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For a Career Home Run, Keep Your Eye on the Consulting Ball

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Want to hit a career home run? Keep your eyes focused on the consulting ball.

GetFive career coaches agree that consulting can be one of the best ways to discover career success and reach professional goals. The job search landscape has changed, and this is a wonderful opportunity across industries.

Even after the Great Recession, many companies — big and small — have opted to offer full- and part-time consulting positions. Many economists and labor experts note changes in the way the job market works and how employers view labor. As part of this changing job market, more companies are hiring employees on a consulting basis because they are still erring on the conservative side.

Don’t let that fool you. These are real jobs with real opportunities! This is a great way for both you and the company to test the waters and ensure it’s a mutually good fit. The goal for most of you is to land a full-time position within your targeted companies or industries. Consulting opportunities are a big part of the new economic reality and may open even more possibilities for full-time work than traditional job search methods.

If you like a particular consulting position, it’s important to maintain a sharp professional reputation and stay on top of every opportunity to network. Remember, 80 percent of jobs are found through networking and direct contact. The number of meetings you have each week will influence your job search momentum and your visibility in the marketplace. How well you manage the meeting and follow-up will determine the strength of your relationship with each contact.

These contacts can be invaluable. First, they might be able to open the door to a full-time position by pushing for you to be hired. Second, if an opportunity isn’t available, they can serve as a valuable reference. Finally, if you really make a positive impression, they might recommend you to other hiring agents, so you can get insider information about additional opportunities in your industry.

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