How to Treat Your Job Like a Consulting Gig
Do you dread getting up for work in the morning? Are you tired of the meetings that could have been an email and the email thread that could have been a five-minute phone call, or maybe the person that stops by your desk when you are in the office and feels the need to explain every detail of their weekend as you are trying to get through a boatload of work? Maybe it's the lack of organization within the organization or your team being understaffed, and you are performing the role of two to three people instead of one. It can become overwhelming, right?
Have you ever daydreamed about owning your own business? Have you ever thought to yourself, "I have brilliant ideas and a wealth of experience, and I could be offering this for a fee?" Do you feel your voice isn't being heard in the workplace, or do you keep getting overlooked for promotions? Has your career become a never-ending Ground Hog's Day?
Well, it's time for a fresh start. The truth is that running a business is hard work, and it takes a lot of time. Although many think you create your own hours as an entrepreneur, if your pay is limited to your available time and you do not have multiple revenue streams, you can indeed find yourself working more hours than you would in having a 9-5. When you become an entrepreneur, until you build the wealth to afford capacity, you wear the hat of every department in your company. You are the Marketing, PR, Communications, HR, Finance, Operations, and Training department. Imagine juggling all of those hats. The juggling act is cumbersome. However, it is possible, but entrepreneurship is not for everybody.
Before jumping into entrepreneurship, leverage your current job as an opportunity to learn as much as you can and take advantage of every learning opportunity that will lend to your expertise in the field of consulting that you may want to pursue. Stop looking at your peers as competition and start viewing them as allies. You spend more than 8hrs per day with them over 200 days per year in most cases. GET TO KNOW THEIR STRENGTHS! These same peers could be people that you leverage down the road for capacity in future consulting projects that you may land. When you look at your daily work tasks as projects and your organization as your support staff of consultants, it can help you start thinking more like an entrepreneur.
I've always found it humorous that in Corporate America, leadership may tell their organization to "Own Their Business." However, how is that possible if one has genuinely never owned and operated a business and isn't supported with entrepreneurial-minded training in the workplace? Newsflash, most companies aren't going to teach you that because most managers or executives in the company have never owned a business.
You, as an individual, have to OWN YOUR DEVELOPMENT in regards to understanding what it means to "Own Your Business." Therefore, using your free time to enhance the skills you find most valuable as a subject matter expert is critical. Reading books and taking courses that contribute to continuous development is vital. Taking advantage of free resources from the SBA and SCORE around understanding entrepreneurship will assist in your ability to start understanding what it really takes to run a business. Research people in your industry that you aspire to be like and watch how they do what they do. Learn from what they share and start to develop your own way of doing things. Also, start thinking about how you want to be viewed by the public as a subject matter expert, as this will be the foundation to developing your professional brand.
Taking the time to research your organization and its people will challenge you to enhance your communication skills and start formulating the types of client personalities you prefer working with. Having a high level of self-awareness and the ability to understand others will only work to your benefit when developing your service offerings and understanding the market's needs as a consultant.
Therefore, when you head to work tomorrow, think about all of the people, material, and educational resources at your fingertips instead of the workload. Whether working for yourself or a company, the workload is always part of the program. Looking at the resources in your workplace as assets will shift your mindset in understanding how to maximize your skills best. How will you challenge yourself to start looking at your current role from the lens of a consultant?
If you would like help developing your consulting brand and business while navigating your professional career, inbox us or book here: https://calendly.com/moderncreatif/consulting-hour