How to break into consulting

By Metro News

Many older adults choose to trade in the regular hours of 9 to 5 when they retire to delve into a much more personally guided passion: consulting. Generally, consulting is a term loosely given to providing business advice and sharing expertise without working directly for a company. Consultants lend their knowledge and flair for problem-solving to guide companies on topics such as marketing, operational improvement and even staffing, according to My Consulting Offer.

Consultants do not often work for the company they are assisting but may be brought in on a contractual basis for a set period of time.

The Balance: Money advises that consultants typically can earn more per hour as consultants than they would if they were actual staff members on payroll.Consulting may attract people considering retirement because of the flexibility it provides. Those unsure about how to get started in the field of consulting can consider this rundown of what it takes to pursue this option.

Knowledge of key concepts

Consultants provide guidance in any number of areas, but skills in these disciplines are highly desirable:

  • data analysis
  • project management
  • management
  • reporting
  • ethics
  • human resources/hiring
  • finance and economics
  • public relations and marketing

Work your network

Getting started in consulting may just be a matter of picking up where you left off. Reach out to past employers who benefitted from your work to see if they might need consulting services. Even if there aren’t any opportunities there, former employers may put you in touch with other businesses who need your services.

Also speak with friends, neighbors and other acquaintances to see if they may be able to help you find the right consulting opportunity.

Get certified

While certification and extensive education, including master’s degrees, may not be needed to get into consulting, they certainly can set you apart from others. Explore industry-specific certification, certified management consulting certification or project management consulting certification to refresh your skills. These certifications also may show employers that you are committed to consulting.

Polish up your resume

Consultants are billed as experts in their fields or areas of concentration. Make sure your resume points to concrete examples of positive client outcomes and use it to emphasize your prior successes.

Expect to be a problem-solver

Consulting requires figuring out what is missing and filling that void. That means staying on top of your industry and determining which solutions will fix specific problems the industry may be facing. Consulting may be the next path for retirees who are looking for a flexible way to get back into the workforce.