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Going Solo 1: Unleash Your Potential
The Benefits of Shifting from Employee to Self-Employed Solo Consultant
You can look at your work through three lenses: Freedom, Fortune and Fame.
Today more and more technical professionals are ‘going solo’, embracing the transformation from being an employee to becoming self-employed.
Though challenging, becoming an independent consultant offers several benefits.
🎛️ 1. Control and Flexibility:
The biggest advantage of becoming a solo consultant is the level of control and flexibility you gain over your work.
As an independent consultant, you decide the clients you want to work with, the projects you take on, the rate of your services, and even the times you work.
This flexibility can lead to a better work-life balance, giving you the opportunity to enjoy your personal interests more. To me, this represents freedom, which is my number one priority.
💵 2. Finances:
As a self-employed consultant, your earning potential is often significantly higher than what you could earn as an employee.
Your rates are determined by your unique skillset, expertise, and the market demand for your services. There is no salary cap to limit your income growth and there are many tax benefits available.
This is the fortune lens, and while it may not be paramount, you need money to live.
📈 3. Diversification:
Consulting offers a greater variety of experiences and challenges, allowing you to develop and refine your skills faster than in a traditional employment setting. The diversity of projects keeps your work interesting and stimulating, pushing you to learn and adapt.
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🔐 4. Security:
Although it may seem counterintuitive, being a solo consultant can actually provide more job security. Although it must be said that a ‘job’ cannot be considered secure in today’s context.
Rather than depending on a single employer for your income, as a consultant, you will have multiple clients. This reduces your reliance on a single income source and minimises the risk if a job ends unexpectedly.
💥 5. Fulfilment:
There's something truly fulfilling about taking the leap into independent consultancy. You are recognised for your expertise (the Fame component) and are free to make decisions that directly impact the success of your business.
This autonomy can lead to a greater sense of achievement and satisfaction from your work. It also enables getting ‘back on the tools’ and practicing the skills and expertise you enjoy in solving problems and developing solutions.
🤹 6. Skills:
As a self-employed consultant, you’re not only a technical professional, but also a business owner. You'll need to have (or learn) essential skills such as marketing, financial management, contract negotiation, and client relationship management.
These new skills will broaden your professional horizons and can open new opportunities in the future. Transitioning from an employee to a self-employed solo consultant is certainly not without challenges, including instability in income, the burden of administrative tasks, and the potential for isolation.
However, with a well-thought-out plan, adequate preparation, and a willingness to embrace both the rewards and challenges that come with independence, the shift can be highly beneficial for technical professionals.
The freedom, financial potential, and diverse experiences that independent consultancy offers can provide a fulfilling and dynamic career pathway.
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📝About the Author
Phil Charles is the author of a series of practical guides on Essential Career Skills to help technical professionals develop non-technical skills and get things done with less stress. Learn essential skills to protect your future.
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