Your Experience and Skills

By the time a person has completed their career, he or she has years, if not decades, of valuable experience in an industry, business, or profession. That experience does not lose its value simply because the person has chosen to retire from the work-a-day world. In fact, once a person actually retires from a job and is able to review their experiences objectively, they may even be able to view it in a new light. Grey hair that was once though of as making you appear ‘old’ is now considered an indicator of wisdom and experience!

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Companies of all sizes have a continuous need for qualified and skilled consultants to work with them to solve the problems at hand. Whenever a consultant can be used for a short term project, business managers tend to prefer to utilize consultants wherever possible and pay for the expertise on a project by project basis rather than having to hire fulltime employees and create a permanent expense that will outlast the temporary project. Many companies will pay more per hour for a qualified consultant than they are able to pay a full time employee to do the same work.

Smaller companies may lack the financial resources to hire the full time skilled employees and pay competitive benefits, etc., but they still have the need for the technical skills. Many of them will, therefore, engage experienced consultants on a project by project basis. What better person could they possibly find than a heavily experienced individual who is willing to work on a part time basis for a specific project? Such a consulting relationship is really great for both the company and the senior consultant.

Hanging out Your Shingle

To become a consultant, a person needs to take inventory of their marketable skills and experiences. Be sure to include all sorts of experience, regardless of how much or how little experience you have in a specific area. Next, do your research and make a list of companies and organizations in your area that would potentially have a need for such expertise

Put together a mailing and/or a phone call list to let departmental managers of target companies know of your skills and your availability. Get on their phone list and offer to help them out on short notice. Be sure to highlight the depth and breadth of your skills and experiences and present the alternative to using your services. Follow up periodically by mail, email and or telephone to remind the decision makers of your skills and availability. It is wise to let the customer be the first to establish the rate that they pay for such services. Often, you will find that companies are accustomed to paying a higher rate than you would suggest. Just Listen before you talk!

Depending on the technical level of the consulting engagement, it is not uncommon for otherwise retired consultants to command consulting rates from $250 to $1,000 per day, plus travel and expenses. At that rate, one does not have to work many days per month to earn considerable cash to supplement a pension and/or Social Security check.

The best rates are reserved for those who exude professionalism, integrity, and flexibility to work within the company’s scheduling, time frames and organizational framework. You need to quickly learn the culture of the company so that you can assimilate into their fold. Our creator gave us two ears and one mouth and in this situation it usually is best to use them in that proportion.

The Consulting Agreement

There should always be a Consulting Agreement in place to establish expectations and limitations of the engagement and it should specify the terms of payment for time and expenses along with billing procedures, approvals, and payment schedules. This is very helpful in managing expectations and engagement satisfaction of all parties.

As you begin your first post retirement consulting engagement, you will naturally feel inferior or out of place when comparing yourself in skill and talent to the client’s employees. If you simply maintain a professional aura, it usually does not take long to earn the respect for your various experiences and skills. You will quickly observe the situation and the people and determine the best course of action. Generally, you learn far more by listening than by being quick to share your experiences and ideas.

By yanam49

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