It can take a lifetime of job seeking to figure out and find your dream job. You may be in the position where you’ve worked hard and achieved some success, but you haven’t found exactly what you are looking for in a role. Even your definition of your dream job might still be unclear. You might still have a raging passion to do something that you love, but it might be intimidating to explore different industries when you’ve had a whole career in one field. Commitments like mortgages and car payments can also mean that starting a new career from the bottom can be near impossible. Quitting a job that you’re not enjoying may seem daunting, but don’t give up on landing your ideal job just yet. ‘Going freelance’ might be the way you finally figure out what your dream job actually is and what you need to do to get there.
Practicing as an independent consultant will actively engage you in multiple areas of work and allow you to potentially stumble upon something that you’ve always wanted to do. Whether it be working in an unusual job, a position where you get to travel, a C-level role or anything you can dream of, consulting can provide great insights into all walks of life. Skill sets are often transferrable across industries and on-demand work can provide you with a platform to build these skills, trial different areas of work, make connections and learn your value in the marketplace. You might even figure out that freelance consulting is your dream job!
Is Your ‘Dream Job’ Really A Dream Job?
Have you ever worked for years to get a ‘glamorous’ job, only later to find out that this really isn’t the job you were looking for? Plenty of people have been in your position before where the day-to-day does not meet their original expectation of the role. Freelance consulting provides you with an opportunity to get deeply embedded in a role, before deciding that it is something you would like to continue doing. “The great beauty of [on demand consulting] was the try before you buy aspect,” said Jon, one of Expert360’s consultants who landed his dream job in finance after freelancing through the platform.
“I was looking for more of a strategic and commercial role in a family owned business, where I could get more involved than just doing the finances.”
Despite not having direct experience in the industry in which he eventually landed his dream job, freelance consulting meant Jon was able to gain an understanding of the business, and vice versa, before taking the role on full-time. “It was mutually beneficial for me to get a bit more of an understanding of their business and, more importantly, to work with the owners of the business to get a sense of whether they were the sort of people who I would want to work with,” he said. “It also gave them an opportunity to see my skill set and see if I could add value to the company.” In essence, freelancing can land you your dream job by providing you with insights and a ‘sneak peek’ into a role.
Build and Test Your Skills
Independent consulting is an excellent way to improve and test your skills against the broader marketplace. You may find that your skills are transferrable to other industries and areas that you have always wanted to work in. Your resume will vastly improve and your ability to understand exactly what you need to do in order to land your dream job will become clearer. For Jon, transferring his corporate skills to a globally expanding, family run business was the perfect match of using talents that he already had and applying them to different industries. “The company is really going places and I could see where I could really help the business grow,” he said. “I had no prior experience in the industry that I’m now working in, other than an understanding of the company’s corporate clients.”
Work In Different Fields And Make More Money
Consulting provides an excellent platform for trying out industries that you may never contemplate working in. You might find your dream job by searching in wonderful places where opportunities only arose because of their need for an on-demand consultant with your particular skill set. For millennials, job-hopping is just a way of life which is sometimes frowned upon by traditionalists who believe the mantra of: ‘One Career, One Company’. Yet, scientifically, job-hopping has been correlated with higher incomes. The theory behind this correlation is that the more jobs you try, the more likely you are to find something you like. While this may surprise some, it makes sense that a better match for the job will improve one’s liking and passion for the role. This should, in turn, should lead to better performance and, inevitably, boosted income when they find a particular area and role that they excel in. Clearly, it pays to shop around in some circumstances and independent consulting provides this opportunity. If you’re going to find your dream job, you may as well try everything out and get paid great money while doing so.
Very few people would disagree with the sentiment that connections get you jobs. Freelance consulting will massively boost the number of people that you connect with and will allow you to get in touch with people who might be hiring for your dream job. By using an online platform like Expert360, you will be able to easily keep in touch and track these connections.
“I established a good relationship with the first person I worked with [through the Expert360 platform] and over the last two years he has contacted me whenever he has projects,” said Hannah Lee, one of the Expert360s independent consultants. The connections you establish while freelancing will help to land you extra freelance work in the short-term, as well as potentially finding you your dream full-time job.
Freelancing Could Be Your Dream Job
The benefits of consulting are massive, and the work-life balance it provides is a bonus. At Expert360, we have many highly skilled professionals who earn an outstanding wage from consulting independently, full-time. “I’ve got a lot of flexibility. I can negotiate with my client when I work and where I work,” Lee said, who now consults with Expert360’s clients on a full-time basis.
“I’m not really a morning person, so I tend to do a lot of work in the evenings,” she said. “I tend to be quite flexible with how I structure my day.” For Lee, the ability to be flexible with her working hours and the lifestyle benefits that on-demand consulting provides is a stark contrast to her time working at a top-tier consulting firm. Like many consultants who work with traditional firms, Lee struggled to maintain the 60-80 hour working weeks. “I loved my time at a consulting firm, but the lifestyle was impacting my health,” she said. Maybe, like Lee, you can benefit from the flexibility and lifestyle choices of working on demand. If independent consulting doesn’t land you your dream job, then maybe independent consulting is your dream job. You can get paid superbly to work flexible hours for a range of different clients in ever-changing fields. That does sound pretty dreamy.
Things To Be Aware Of When Chasing Your Dream Job
Patience Will Pay Off When Consulting Independently
It can take you ten years to become an overnight success. Jon, our consultant mentioned above, was lucky enough to find his dream job on the first attempt, but for many, it can take months to figure out exactly what they enjoy doing. Landing your dream job while freelancing will take patience and you can’t expect to work out your main areas of interest immediately. That said, by trying out different industries and meeting new people, you will certainly be on a proactive path to finding your dream job, rather than waiting for it to come to you. You will undoubtedly figure out what you want to do more quickly if you are trying a number of different roles than sitting around doing a ubiquitous ‘dream job quiz’.
Be Realistic About Your Financial Needs
Finding your ideal job by freelancing can be straining financially. At first, getting roles can be difficult and figuring out the way in which to best present yourself as a freelancer can be hard. You should expect to make ends meet when you are freelancing (with a top-tier platform like Expert360), but going from full-time work into consulting can be challenging. Yet, the pursuit of anything that is worth your while will be hard. Finding a role that you thrive and excel in will be difficult and you should question whether you have the aptitude and determination to make a major life change.
Commit To Finding Or Creating Your Dream Job
As noted above, the pursuit of your dream job will not come easily. Be ready to commit to putting yourself out there, rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty. Freelancing provides so much more than the mundane daily routine, but you have to put your back into it. The work will be challenging and will require you to be heavily involved when you are on a job. The reward, however, is outstanding, and finding something you love to do will unquestionably be worth it.