9. Business Consultant
Help others grow their businesses as a business consultant.
- Advantages: Working as an independent contractor on special projects for a number of clients offers flexible hours and the excitement and pace of the corporate world. However, you would need to operate within normal work hours occasionally as well, so make sure you have the freedom to do so when necessary.
- Skills: You’ll need a strong background in your area of expertise coupled with stellar marketing skills to convince potential clients of your worth. You’ll also need excellent communication and people skills – you’ll be going into the company as an outsider, which can be good or bad, depending on the interpersonal culture of the company.
- The Market: The business world. Network among professional and civic organisations in your area and among present and former colleagues. Write articles for the business section of local publications. Give talks to business groups and seminars or workshops at local colleges.
- What you’ll need: You should have top-notch credentials in your specialty – you’ve held prominent positions, can cite professional certification, belong to pertinent organisations, have written books or articles, or taught courses or workshops. You should also have a reference network – colleagues or other business people who can attest to your expertise and business smarts. Besides what’s in your head, you’ll need the standard office setup – a computer, a laser printer, a fax machine and the usual office software.