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Ask Dr. Karen - March 23

Dear Dr. Karen,
You mentioned that there are times when you need to create a consulting job to enhance your career. I have not worked since 7/05 and was nationally downsized in our network management department at a large health care company. I will be teaching online health care courses next month, and was looking at consulting. Can you tell me how to create a consulting business and how to get started. I think that this would be a lucrative business for me while I am in the learning process and looking at innovation tools and skills for the future.
Mary C. USA

 

Dear Mary,
There are many good books and probably some great websites to become a consultant.   Your job now is to do four things: 1) Write down everything you’re good at doing- a skill-based approach 2) Google these to find out what’s out there in consulting ; append terms such as “consultant”, “coach”, and “advisor” to your subject area to find out even more.  As an example, if you want to consult in the health care industry do searches on “health care consultant”, “health care coach”, “health care advisor”, and other terms which you think may be applicable to your industry.  3) Ask people you know if they know anyone who does consulting in these areas. It’s easier to do consulting where someone else has already paved the way. Asking other consultants what they’re doing helps you to get a vision of what consulting can look like. And consultants often recommend other consultants who have complementary skills or have more availability! 4) Raise your profile in your area by writing an article about what you can do well in a trade publication.  For you, that could be one that’s health related.

Start with people you know when you don’t charge. Go to charging individuals small amounts.  Companies can pay more than private parties but usually want to see you’ve had some experience in what you’re offering.

So, for instance, someone who likes to sort through papers and arrange offices so they work well started a company called “Get it sorted.”  She goes into home and work offices and helps professionals, executives and assistants go through piles of papers and their paper flow to decide what to keep and where and what to discard. And, best of all, you learn how to do this on a regular basis after the first painful winnowing!

 

 

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