Contemplating a career change to become an IT consultant but feeling overwhelmed by the many questions and challenges you face? You are not alone. These times are challenging and taking the leap to a consultant role may leave you with many questions. Will I have job security? How long will I be contracted at a client? Will I have continuous work and income? Will I have to travel? These are questions that I asked myself two years ago as I contemplated the move to a full-time IT consultant. I had these same questions and am happy to report that the benefits of consulting far outweigh the angst that I felt making a change.
About two and half year ago I was considering a change in my career. I wanted to challenge myself to do something different but was unsure about what I wanted to do next. I had heard about all the exciting work being done at Notch Above Consulting and a few months later Kate Parsons, Founder and Principal at Notch Above Consulting, reached out to me with a six-month contract opportunity. Even though I was anxious to start consulting, the decision to embark on a new path made the decision to take the assignment quick and easy. It was a great success and I have not looked back since.
After joining Notch Above Consulting, I have realized the many benefits of being a consultant. One is how I am able to challenge myself by having to learn new businesses, technologies and methodologies. I approach each client with an open mind, learn their business, try to see their problems and figure out the best solutions to help them improve. I enjoy building trust with partners and clients and becoming an extended part of their team by developing deep institutional knowledge.
Knowing and understanding the culture and personalities at a client is also what brings such success to the partnership. I become an extended member of their team and we all collaborate to solve problems. There is a sense of accomplishment when you bring your expertise to the table and can drive positive change and improvements.
What also excites me about being a consultant is not doing the same job every day. Each new assignment and client bring new learning opportunities and challenges. It allows me to continue to push myself and grow in my knowledge and expertise. I enjoy getting to meet new people with different backgrounds, experiences, and intellect. I thought I would miss being a mentor or coach from my previous role at an employer. However, consulting allows you to provide guidance and leadership and there are many opportunities to mentor and coach the people you are interacting with every day.
My uncertainty of job security, continuous work and income has been put to rest as I have had several continuous contracts from Notch Above Consulting. With the extensive years of experience of the team, we have proven to be able to add value, drive and deliver results. The long-standing relationships and network of our team have led to continuous contract opportunities.
One of the reservations most people have as they consider consulting is hopping on a plane every week to be at the client site to have the in-person interaction. Our team has great network of clients in the east coast, which allows for a number of potential contracts within a reasonable driving distance. Truth be told, during these difficult times I have missed the in-person connections you get by being at a client site and having one on one face time with people. However, we have been creative this year in cultivating the experience over Zoom and I look forward to travel to the client locations when things go back to normal.
As I reflect on the past two years working for Notch Above Consulting, I am so glad that I took the leap of faith and became a consultant. I encourage you to take action and follow your desires and passion. If you really want to become a consultant, don’t overthink it. Start moving in that direction, because the sooner that you take the first step, the sooner that you can actually get to the destination you desire.
Written by Vibha Indoliya, Program Director, Notch Above Consulting