Why Do We/They Become Consultants?
post # 507 — February 25, 2008 — a Careers post
Pasi Raikisto, from Finland, raised a very interesting question in some email correspondence. He noted:
“It would be interesting to know what kind of experiences drives people to become and stay as a consultant. I know many consultants whose professional life began when they were kicked out from their “normal job”. How often is this the case? Are consultants actually underperforming compared to “normal workers”?
“Or, sometimes, it’s consultants who left professional service firms to go out on their own and start solo or small firms. Perhaps because the professional service firm did not ‘walk the talk.’
“I know that I play the devil’s advocate a bit in phrasing it this way, but I want to challenge our profession and things we stand for. Maybe this is an interesting question for broader discussion.”
Yes, Pasi, I think these are very interesting questions. A lot of the people who read and comment on this blog are consultants of one kind or another, and many left previous organizations to enter the profession (including me!)
It certainly seems as if there are a lot of (maybe a growing number of) consultants out there, who became consultants for (some of) the reasons he proposes. Why is that? Are there any broad generalizations or hypotheses about “us” that can be made? Are we a special breed?