Going it alone: the pros and cons of consulting

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TallSky Consulting owner Eileen Harper always had the entrepreneurial spirit so after many years working in the public sector background she knew she wanted to run own business, preferably from her home base so she could have the flexibility to care for her young son. A decade later she’s still happy with her choice, although she acknowledges there are some downsides.

“I’ve been doing this for 10 years and I find people will often consult for two or three years and then return to corporate,” Harper said. “It could be that it’s not their cup of tea, but you also have to consider that I don’t know what I’m doing six months from now. Some people don’t like that sense of not knowing.”

Epitome HR owner Jamie Allison knew he wanted to own his own business for a long time and crafted his career path to suit that goal, working in a variety of industries and building contacts.

Allison said one of the pluses for him was the variety of the work and the ability to work in areas he was passionate about, such as campus recruiting and setting up a leadership conference.

“Obviously there will be times when I can’t choose, but as long as you can get the work coming in I think it allows you a little more control over what you’re doing and how you do ,” Allison said. “Entrepreneurs do have to spend more time working, but you get more control over when and what you do.”

Pros

  1. Flexibility
    Both consultants include caring for their children and adjusting to their schedules in the pluses for consulting. Harper is also training for her first Ironman competition so she can train 12 to 3pm if the weather is nice, unlike her corporate colleagues who have to either start before 5am or after 6pm.

Satisfaction and variety vs uncertainty and demand. See Page Two for the rest of the pros and cons.


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  • Paddi on 2014-08-18 3:49:02 PM

    I have more than 25 years of HR experience, the last 7 of which have been as an independant consultant. Surrounding myself with a team who complement my skills and style has been very instrumental in our success and allows me to focus on my core competencies.

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