Q. Why do you say consulting is different from just doing a job?
A. Consulting by its very nature responds to customer demands. This means consultants will often have no weekends, because there’s a crunch on, or because there’s an excellent networking opportunity at a client function held over the weekend, or because, in fact they’re working on a proposal for the next client.
Consulting is different from a job because very few consultants can have a 9 to 5 mentality. Even if their office is separate from their home they can spend hours there at all times of the day or night, responding to a client request, or anticipating one.
It’s different because the flipside to all that is that consultants can afford occasionally to go shopping in the middle of a working week, in the middle of a working day. Or they can take off Wednesday afternoon for golf, or take a month at Christmas time to work on their favourite hobby. There’s more freedom with consulting.
Most importantly, consulting can be better paid, but more erratic in payment than a job – it’s not always the case that the money is in the bank at the end of each fortnight to pay the consultant.
For a full discussion of the pros and cons of consulting, refer to the Australian Consultant’s Guide.