Should I Be a Consultant?

I am in this funny situation at my temp job, in which I don’t work for the people I work with every day, I actually work for the temp agency. This leads to a lot of irritating communications issues. But it also provides a certain amount of distance, which enables me to practice what, for me, amounts to Radical Honesty, which is honest communications for people who are shy or otherwise afraid of Communicating.

It’s great. They know I am looking for a full-time job in the arts, and they are super supportive. Which leads me to yesterday’s insanely adorable 4:30pm conversation. I had not checked in with my supervisor all day, which was okay, because I had plenty to do (including making a bunch of crazy Excel charts, which is way more difficult than it should be–why can’t the labels for the axes myself? I need to take an Excel class, or watch videos online for like 30 hours!).

We were discussing the rest of the week, including the fact that I have to be out of the office for 2 interviews. She was very sweet, and mentioned that she thought I should look into becoming a consultant. She herself had done so for 8 years, and it was amazing!

Now, I have thought about this a lot. But sadly, I feel like I don’t have the expertise or the professional network to embark on a consulting career just yet. As I have said before, I am more of a generalist, and without a specific area of expertise (fundraising, marketing, evaluation). I would want to work on planning and business development, administrative practices, and management and leadership issues. Is that even a thing? Mostly, I am concerned that I just couldn’t execute a consulting business.  YET.

Ideally, I would go into consulting with a partner. I think I work better as part of a small team, where we could use the dynamics of the relationship to challenge each other and to offer multiple perspectives on a project. I loved doing projects like this in graduate school. My favorite was a business planning project a fellow student and I did about a theater-education company in Chicago. It was this great combination of access to information and really great solutions, and the presentation was super fun and engaging, and didn’t feel like work at all. Such a great experience.

Anyway, it was a really sweet conversation.

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