What’s it REALLY like to work as a consultant with Harbinger Partners?
For this article, we wanted to do something a little different. Instead of sharing our own insights and expertise, we wanted to hear from one of our top consultants about what it’s really like to partner with Harbinger and how consulting works in the real world. We spoke with Ameet about working with Harbinger and his experiences consulting. Here is the conversation:
Tell us about the experience of working with Harbinger Partners to find consultant opportunities?
I’ve been consulting since 2000. In late 2004, my then consulting firm was having trouble finding long-term contracts for me. They approached Harbinger Partners Inc. (HPI) and were able to find me a great opportunity with a Fortune 500 company in town. I was genuinely amazed by how respected HPI was within their client and consultant communities. So much so that I left my consulting firm to be part of that thriving community at HPI within six months. That was 17 years ago! Over these 17 years, HPI has been a rock-solid partner finding me various opportunities. They have been the most significant marketing machine a single consultant can ask for. They have gone to bat for me, representing and marketing my skills to the best of their ability. I know I can rely on HPI, knowing so many talented individuals work there to make every consultant as successful as me.
How did you get into consultant work?
I was a full-time employee at a small company before entering consulting. One day, the company president called me into his office and said, “I am impressed with your work, and if you keep this up, maybe in ten years you will make $100,000 in a year”. Instead, I heard, “Your income will always be limited and controlled by me.” There was just something wrong with that picture. So I started looking for another job and stumbled on to consulting. Consulting paid better, and that was the initial appeal, but then I realized how much more it can be, not just professionally but personally.
What are some of the benefits of working as a consultant, as opposed to a regular employee?
As a consultant, you don’t have to participate in office politics and none of those pesky performance reviews! You have an entire team looking for your next opportunity and helping with your career development. You are not alone in shaping your career.
What advice would you give to job seekers who are looking to break into the consultant job market?
It is time to deal with the word “Contractor.” You will notice that most of the clients call a consultant “Contractor” or “Contract Worker.” I was often puzzled by this word because consulting firms don’t use the same label. From the client’s perspective, it makes sense that the worker is a contractor and not an employee. Sometimes, they used the word “Consultant,” usually prefixed with “High-priced.” What is the difference? It is all about “Perceived Value.” My advice to individuals entering this profession is to be a consultant and never a contractor. They are the same thing, but your client has to value you more. Consulting is a code of conduct. You and your firm’s reputation are solely your responsibility. Always be ethical, transparent, and useful. Create an infallible brand for yourself. Companies like HPI are there to guide you through it all.