The Opportunity of Consultancy in Today’s Job Market

Lake Effects Blog

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Do you have the skills to market yourself as an independent consultant?  Many of the professionals that enter into the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management may be motivated to transition beyond their current career and segue into a new independent career direction.

The concept of employment without borders (consultancy) is a growing phenomenon, so if you have found your growth opportunities as a part time or full time consultant, you are not alone.  Digital connectivity has never been greater and employers as well as skilled professionals are exploring the opportunity to gain valuable connections as well as a diversity of international business experience.  What could be more valuable to the business professional than gaining that global perspective to add depth to the understanding of process and marketing worldwide?

If you are a consultant you are part of that growing trend.   However if you have never consulted independently before, the concept might seem a little intimidating.  After all, the classic work environment and career trajectory has evolved to an expectation of developing a long career with one or two employers.  We’re going to discuss the trend and the impact that it has on both employment seekers as well as managers looking to recruit top talent.

Why Consultants Are a Growing Contingent in the Workforce

Some studies have suggested as much as 40% of the American workforce would be contingent (independently employed) within the next ten years.  That study and projection is based on data from “The Intuit 2020 Report” which suggested a number of factors that would lead to the shift in employment dynamic worldwide.

“As markets become more interconnected, small businesses will find new opportunities in specialized product and service niches that satisfy increasingly customized demands from their customers.  With continued credit shortages, enhanced “cloud” services, a broader contingent workforce and greater options for plug-and-play manufacturing, small businesses will rely on variable cost business models to adapt, respond and adjust to the ever-changing marketplace.”

With the escalating cost of doing business and the increasing convenience of using remote collaboration software to seamlessly join teams from across a city or around the world, some organizations are evaluating the advantage to outsourcing to consultants.   It makes sense as it provides the organization with top notch talent either for a project or for a launch or introductory phase of a product or service.

What is feeding the trend for freelance hires and employment?

  • Increased skills and availability of high skill set individuals.
  • Ability to define the work relationship to project or a limited term.
  • Opportunity for team learning from a new collaboration external to the organization.
  • Reduced labor costs with non-permanent hires.

When looking for a competitive advantage for an organization, the key points are compelling.  Does that mean that every organization should outsource exclusively?  No.  Experts agree that the core of your internal team is critical to the implementation of your business processes, which means salaried staff that have developed a productive long term rapport and methods.  However, if you are considering a special project that may require new expertise, it may present a unique cost effective solution.

What Is In It For You?

There are so many advantages to offering your expertise and services as an independent consultant.   It presents an opportunity to explore different Brands or products and services, and gain a more diverse business experience.   It is a great way to improve your portfolio and to make key contacts within multiple large organizations to build your network of referrals.   A Leadership MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management speaks to your professional caliber and  ability to integrate your skills into a variety of dynamic teams and management needs.

Whether you are returning for your MBA to advance your opportunities within your organization or to redefine your career path to a new and innovative direction, there are many avenues for MBA Graduates to explore as a qualified, independent consultant.

Share your comments with us!  Are you (or have you been) a consultant in the past?   What are some of the rewards and challenges of becoming an independent consultant?


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