Breaking Away From Your Firm
When you’re the employee of a consulting firm thinking about getting into contracting, one of the challenges you will face is your ability to break away from that consulting firm in a smooth manner.
The Majority of Consultants
Most people that I talk to don’t want to leave a consulting firm in the middle of a current project. Over the course of the contract they build a relationship with the client and personal investment in the success of the project they are on. What a health IT consultant will inevitably say to me is this, “I want to finish this project and look for a new project as soon as this project is completed.” What they don’t realize is that although they are doing the right thing for their current project, they are making things difficult on themselves IF they do not tell their employer consulting firm they are leaving after the project is completed.
Trouble With Transitioning
So let’s say John is an employee of a consulting firm. Unknowing of John’s decision to leave after his current project, the consulting firm will begin to find a new project for John to start after his current one ends. What this means is that John’s profile may be submitted to other clients, without him knowing, anywhere from 30 to 60 days before his contract ends. There really is no reason for the firm to be informing John each time his profile is sent out because he is their employee and this is just how things generally work. However, each time John’s profile is sent out under the representation of this current firm, it will only create one less place that John can be presented by another firm on a contract basis. The consulting firm obviously does this to increase chances of having another project for John in order to avoid paying unnecessary bench time.
This only leaves two options for John:
- Leave in the middle of a project when a new ideal contract opportunity is presented or
- Inform his current consulting firm 60 day prior to his project completion date that he will be leaving the firm once the project is completed.
Option 2 would be best for the current client. However, this option can lead to other complications with his current employer that I will discuss in another post.
There are, of course, a variety of other scenarios that can arise that can be dealt with on a case by case basis and no two situations ever seem to be similar.
The point of this post is to bring some awareness to the surface that some thought needs to be given ahead of time to make this transition as smooth as possible for all parties involved.