Home > Self Employed > Consulting for Your Old Employer

Consulting for Your Old Employer

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 16 Feb 2014 | comments*Discuss
 
Consulting Consultant Employee Employer

Consulting for your old employer is a popular way to change from being employed to self-employed, while saving yourself some of the hassles of building up a client base. It’s not an option that’s available to everyone, though, as it largely depends on how you performed in your role, whether your leaving has impacted negatively on the company, and what type of industry you work in.

Roles Suited to Consultancy

The most popular fields for continued consultancy work include financial services, human resources, marketing, public relations and editorial roles. As a rule, employment with a large element of sales, targets or client development tend not to translate too well to consultancy as your ‘insider knowledge’ of clients and practices may be considered too valuable for you to be able to work with your old employer as well as others. That said, if you only have your old employer as a client in that field, it may be possible, but do remember that the Inland Revenue does not consider working for only one client on a long-term basis as ‘grounds’ for self-employment.

How to Make it Work

In order to make a success of consulting for your old employer as a career choice for self-employment, it is imperative that mutually acceptable ground rules are established. There is rarely that sense of a ‘safety net’ when initially handing in your notice, with no guarantees that the company will continue to use your services, so it is best to have a clear business plan with other clients and potential clients on board beforehand. You'll find that the transition is not always seamless, and you may need a period of time between leaving your old employer, setting up as Self-employed and then offering consultancy services, rather than simply continuing the same but with a different contract.

It can be hard to make the transition from employee to consultant, and to some extent the relationship will always keep an air of that ‘superiority’, but as long as you consistently work well and act in the manner of a consultant rather than an employee, in time it will change.

Consultant Not Employee

It is a good idea to separate yourself from some of the day-to-day office activities that can define the role of an employee, such not getting involved in Office Gossip or not attending the Christmas party. This way, your role as a consultant will carry more weight, and the perception of your role and value to the company will increase. This is especially important when it comes to Negotiating Fees, as you will need to show that you are worth the increased fee compared to being an employee.

For all the potential negatives to consulting for your old employer, there are a number of benefits for both parties. First of all, you will know the company so any learning curve will be greatly reduced. Second, you will be able to fulfil the role as needed without an extraneous time or money, allowing you to work with other clients and build up your self-employed customer base and giving your old employers a value for money service.

This all highlights the importance of getting the paperwork and contractual requirements clearly out in the open prior to starting as a consultant for your old employer, and making sure that you act as a consultant, rather than an employee.

Running Your Own Business

For advice and guidance on setting up your own business, read our article Working For Yourself on this site.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
I am 29 years old currently unemployed, andCA finalist from Pakistan and having audit experience of more than four year from non big four audit firm ... Now I am started another Financequalification and want to become banker. Is it possible
confused - 16-Feb-14 @ 7:02 PM
I have reached the age of 65 and am reducing from full time PAYE to 2 days a week. The Company have contacted their employment consultants who have advised that I should become self-employed but IR say that I cannot be self-employed by a sole client. I don't really want to start a new limited company and all that entails just to invoice one client. What should I do?
kenny - 19-Sep-11 @ 2:19 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Chloe
    Re: Working With Young Offenders
    I am currently a qualified primary school teacher and hold a BA hons degree. The school I am working in involves many children…
    22 July 2018
  • Shaz
    Re: How to Become a Health Visitor
    I have just completed a degree in early childhood studies but have now decided that I want to become a health visitor, what…
    17 July 2018
  • Cliff
    Re: Changing Career to Become a Social Worker
    I am 50 this year I have BA hons degree in sport coaching I also have my cert Ed (qualified teacher) would I be…
    9 July 2018
  • Tim
    Re: Becoming a Social Worker
    Hi, I have looked at Frontline and Step-Up To Social Work. I looked at the 2:1 requirement and the Q&A on this. I got a 2:2 at art…
    7 July 2018
  • ACareerChange
    Re: Becoming a Nurse
    Bslylass - Your Question:Hi I am 41 years old and always had a career within retail but always longed to be in a job that was more rewarding for…
    5 July 2018
  • Bslylass
    Re: Becoming a Nurse
    Hi I am 41 years old and always had a career within retail but always longed to be in a job that was more rewarding for quite a few years now I’ve…
    2 July 2018
  • ACareerChange
    Re: Becoming a Social Worker
    Charlie D - Your Question:I have a 2.2 bachelor of Arts degree, post graduate diploma and level 5 in management health and social…
    22 June 2018
  • Charlie D
    Re: Becoming a Social Worker
    I have a 2.2 bachelor of Arts degree, post graduate diploma and level 5 in management health and social care...I have over 10 years of…
    21 June 2018
  • vh19
    Re: How to Become an Air Hostess
    Hi I am 15 years old, and I want to know what courses I can take at either Sixth form or College. Also the height requirements to…
    16 June 2018
  • Gem
    Re: Becoming a Social Worker
    I am currently a deputy manager in a nursery. Having my level 3 in childcare, leadership qualification and currently completing…
    10 June 2018
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ACareerChange website. Please read our Disclaimer.