Just about six weeks ago I quit my cubicle job to start freelance consulting. A lot of people have asked me why I made the move, so I thought answering that question would be an appropriate start to this blog.
I was no longer learning the things I wanted to learn.
I learned a ton while working at my last company. When I quit, I had been there for over four years and had continually advanced within the organization to more and more interesting roles every year. Along the way, I had to continually learn and adapt to my new responsibilities, and with every promotion I felt like I was getting closer to fulfilling my career goals and aspirations, even as those goals got more ambitious over time.
But at some point along the way something had changed, and I was no longer learning. Instead I found myself feeling stuck. I was in an information bubble at work, and it was very difficult to get out of it. It became very difficult to tell whether I was doing a good job at work or not. I started wanting to evaluate how well I was doing (and how well the company was doing) not compared to myself the year prior but to other companies in similar situations.
So I started reaching out to people outside of the company who were doing similar work, and found that other companies were facing very similar problems, but they were solving them in very different ways.
And I discovered that I really enjoyed learning about how different companies approached and solved similar business challenges. I was really craving this industry experience because the more I learned, the more perspective I gained to be able to make better business decisions myself.
This was the biggest reason I quit to become a consultant. I quit to escape the information bubble, and to instead have the opportunity to learn from many different companies.
But I also didn’t want to work 60 hours a week for a billable hour on someone else’s schedule.
When I decided to go into consulting, I was also very mindful of the typical business consultant’s life:
- The 60-80 hour workweek.
- The constant travel.
- The pressure to make the billable hour quota.
- Lack of control of projects and type of work
No doubt that being a consultant for an established and reputable consulting firm has it’s perks, but it’s probably not for me.
Is there a company through which I could work on interesting projects, so I can continue learning? There probably is, but until I find one, I want most is more freedom.
Freedom to choose my own work hours, freedom to choose my own work environment, freedom to go after the types of projects I want to work on, the freedom to choose my own clients, and the freedom to set my own standards and expectations for work.
And while I realize that none of these freedoms are easy to attain, I am looking forward to the opportunity to earn them.