are currently consulting, and looking for a full-time salaried opportunity. It reflects well to employers and recruiters that you have the skills, talent and drive to subcontract, while you are waiting for your next career opportunity.
There are many websites that allow skilled consultants or individuals who are “just starting” to explore subcontract work online. Check out “The 15 Best Freelance Websites to Find Jobs” via Entrepreneur Magazine.