Organizations everywhere are on the lookout for skilled accounting, finance and business systems consultants to lead mission-critical projects or serve in interim management roles. Recognizing this trend, many finance professionals are making the switch from full-time work to management consulting jobs. They are lured by a combination of benefits: the diversity of projects, the opportunity to earn high pay for short-term assignments and the ability to work a flexible schedule while broadening their professional horizons.
How do you find work as an executive consultant? Your first thought may be to strike out on your own, but you can make the job search much easier by working with a staffing service that specializes in management consulting jobs.
Here are three reasons you should consider establishing a relationship with a reputable firm:
You expand your network
You may have a stellar LinkedIn profile and a deep well of contacts, but developing a client base still takes time. Marketing yourself through lunch meetings, job interviews and in-person client calls can quickly eat up the time you'd otherwise spend on paying projects.
Specialized staffing agencies already have a wealth of marketing resources and an established track record of providing management consulting jobs to clients. With their far-reaching roster of clients, you can start working right away and build up your consulting portfolio quickly. If you sign on with a reputable firm with multiple locations and a worldwide presence, the opportunity to expand your network — and consulting engagements — increases.
You grow your skill set
A staffing agency can offer you variety and choice in terms of location, duration and project focus. Say you specialize in budgeting or strategic analysis, but you're interested in learning more about financial optimization. A staffing specialist will work hard to help you gain the knowledge to branch out into other management consulting jobs, and, in the meantime, you can take on other consulting and interim assignments that appeal to you.
Also, staying current with in-demand skills is easier with a well-established staffing firm. The best ones offer free skills development opportunities, including e-learning options.
You maximize your consulting time
When you go it alone as a consultant, you reap all the advantages of entrepreneurship, such as freedom and direct payment. However, with independence comes greater responsibility, particularly in terms of administrative tasks. Independent contractors have to negotiate their own contracts and obtain any necessary paperwork, such as insurance documentation, on their own. They also have to handle all the accounting for their work, from invoicing to payment.
If you work with a staffing agency, these tasks are handled for you, leaving you more time to take on management consulting jobs. Moreover, many leading firms offer consultant benefits, such as access to health insurance — enabling you to take one more thing off your to-do list.