What’s My Career Path? The Technologist’s Dilemma (Part 2)

In my last post I ruminated on some ways to work as a technologist within a firm. This time I’ll discuss the consultant option. Many of our friends – and even some of us – have either thought about it or gone and done it.

It’s worth considering whether you’d like to set up your own consultancy or work with others. Many Autodesk resellers have developed robust consulting service offerings, and of course Autodesk itself has a strong consulting business as well. If you’re not super keen on having to run a business, one of those might be a good fit.

Work can fall into a few categories: software use/ bim, software maintenance & hardware, or BIM strategy (execution plans, BIM management, and the like). Some consultants do all of them, and some focus on one or two.

I read an interesting Architizer survey a couple of weeks ago, which concluded that firms would rather hire their own in-house technologist(s) rather than engage a consultant. The research was conducted last year, but it’s still valuable.

If you want to go at it on your own, give some serious thought to the type of work you like to do, and who you’ll be targeting as clients. Will you be a generalist, covering many areas of work, or a specialist, with a narrower but deeper focus? It’s probably true that a consultant’s work can only move at the speed of the market, so the key is finding (or creating) the market you want to work in.

Why will people hire you instead of the last consultant who called them? If it’s still true that firms would rather hire in-house technologists, why would they choose to hire you, as a consultant, instead? What do you do differently, and better than everyone else, and how can you demonstrate that in a way that makes people want to pay you for it?

As usual, I have many questions, and I rely on this great community for answers. Can we keep the conversation going?

 

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