Sure, career moves are scary, but if you’re considering leaving the full-time employee life to become an IT consultant, you stand to enjoy a new-found freedom. You’ll learn lots, progressively share lessons learned, set your own schedule and be paid to tell people how to improve the work they’re doing.
Whether you still need convincing or are looking for affirmations that you made the right choice, read on for the top six reasons it’s great to be an IT consultant.
Make more money
According to Dice.com, IT consultants made about 25 percent more money than full-time employees in the same time period during 2012, though they may take on the cost of some benefits, such as retirement plans, themselves. And for each hour you work with us, you’ll earn valuable rewards points through our Consultant Rewards program, which you can cash in for the latest electronics, appliances, luxury accessories, exercise equipment and more.
Work a flexible schedule
As an IT consultant, you can accept projects to suit your own schedule. While the full-time world is working 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. five days a week, your work week as an IT consultant is often Monday through Thursday. You fly out Sunday evening and return home Thursday evening. While most work is on site, some clients and some roles allow you to work remotely from home.
See the world
Or, maybe just see the United States, depending on the project. In-demand IT consultants travel to different places for different projects. You may get to work in a rural, outdoor destination in the summer and in a warmer climate for the winter, and you might get to visit places you’ve never been before. Plus, an added bonus of being a “part-time local” is you get to experience a location’s culture in depth, versus seeing it for a few days on vacation. And while you’re traveling, you’ll rack up hotel, airline and car rental points – at no cost to you.
Sharpen your confidence
As subject matter experts, IT consultants have to know their material well and think on their feet. You have to be confident in your decision making and be ready to explain sometimes complex solutions in front of groups. Depending on the project and your role, consultants may also be called on to work directly with C-suite executives, particularly CIOs and CTOs.
Change projects, supervisors and coworkers
Contracts for IT consultants can be as short as two weeks and as long as several years, depending on the complexity of the project, which means you can choose projects that are the right length or location for you. Since each project may be in a different organization, you’ll be exposed to varying personalities, management styles and coworkers, learning breadth and depth both in your field and interpersonal skills, advises Wendy Gillen, Vice President of Services for Microsoft in a speech on consulting as a career.
Hone your skills
Sometimes, the bigger an organization gets, the more fragmented its full-time employees’ jobs become, meaning they could evolve into something completely different. On the other hand, when companies downsize, full-time employees might end up doing several jobs. But when you’re an IT consultant, your experience with specific, originally assigned skills only deepens, and you become the go-to person – even across multiple organizations – to handle certain tasks. This means demand for your skillset, your marketability – and even your pay rate – continue to grow.