Consulting in Corporate America, Part I: From Freelancer to Internal Consultant

Vicki Wright Hamilton sitting in chair holding cash smiling
Serving as a consultant in corporate America, provides some incredible opportunities as well as its own unique share of challenges. I have had the pleasure of working both, as a technology/business consultant for various industries and organizations for almost a decade. I have also been employed by large firms and had the responsibility of hiring consultants. As a result of these experiences, I have compiled a pretty comprehensive list of best practices. Please allow me to share a few of the tips that I have learned along the way, to help those of you who are transitioning from freelance consulting to working as an in-house consultant for a large firm.

Key Points to Keep in Mind During Your Transition:

ROI – Let’s face it large firms have set budgets just like any other company. This means that every dollar has a value of an expected return.  So, when companies hire an outside consultant, they “box” the hours and the total cost for each deliverable. Therefore, the consulting company will employ talented consultants with set deliverables due to their customer.  The teams comprise of individuals, whom have the set purpose and focus to work on that one service for the customer.  Well, that’s great!  But, what happens when the freelancer becomes an internal consultant?  They are now having to accept the talent that is already in place, the slowness of time that may occur on acceptance of change; and know that they have to work on a million things at one time vs. one focused initiative.

It is important to have a good grasp of the people, processes and organization goals in order to serve the company successfully in your new role. Remember, your job is to execute efficiently; simplify processes and increase the return on investments.  The organization is ultimately concerned about how they can benefit from your expertise and varied experiences.

Forge ahead with confidence! Your consulting experience provides tremendous value for any organization that brings you on board. As a freelance consultant you have had the opportunity to work with varying organizations with different methodologies and processes that you can now share with your new organization. Transferable skills that you have learned along the way will be crucial in navigating this new role.  You have the benefit of being able to tackle similar challenges with an array of different strategies.



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