If you’re like many people, you are an expert at something. If it’s something others want help with, you may be able to turn your talent into a part-time or full-time job as a consultant.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of management consultants is “expected to grow 22 percent over the 2006-16 decade, much faster than the average for all occupations.”
If you’re currently employed, you might be able to add to your income by starting a consulting business from home on a part-time basis.
With low start-up costs, the freedom to do work that you love, and the potential for significant income, it’s no wonder consulting is a popular career career choice in any economy.
What Consultants Do
The University of Chicago’s Career and Placement Services defines business consultants as: “Problem solvers and advisors who contribute an objective point of view.”
While some consultants are paid simply to give advice, others provide hands-on help in their area of expertise. For example, a sales consultant might recommend a training program for a company, or the consultant might actually present the training program to the company’s salespeople.
But it’s not just business experts who can get paid to consult. Any skills you have that can help other people may be a possible source of income.
For example, if you know how to makeover people to look fabulous, you could become an image consultant. If you love traveling and know how to get a great deal, you could become a travel consultant. If you have experience planning weddings, you could become a wedding consultant (also known as a wedding planner).
If You Are Currently Employed
If you are currently employed, here are some questions to consider before starting a consulting business:
- Should I quit my job and start my consulting business on a full-time basis?
- Should I remain at my current job and start a consulting business on the side?
- Would my employer let me keep my job on a part-time basis so I could be available to meet with clients during business hours and have a secure source of income while I’m getting my business off the ground?
- If I leave my job to start my own consulting business could my current employer become one of my clients?
What Kind of Consultant Could You Be? recruitment
If you’re interested in becoming a consultant, but you’re not sure what people would be willing to pay you for, start by doing an inventory of your skills.
To do an inventory, you simply list the skills you have that many other people do not have. Your skills, which might also be called your talents or unique abilities, are the things you know how to do that other people need information about or need help doing.