The Top Five Consulting Career Myths (Part II: Job Security in a Down Economy)

By Anne Falatko, EVP of Recruiting View Comments

The Top Five Consulting Career Myths (Part II: Job Security in a Down Economy)

In a previous post (Is Consulting Right for You?), I discussed how consulting and contract positions are on the rise and what it takes to thrive in this dynamically changing field. Despite the trend of companies hiring more and more contingent labor, many people are still hesitant to pursue a career in consulting due to some common misconceptions.

For example, do you believe there’s poor job stability in consulting? And limited job growth? Or that you’re responsible for your own health insurance? If you answered yes to any of these, then you’re also buying into some of the common consulting myths.

The top five consulting career myths that perhaps were true ten years ago, but are no longer the norm, are:

  1. Consulting positions are short-term.
    • Fact: On average, consulting engagements are at least seven months or longer. While client companies may not want to carry the risk of hiring talent as full-time employees, they still have a need for these niche skills. Many extend project time frames as they grow and uncover new requirements, finding ways to keep top consultants engaged long-term.
  2. There's limited career development or job growth in consulting.
    • Fact: Talent companies are now providing resources to manage the career paths of their consulting talent. Particularly in the IT industry where technology is constantly evolving, companies are offering more professional development opportunities to help consultants keep pace with changing demands.
  3. Job benefits are poor.
    • Fact: More and more talent firms are opting to provide consultants with the same benefits as full-time employees. In fact, at Celerity we hire 83% of our consultants as full-time employees receiving the same benefits as our infrastructure employees.
  4. Consultants’ compensation ends when their project ends.
    • Fact: For high-demand talent, consultancies will plan around anticipated project end dates and continually seek out new opportunities for their rock star consultants. Many companies now have policies for their talent to accrue paid unbillable time during gap periods between projects. They would rather compensate their talent during down time than lose their experts to a competitor.
  5. There's not much flexibility.
    • Fact: While consultants have to adhere to the client’s work schedule, there is still job flexibility in other aspects. Consultants often have the freedom to work from multiple locations and across many different industries and projects, instead of being pigeon-holed with the same activities day-in and day-out.

While there is still great diversity in how consulting and staffing firms operate, it is important to note that the consulting/contractor landscape has changed significantly over the past decade. Many companies have taken steps to evolve in order to attract top talent in the marketplace.

Today, a consulting career is much more appealing than it was ten or twenty years ago, and offers many perks that cannot be found in full-time jobs in a weak economy.

Learn more about a consulting career at Celerity.

Posted in: IT Consulting