Does Your Career Need a Makeover?
Consider Becoming a Marketing or Creative Consultant
For more than twenty-one years, McKinley Marketing Partners has placed marketing and creative professionals in challenging and exciting roles at some of the best-known companies and organizations in the country. Learn more about the world of consulting as three marketing colleagues at McKinley examine the benefits and share their personal experiences. You never know, their stories may inspire you to try something new.
Marty: Sasha, before taking a full-time role here as the manager of digital marketing you interviewed to be part of our Talent Community, though we soon realized we wanted you for ourselves. And Vicki, you went from our Talent Community to becoming a content marketing consultant for us rather quickly. So, you both have similar stories to share. If I remember correctly, neither of you knew much about consulting before coming here.
Sasha: That’s right. Before talking to anyone here at McKinley I didn’t even know these opportunities existed in marketing. I thought they were mostly for those in the creative space – freelance writers, web designers, graphic artists. During my initial interview, I learned more about it but I still had reservations about the thought of taking a job that was only temporary.
Vicki: I didn’t know much about it either. I thought consultants were only in government contracting or in the creative arts as Sasha mentioned. But the more I learned about it the more intrigued I became.
Marty: What appealed most to you?
Vicki: A few things, really. Consulting seems to fit my personality better. My entire career was spent in full-time roles in the media and in healthcare. It took me a while to realize I thrive on frequent change and new challenges to keep things fresh and to keep me engaged. Also, I’m in graduate school so the flexible hours and telecommuting options are very appealing to me. I think there’s the possibility for more work-life balance with a consulting job.
I was skeptical about not having a full-time job with benefits but I have health-care coverage through the Exchange and it’s working out fine so far. I know McKinley does offer healthcare coverage to consultants but I preferred my own. While it would be nice to accrue paid time off, at least I can take off when I need to (and in some situations, you can accumulate this time). At this point in my career, I’m happy to have the flexibility. That’s most important to me right now with everything I have going on.
Sasha: I like how the time to hire is much shorter than for a traditional, full-time role. I wasn’t working at the time so I needed something sooner than later. I agreed to be placed on the bench and knew I could continue searching for a full-time job even if I was placed on a project. Of course, I couldn’t leave in the middle of a project but that was okay – I was anxious to get something as soon as possible. I was also interested in consulting as an opportunity to work in different industries, with different people, and to broaden my overall marketing experience.
Marty: Consulting is also a good way to expand your network of contacts and to work on a variety of projects that will enhance your skill set. Someone may even find an affinity for an industry they never considered and a new career could be born.
Some staffing firms do offer benefits including subsidized health plans, 401k plans, discounts on continuing education or proprietary learning opportunities, and bonuses for referring other talent or projects. Every company is different.
There are benefits for the clients too. They turn to us when they need help on short or long-term projects that require very specific expertise in marketing or creative services. The workload may not warrant a full-time employee but they need someone who can come in and get the job done. And sometimes, consultants are converted into full-time employees. You never know where a consulting gig can take you.
To sum it all up, consulting is great for those who are:
- In between jobs or searching for new opportunities
- Exploring new industries and looking to enhance their skill set
- Seeking a flexible schedule or telecommuting options
- Project-driven with a need for constant change
If you are a skilled marketer or creative services professional in need of a change, take the first step and create a profile on our website. Or, browse our current opportunities to see if something catches your eye. You have nothing to lose!
Marty Hendershot is Senior Director of Client Services. Sasha Cabell is Manager of Digital Marketing and Vicki VanArsdale is a writer and content marketing consultant.