For the past five years, I’ve been a consultant at Taos. People have asked me, “why are you a consultant, don’t you want a full time job?” The answer is that consulting is my full time job, though in the past I’ve had full time roles, been an independent freelancer, and run my own company. Let me explain some of the reasons why consulting is a great career option compared to staying in full time roles for the whole of your career.
Like most consultants who’ve been in the game for more than a year or two, I periodically receive opportunities to “convert” to being a full time employee, either with our clients or from third parties who’ve heard of me through the grapevine. It’s always flattering, I always appreciate the gesture, and I always politely decline the offer.
Why? On the face of it, this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. As a consultant, I generally don’t get the chance to gain equity in my clients. Compensation generally takes the form of cash rather than an ownership stake, and as for the rest of the typical fringe benefit suite? Forget it! As a consultant, I frequently find myself sitting next to the printer breathing toner. (“Sorry about that, it was the last available seat we had…”)