The variety involved in being self-employed wasn’t something I thought about much before I became an HR consultant. I obviously knew that having clients in different sectors would mean variety, but I hadn’t thought about it particularly in terms of challenges or how it might enhance my (and any future consultant’s) working life.
When you work for one employer you find out all about that employer. Good and bad. You find out about the products or services they offer, about how they operate, about their culture and their people. You also find out about the sector they are in, and if you transfer within the sector, you may also gain a lot of experience and knowledge of that sector.
The kind of deep knowledge you get of an organisation or sector from working a long time there can certainly add a great deal to the quality of advice you give, there is no doubt about that. However on the flip side, it can seem as though you are encountering the same problems over and over again, or experiencing the same cultural challenges.
But what our consultants get is a wonderful range of experience in different sectors. They currently have clients in the leisure, technology, engineering/manufacturing, business services, voluntary, marketing, logistics and several other sectors. They are soaking up information about all these different industries, and adding it to their experience and knowledge on a daily basis.
So even if you aren’t feeling particularly disillusioned with the employer or sector you are in, don’t discount the possibility that a variety of clients may give you a new lease of professional life.