As a consultant, experiencing downtime between assignments can be an opportunity and a challenge. While it may seem like your career is on pause, you can use this time as a chance for personal and professional development. At Hollstadt, we interact with consultants who are in between assignments every day and work to get them back to finding that next great role. With our years of experience, we also have a list of proactive steps you can take to not only stay productive, but also enhance your skills, network, and marketability to make the most of your down time!

Revamp Your Resume

One of the most valuable tasks you can tackle between assignments is updating your resume. Highlight your recent projects, accomplishments, and any new skills acquired. This can be a difficult task to do on your own! Hollstadt recruiters can help you tailor your resume to reflect your evolving expertise and the specific needs of your target clients or industries. A polished resume can make a significant difference when opportunities arise.

Take Advantage of Network Opportunities

While you are looking for that next consulting role, networking becomes even more crucial. Look into attending conferences, workshops, and seminars to connect with fellow consultants, potential clients, and industry experts. Join online forums or professional associations to engage in discussions, share insights, and showcase your expertise. Spending time attending networking events can not only expand your professional circle, but it may also expose you to potential projects or opportunities!

Consider Lowering Your Bill Rate – and Here’s Why

Don’t scroll past this one, we can explain! While temporarily adjusting your bill rate can demonstrate your flexibility and willingness to work with a client’s budget, we have also calculated the cost-to-consultant ratio when they turn down a job because they’re waiting for more money.

Let’s say you’re in the remarket process and are currently not employed. You want to work for $50 an hour and no less. Your recruiter presents you with an interesting role, but the rate is lower than you had your mind set on. It may seem like common sense to pass on the role and wait for a higher bill rate, but you may also want to consider the opportunity lost cost.

What does opportunity lost cost mean? Let’s take a look at the chart below:

Desired Bill Rate Proposed Bill Rate Hourly Difference
$50 $45 $5
If consultant delays starting job by X weeks: Missed Earning: Number of hours to make up cost of delaying:
   1  $     1,800       360
   2  $     3,600       720
   3  $     5,400     1,080
   4  $     7,200     1,440
   5  $     9,000     1,800
   6  $    10,800     2,160
   7  $    12,600     2,520
   8  $    14,400     2,880

As you can see, if you turn down the role because the proposed rate is $45 an hour versus your $50 an hour desired rate, in one week (40 hours of work) you will have missed out on $1,800 of income and it will take you 360 hours to make up that cost. By two weeks, you will have missed out on $3,600 and need to work 720 hours before making it up. By delaying your start for three weeks, you will need to work at least 1,080 hours at the higher rate to recover from the three weeks of lost income. Do you see where this is going?

While you may want to consider lowering your bill rate to avoid this, by working with Hollstadt you have our full commitment to help you increase your hourly rate when it comes time to renew your contract. Sometimes evaluating your financial return on a longer-term contract at a slightly lower rate may be appealing, especially in today’s economy.

Be Open to Going Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Embracing new challenges and industries can lead to unexpected growth. Don’t limit yourself to familiar territory. Explore opportunities that may seem slightly outside your usual scope. This can not only diversify your skill set but also open doors to exciting and rewarding projects you may not have considered otherwise. We have a wide range of clients across various industries. Speak with your Hollstadt recruiter about exploring new industries and how your area of expertise can translate to those clients. Our Recruiting team can offer tailored guidance and grant you access to specialized training. You’re not alone on your journey!

Master the Interview Process

It seems like common sense, but being prepared for interviews is critical! As you compete for projects, practice your pitch, emphasize your unique strengths, and be ready to address any potential concerns a client might have. And you guessed it, Hollstadt recruiters will help you through this! We want to see you land that role just as much as you do, so we take the time to set up mock interviews and help you call out your strengths, because let’s face it, talking about yourself can be hard. We’ll help you with your confidence and preparedness to set you apart and increase your chances of landing a role.

Build a Relationship with Your Recruiter – Always be on the Ready

Your recruiter can be a valuable ally in your consulting journey. Stay in regular contact, keep them updated on your availability, and be clear about your preference and goals. A strong relationship with your recruiter ensures you’re top-of-mind when new opportunities arise.

Gaps in contracts in consulting isn’t a setback; it’s an opportunity for growth and development. It may be just the time you need to reposition yourself for success in your consulting career. Seize the moment and make the most of your time between contracts. The next big project might be just around the corner!

If you would like to get in touch with a Hollstadt recruiter, reach out to hello@hollstadt.com.