We came home from a trip last week Wednesday, our third of the year, and the next morning I did a consulting call from this unique bench in a park near a shopping center where I had stopped. It’s a picturesque perch on a man-made lake with beautiful flowers and walking paths. This shady spot is so different than any ‘office’ I had ever worked in.
When I was working for real, MegaCorp contracted with a few consulting services that give companies access to retiree executives and ‘subject matter experts’ across different industries. When I early retired, I flipped sides and became an advisor instead of a client. Now I am able to take a break from stopping and smelling the flowers to spend a little time doing some ‘business’.
It’s a nice ‘work’ break amid my life of ‘goofing off’!
In general, clients are looking for expertise in specific markets or with big company best practices. It’s critical that that you don’t share any confidential information, but that’s not generally a problem as most clients are looking for simple overviews. Some of the clients are companies, but most are management consultants – building their own expertise for their own clients.
What’s great about these engagements is that you are basically getting paid for what you already know. The agency reaches out to me several times a week with opportunities and I just fill out a short questionnaire if I am interested or not. Most of the engagements are very specific and I’m not an appropriate expert for 90% of them. Once booked, I schedule a time with them – usually a week out or so.
Looking at my records, I’ve done a dozen of these gigs in the last 12 months. That’s not enough ‘work’ to get in the way of me goofing off and is enough money to pay for a nice week or two of vacation. The money gets paid into my LLC and has accumulated substantially since we hit FIRE more than three years ago. All of our needs are already budgeted as our FIRE Financial Plan, but it’s nice to have some extra fun money that I don’t feel obligated to be practical with in any way.
If you want to check out a few of these agencies – which bill themselves as ‘Professional Learning Networks’ – look online. The few that I have worked with (not an endorsement) include Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG), AlphaSights, and Guidepoint Global. They all look for a lot of different sorts of experts. Maybe you will find a good fit with your background.
Anyone else have experience working with these kind of groups?
Image Credit: MrFireStation.com (c)
2 thoughts on “Professional Consulting Networks”
I was also a GLG client back in the corporate world and am now on the expert side of things. Coleman is another expert network. Most of my inquiries come from GLG and, like you, most aren’t a good fit. While I haven’t retired altogether (I have transitioned to a more laid back college teaching job with summers off!), I am also doing some very PT consulting with a firm that focuses on my former industry. Enough to pay for a budget weeks vacation and doesn’t feel like work.
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Yes – I’ve done a few with Coleman, too. They don’t connect with me as much. I find the more work I do with one, the more they contact me. Sometimes I get emails from several of them on the same specific topic!