Job Hunting

CFOs Are Eager to Be Consultants

A large majority of finance chiefs have their eyes trained on post-career consulting gigs.
David McCannMay 9, 2014

For CFOs who may not be ready to stop working upon retirement, consulting is an enticing option, according to a recent survey from Robert Half Management Resources. Among 2,100 financial executives interviewed, three in four said they find the prospect of consulting either somewhat attractive (58 percent) or very attractive (17 percent).

“Project work provides intellectual challenge, the opportunity to take on new types of assignments and the ability to mentor others,” says Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half.

For those deciding whether to transition to project consulting, here are four questions to consider:

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1. What do you hope to accomplish through consulting? You may be looking to work fewer hours or at your own pace, or to bring in supplemental income once you leave your full-time job. Whatever the reason, have a plan before you begin consulting to ensure you are on track to reach your goals.

2. What expertise can you provide? If you can serve a niche in your field, you’ll be in demand as a consultant. Think about a particular skill set or area of expertise you have trouble filling on your own team.

3. How much do you want to promote yourself? If you’d rather focus your time on consulting versus self-marketing, consider partnering with a staffing firm that can help locate consulting gigs for you. A staffing firm also can take care of logistics — such as billing and taxes — on your behalf.

4. Do you thrive in new environments? If you would happily trade the predictability of a full-time job for the variety and flexibility of project-based work, an encore career as a consultant may be right up your alley.