Before you get all excited about how to become a consultant, let’s define what we mean by the word. A consultant is a person with a particular set of skills, expertise, and/or knowledge that other people and businesses pay for the benefit of learning. If you have no specific skills or knowledge, it’ll be hard to convince people that you’re worth the money.
But for the purposes of this piece, let’s assume you possess a highly sought after knowledge set and are a great teacher to boot. Consultants are hired to give advice, solve problems, and make recommendations. They may be paid by the hour, project, or upon reaching certain performance targets.
When the question is â€œHow to become a consultant?â€ the answer varies. One might think it would be difficult for a recent college graduate to transition to consulting as his or her first job. Maybe not. Though short on practical experience, graduates have a solid grounding in their academic major and could offer their services as on a contract basis while building a track record and client list. With the traditional job market in shambles, this approach might actually work better.
Hobbyists make great consultants because their passion for the subject is genuine. Honing skills in a side business, interest, or hobby, combined with a professional certification if necessary, could be the springboard to leave the job you hate and embrace the consulting career you want. Same with seasoned experts. In fact, a long record of professional accomplishment in a certain field is probably the surest route to consultant success, since your name is already out there.
No matter your station in life right now, perhaps the best advice we can give on how to become a consultant, is get out there and network, network, network. In life, the secret to success is more often who you know than what you know. Maybe it’s not fair but it’s the truth, so you might as well get busy meeting as many people as possible.
The Speaking of Wealth Team
Flickr / Heather Elias