Last week, on our LIVE Resume Teardown, one of our clients announced that he’d secured a consulting engagement.
Both Olivia and I were almost euphoric!
His response…underwhelmed, at best.
We get it.
Even after a prolonged search wrought with the online application “blackhole” and bouts of age discrimination, we helped him fix his approach – resulting in more success.
But, a consulting opportunity? Really?
After all, what he wants is a full time job.
Enter…the Unconventional Truth.
First, stability and full time employment are mutually exclusive.
The days of relying on full-time employment as the path to long-term stability are long gone. (Actually, I’d submit they never really existed at all).
Stability resides in you. Your ability to identify where you add the most value in an organization (whether you’re currently employed there -or- are seeking employment) AND building a reputation for delivering on those outcomes.
This “body of work” is your real resume. Reputation management coupled with a network of relationships to showcase that you deliver the goods.
But that’s only part of the LARGER POINT…
The nature of jobs has changed.
More and more companies are hiring consultants so they can a) focus on solving specific problems with highly trained, precision subject matter experts and b) control their own costs more effectively.
And, if you have 20+ years experience, you are prime for this market.
This market is courting you – and with good reason.
It’s not to say you shouldn’t want full time employment in a non-consulting role.
Quite the opposite. If that’s your objective, keep after it.
But consulting isn’t the enemy. Actually, it’s a multiplier in your hunt for the next opportunity.
And not just because it’s generating revenue.
It provides critical validation. If you’re looking at a new role or making a shift in your career, testing is critical. This is one of those things that most other “experts” ignore completely. In large part, because it requires work.
And, if we’re honest, it demands a strategy and system. Again, most don’t have that…which is why they focus on keywords, job descriptions and resume updates.
But, when you land a consulting engagement, it lets you know that the market is willing to pay you for the solution. While you might be tempted to focus on the fact that it’s “temporary,” don’t.
Temporary is temporary. Once you have a foothold in a company, you can exploit it. You get to see where else you can add value. This position allows you insider access to other opportunities to grow your role with this company.
So what if they told you “it’s a 6-month engagement and we don’t plan to make is permanent?” That’s largely irrelevant because who knows what other problems you’ll uncover that you can solve during your time there.
Now you have leverage. This position allows you to take what you’re doing (particularly if it’s a new area for you) and use it to find another opportunity.
No, you are not “locked in.” A reservation we hear from a lot of clients is the concern that a “x – month” consulting engagement limits their options because it takes them off the market.
You aren’t wed to this company any more than if they hired you as a full time employee.
A huge confidence booster. In addition to being validated by way of payment, we’ve seen enormous changes in attitude and confidence with clients when they have a more stable footing.
We all know it’s easier to find a job when you have a job…and a consulting engagement is no different.
Post your comments below and let us know your thoughts.
Like this article? Please share it! We can keep the blog and videos both ad-free and sponsor-free ONLY because you share our work!