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How to Become a Consultant While Working Full-Time

By Michael Zipursky
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Here’s a consulting question I received as part of the “Ask Michael” series:


One of my greatest concerns about incorporating and starting my own biz is loss of access to unemployment benefits and jobs should I decide to re-enter corporate America if the biz does not do as well as expected financially.

I’ve seen some peers get laid off, start their own biz, lose unemployment benefits, access to corporate jobs because they see you started your own company, so they don’t want to hire you corporately anymore, so while you’re waiting for the biz to grow, financial survival has been hard for some.

Your thought, tips, ideas on moving through this dangerous maze during a very difficult economic time?


Hi Charles,

This is a common situation and question I get. It sounds like you’re unsure whether consulting is right for you. You have hesitations in jumping into the profession full-time.

One idea for you is to start consulting on the side while you still have your corporate job.

Work evenings and/or weekends on those projects.

Get a taste for what consulting is really like.

See how the business goes.

Once you start building up more experience as a consultant and have some clients, you’ll have a better sense if it’s the right direction for you to go in.

If you’re getting enough traction in your consulting business and your client project revenue is growing and (a) it has the potential to replace your corporate salary, or (b) is at the same level as your salary, then you’ll likely feel much more confident in making the leap from the corporate world to consulting.

Remember, life is full of risks, and taking risks leads to great rewards.

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