So, You Want to Be a Project Management Consultant?
What is a consultant? A consultant is someone who is experienced in a field and provides professional advice to individuals and businesses in their area of expertise.
To become a consultant requires a deep relationship with your field of choice. Your worth is measured in an ability to provide that experience and steer projects through the rough waters of business to growth and success.
Here are some of the most common types of consultants:
- Business consultant
- Sales consultant
- Marketing consultant
- Accounting consultant
- Technology consultant
- Legal consultant
- Public relations consultant
How to Be a Consultant
So ask yourself, do you have an area of expertise to advise on?
As a recruiter and dealing with consultants everyday, I found the the following knowledge and skills certain project managers obtained were successful in their contracts, work for their clients and good rapport with agencies.
- Setup systems and processes to structure your work.
- Get organized, as there will likely be many complexities to your work, and organization is the best way to rein them in.
- Be professional. It’s the only way to deal dispassionately and gain the respect of the many different personalities you’ll encounter.
- Deliver results, which might be the most important of all; for without it, you’re not doing your job.
- Keep your word, because if you’re not trusted, the relationships you build will quickly erode.
- Be prompt, because it’s respectful to not keep people waiting.
- Be clear, concise and specific when you deliver your message to get it across without misunderstandings.
- Know when to say no, which is not easy, but that’s your job to know when something is not feasible or must stop.
- Be able to measure and track success, or else you cannot show that your efforts are bearing fruit.
- Get current with software tools that can help you get things done.
- Hire a coach and/or a mentor who has a proven record of success in your field to help you set up, so you can start things out right.
How to Get Hired as a Project Management Consultant
Where to start? Yes, you’ve heard it before and I will mention it again. Networking. You need to get yourself out into the field and become noticed. That means joining project management memberships, conferences, posting to respected blogs and join social networking networks. This will give you visibility and establish your credibility.
Next, you’ll want to decide on your target rate. That means you need to know what the market is paying for similar services in your field and area.
If you do get a nibble, but the job is below the price you first quoted, be willing to be flexible. You must be realistic. There’s a chance your estimation of the market rate is wrong. But working is always better than not working.
Join a consultant platform like Oomple. Oomple allows you to explore market opportunities and get noticed by agencies, fast. On the platform you can create a profile, share your experience, customize your profile with rate, availability and location and keep it updated in real time. It also a platform where you can apply to opportunities that match your skills directly – all through one app.
I think it’s really important, is to begin to build and nurture strategic business relationships, who will help you get referrals and ongoing work. This is how you build and develop business relationships. Create networks, join platforms, and diversify your clients to make sure that you’re in demand. Then you can choose the work that interests and excites you rather than having to take whatever comes your way.