Join a Business Consulting Firm or Work Independently?

You may just be starting out or actively involved in the consulting industry as a professional freelancer. You’ve recently received a great offer from a business consulting firm. However, you’re not sure whether to join an organization or to continue on your own. While being your own boss sounds great, it takes time and effort to build a successful enterprise. Ultimately, the decision you make will depend on your current needs and goals for the future.

The Dawn of Independence
As an independent professional, you may work alone or hire a team of professionals to work by your side and pick up the slack. You will be able to set your own hours, allowing you to work around other responsibilities and function at a comfortable pace. By starting your own business, you will also have an opportunity to choose the clients you take on and tackle only the projects that YOU decide are appealing.

Of course, working on your own may limit your ability to access various forms of health insurance and other perks, such as access to sophisticated computers, programs, and equipment, or perhaps even a company vehicle. Most companies will offer medical and dental benefits, along with a salaried structure, resulting in peace of mind and financial security. Working for someone else may be undesirable when you want to take a few days off, but it can also help you make solid plans for the future.

Working Through the Pros and Cons
Choosing between independence and a group setting can be exhausting. When faced with such a decision, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can you thrive without a predictable income?
  • Is your personal insurance coverage adequate?
  • Do you have trouble taking orders from others?
  • Would you prefer to follow your own schedule?
  • And are you motivated enough to get work done without someone pushing you to do so?

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, you may be on your way to entrepreneurship.

Regardless of the path you choose, consulting is hard work. You will have to give 100 percent to each project, devote however many hours are necessary to produce quality work, and make yourself available to clients.

While running your own business always sounds great in theory, there are many people who need the structure and expectations involved with being an employee to fuel their work ethics – and you may be one of them.

That being said – thanks to the latest technological advances – even office environments are evolving. Both routes could very easily allow you to work (at least partially) from home, with a growing number of employers embracing the concept of telecommuting.

It’s all up to you. Only you can decide where you’d like to be in 10 years, and which route will best help to get you there, whether it be a personal venture or a position within a business consulting firm.

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