Dozens of colleagues have asked about working as a consultant and voiced numerous concerns about what they think they’ll experience as a traveling consultant. In this feature, I’ve compiled some of the pros and cons that I’ve experienced as a traveling consultant.
Be flexible and open to taking on new tasks. Not only will this help you grow as an individual, but by being open to new tasks and challenges, you demonstrate confidence in your abilities and that inspires others to have assurance in you as a professional and an expert in your field.
Variety of work and projects-
One of the reasons many individuals decide to become consultants in the first place. Being a traveling consultant definitely breaks the monotony of completing the same tasks every day in the same location. Some projects might be of short duration lasting a few weeks to months while others are longer and might even exceed 1 year with the same client. When one ends, another begins with new clients, new teammates, new tasks and new goals.
You will work with and meet a wide variety of people. When working as a consultant you will always assist others and your ability to help clients will aid in determining your success and the prospects of your employer. It is surprising the number of times I have been specifically requested for a project because of the referral of another client.
Some individuals prefer not to travel and if you are in this category then the consulting field might not be for you. There are many positions that might allow you to remain in your home city, however, it must be understood that this is not always a possibility due to different client needs.
Many people decide consulting is not for them and leave the profession within a year. Make sure you weigh all your options and get into consulting for the right reasons and that will be the key to enjoying the profession.
When starting new assignments, it might be difficult to locate the information you require especially if there are not already formal work processes in place. The duration of this period will differ from project-to-project, but it typically sorts itself out after a few weeks.
Clearly, for me, the pros of being a traveling consultant have far outweighed the cons, or else I would have left the industry a long time ago. I consider myself a superhero of consulting and love being flexible enough to perform in multiple roles as needed. Willie Nelson sums up my passion for client service in a few words:
*On the road again
Goin’ places that I’ve never been
Seein’ things that I may never see again
And I can’t wait to get on the road again*
*Songwriters: Willie Nelson
On the Road Again lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC