to the the BTI interview of Bruce Katcher.
to Mike Carruthers'radio interview with Bruce Katcher, "Working For
Yourself" on the "Something You Should Know" radio show.
High unemployment and an iffy job market cause a lot of people
to think about starting their own business as a consultant.
Our new book is now available.
about the book
Finding a good job often takes a long time, but
unfortunately your household bills keep coming every month whether you are
employed or not. Earning consulting income while looking for a job can bring in
needed cash but can also distract you from your job search and confuse your
network about whether you really want to find another job or become a
This article talks about 7 ways to manage this
Please feel free to forward this message to those you
know who are in transition or at a job but relish the idea of going out on
Bruce L. Katcher,
President, Discovery Surveys
ready to ask for help?
If you need help launching
your consulting business, accelerating your consulting practice, or finding the
right job, call me at 781-784-4367 to discuss whether it would make sense for
me to serve as your mentor and coach.
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to Land Interim Consulting Work
During Your Job Search
By Bruce Katcher,
Founder and Executive Director The Center for Independent Consulting
- PROMOTE YOUR CONSULTING SERVICES JUDICIOUSLY.
I typically advise new consultants to
send an announcement to everyone they know. If, however, you really are
planning on finding another job, then sending an announcement about your
consulting could be counterproductive.
Tell only your closest and most trusted contacts that
you are still looking for a job but can help them or people they know on a
consulting basis if they need assistance.
- DON'T BECOME A COMMUTER.
Avoid a consulting assignment where you
are required to be on site full time or even several days a week. You need to
maintain the flexibility of your schedule so that you can make job
search-related activities (i.e., telephone calls, emails, and attending
networking meetings and job interviews) your major priority.
- DON'T SELL YOUR TIME.
Don't put yourself in the position of
having to decide, "Should I work for another hour so that I can charge my
client a little more today or attend that networking meeting?"
Try to avoid charging by the hour or the day. You
still want to own your time. If you charge for your time, you will be looking
at your watch, your client will be looking at his or her watch, and your
valuable time will be used primarily to service your client rather than search
for your next job.
- SELL DELIVERABLES OR RESULTS.
Instead of charging for your time, charge
for deliverables (e.g., a report summarizing your findings) or results (e.g.,
increased revenue). That way, you will be held accountable for what your client
needs, rather than the amount of time you spend providing it.
- CONSIDER THE RETAINER MODEL.
Another way to maintain control of your
schedule is to work for your client on a retainer basis.
For example, labor attorneys often charge a fixed
monthly fee for a minimum of 6-12 months to be available to offer their advice
when needed on complex legal issues. They don't tie their fee to the time they
spend. (That would be charging for their time.) They make it clear what
services are within and outside of the scope of the retainer relationship so
that they are protected from having all of their time monopolized by one
client. Often they price their retainer fee for less than their hourly rate to
make it more enticing for their client.
- CONSIDER SUBCONTRACTING.
Generally, serving as a subcontractor to
other consultants who need help on projects is not a great practice for
independent consultants because the client is not yours and you can't charge
what you would get if they were your client.
However, for those who are really seeking a job,
subcontracting is a great way to land business quickly. Just make certain that
you are not commuting daily or selling your time in ways that make it difficult
for you to search for your job.
Think about reaching out to those consultants you
hired while you were employed at your last job. They might need your
assistance. Also, it is probably very important to them to maintain a good
relationship with you because when you land your next job they will be anxious
for you to hire them again.
- CONSIDER CONSULTING THAT CAN LEAD TO FULL TIME WORK.
Another good possibility, of course, is
for you to take on a consulting assignment that has the potential to lead to a
full time position. You might even be willing to commute and sell your time if
you think that there is a strong possibility that the consulting assignment
could turn into a full time job. Make it clear, however, to your client that
you will need time off periodically to continue your job search. Then it is
your challenge to impress them to the point where they just feel they have to
hire you full time.
You can have your cake (i.e., earning
consulting income) and eat it too (still actively search for the job you
desire). You just need to take the proper precautions to make certain that your
consulting does not interfere with your job search.
Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D.
is an Industrial/Organizational psychologist, president of Discovery Surveys,
and Executive Director of The Center for Independent Consulting (www.CenterforIndependentConsulting.com).
He is author of "An Insider's Guide to Building a Successful Consulting
Practice" (AMACOM) and "30 Reasons Employees Hate Their Managers"
(AMACOM). Reach out to Dr. Katcher for consulting assistance at
or Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/BruceKatcher).
- What People Are Saying About My Book on Consulting
I received a letter this past week from a
consultant in Baltimore, MD saying, "I recently read An Insider's Guide to
Building a Successful Consulting Practice. I am writing to tell you how much I
enjoyed your book. I started my firm in September of this year. Your book was a
huge help. There are lots of books and websites out there but none of them
provide the practical advice your book offers. I also appreciate your
transparency as you highlighted not just your successes but also your
Click here to read what other people are saying about my
book, An Insider's Guide to Building a Successful Consulting Practice.
If you or someone you know needs help
starting or growing a consulting business, contact me at 781-784-4367 or
Signed copies of my book, "An
Insider's Guide to Building a Successful Consulting Practice" (AMACOM,
2010), are now available. Signed copies are available through the
store on our website. Download a free copy of the introduction and first
chapter at the online store. You can also purchase an unsigned copy through
your favorite on-line bookstore.
The free Executive Summary Report
of a Survey of 200 Successful Independent Consultants is available for
The report describes how independent consultants get started and
Copyright © 2013, The Center for Independent
Consulting and Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. This publication may be freely
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