Going it alone: the pros and cons of consulting

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Pros continued:

  1. Satisfaction
    “It’s rewarding. Even just the first time you get your own business cards with your company name on them,” Allison said.
  2. Variety
    Even at a higher level, HR work can become repetitive because you’re likely to be focused on the same goals or industry over any number of months or years.
    “I like building things so I like being able to go in and help a company, then move on and help someone else,” Allison said.
  3. Balance
    “Even when you take a break, it’s not just walk or coffee,” Harper said. “I can do laundry or some gardening. I have dogs as well, and I can get my son from school.”


  1. Uncertainty
    “You have to be comfortable with there being a little more uncertainty than you usually have,” Allison said. With no regular paycheque its key to be comfortable with not knowing how you’re paying next year’s bills.
  2. Do it all yourself
    “Critical to consultancy is that you have to do everything yourself – from administration to bookkeeping to filing to contacting clients and being your own proofreader,” Harper said. She  now has a part-time bookkeeper, but estimates she spends 30% of her time on admin tasks.
  3. Always on
    “It’s very different to a corporate setting where you have your job and you go home at the end of the day,” she added. “As a consultant you tend to think about things 24/7.”
  4. Demanding clients
    Managers can vary in attitude and expectations, but at least they have an idea of your workload. Clients only know their own needs and goals so be prepared to manage those relationships and make sure you’re delivering.

See tomorrow's story in HRM for tips on getting started in consulting.

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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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