It’s been a little over a month now since my 11 year stint at my former company ended. I’m finding that the practical side of me wants to go back to traditional employment, with steady income and good health benefits. I’ve always been a somewhat traditional, practical person and was raised with the mantra of “be thankful that you have a job.” I like security.
However, when I was approached about a job quite similar to my last job, one that would be an easy transition for me, I could not get enthused. I realized after I was laid off that I had been feeling stagnant at that job. Maybe that means I should go back to doing the Marketing Communications work I did prior to getting into knowledge management – or maybe I need a more radical change.
Being a consultant, living off contract and freelance work, having to buy my own benefits – scary stuff! I did it once before and felt anxious throughout, but I’m at a different place in my life now. It’s also kind of exciting to think about, and I certainly have much better prospects for contract work now than I do for permanent, traditional employment.
What do I have to offer? I’m a good writer, and could handle promotional writing, technical writing, and probably instructional design. I could also consult on Web sites, content management, SharePoint usage, and maybe project management. I’m taking some classes through the Workforce Center to strengthen my knowledge of social media and SEO, and also to explore what it takes to be a consultant. It’s all rather exciting and scary.
I’d love to hear from other 50-somethings who have transitioned from traditional employment to consulting. Did you love it? How long did it take to get established? Any advice?