The transition from working for a single company to consulting for many different ones, which I went through a few years ago, was interesting in many ways. It was hard moving to the other side of the table — whereas in previous positions I had interviewed and vetted various consulting companies and contractors, now I was in the position of being interviewed, being vetted, on some level always looking for the next project.
There is an illusion of being your own boss, but really as I tell my kids, it just means you have lots of bosses instead of just one.
On the flip side, I’ve gotten to see tremendous potential in the consulting model, particularly the one that we strive for, aimed at giving our clients and partners the exact services they need at the right time to provide the maximum value to the company.
By the by, we as an organization learn and benefit from the diversity of projects we are involved with. In a sense, each client benefits from the ones who came before (and from projects going on at the same time), and they pay it forward when we use techniques learned or acquired on their project for the next.
In our long-term engagements, this comes back around and around, as projects accelerate and slow down, start and stop, each wave sending off lessons learned to other projects, and then re-claiming those rewards when things start back up again. Throughout, our partners have access to resources on-demand and an ever-growing bag of tech tricks and toolsets.
From any side of the table, I think that’s a winning combination.