Being a project consultant is one of the most varied jobs out there. Not only do your employers change regularly, but also your colleagues, your location, and even the focus of your profession. In fact, as a project consultant you could find yourself jumping between different sectors several times a year. While this can be interesting and invigorating, an overly generalized field of work can limit your achievements and prove increasingly stressful.
Finding the right consulting jobs is a process of self-exploration and learning – while it may see you dedicating more of your time, energy, and resources to training and self-improvement in the short term; if you learn how to cherry pick perfect contracts and sell yourself to the right employers, you are likely to see a much greater return on your work in the future.
The first step to finding the consulting jobs that suit you and that you can succeed most at is specialization. It is likely that as a consultant you come from a particular background, be it I.T or Not For Profit, there is probably somewhere that most of your skills stem from. If this is where you want to be, focus on being the best – and if it isn’t, focus on adapting yourself to your new field. Become an authority in your consulting niche by sharing your expertise with people via online learning platforms such as Udemy. Specializing in a field you are most passionate about will see your performance improve immediately, but it will also give you a greater thirst to improve, and drive you to give more to your clients. Once you build up a robust background in your chosen area, you are likely to see your specialization snowball, getting you more and more contracts that are better paid, and trust your judgment.
Whether or not a position seems perfect for you, you can’t control the nature of the client, their company, and the deliverables they have hired you to achieve. That said, most clients want a dynamic and invested consultant with their own ideas and input. Be sure to shape the project around you – remember that your input is actually most important as you develop the contract and a more detailed plan, otherwise you could end up working on an inflexible project that you don’t enjoy, and that doesn’t suit you. If you think that something needs to change – state that from the get go and use your experience and expertise to establish a sense of ownership over your project and see it succeed.
Open communication from the beginning of the project is key to striking up a happy and healthy relationship with your clients. Clarify your contract, your responsibilities, and your reporting relationships. If there’s part of the project you are unclear about, be sure to get a second explanation – similarly if there is something you are excited about taking on, make it known to the rest of the team.
The most important part of finding and securing that perfect contract is by introducing your professional profile properly. If you are a consultant who rocks at something in particular, then publicize it, if you have you have a background in one thing but are focusing on another, make sure that information is available too. You never know what hidden gems lie in a comprehensive resume. Something you may consider irrelevant or uninteresting might just be the deciding factor to a potential client searching for something very specific.
Of course, before you can deploy any of these tactics to grasp great consulting jobs, you need to find those jobs in the first place. While job sites and agencies can give you a wide selection of opportunities to choose from, it is networking that will reward you with the most suitable positions. To find contracts that are perfect for your needs, fill up your contact book and market yourself to relevant professionals in your target sector. Print good business cards, attend events, and keep your online profiles carefully updated.
By becoming an instructor on Udemy, you are supported throughout the process of developing a high quality multimedia course which is 100% owned by you. Use these materials to your advantage, showing off your skills, and attracting students to supplement your income. If a consultant can boast that they teach something, they are more than qualified to manage a project in the same field.
As you begin to narrow in on your ideal consulting jobs and brush up on your networking and negotiation skills, expect to see better suited jobs, more freedom, and greater work satisfaction.