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
  • Lou
    Re: Becoming a Painter and Decorator
    Hi, I am a 31 years old Chef who is looking for a career change into the painting decorator industry. I always been painting…
    10 September 2019
  • Woody
    Re: Becoming a Mechanic
    Hi I'm 28 and work full time nights in a job I want to get out of and would like to study/train to become a motor mechanic. How would I go…
    2 September 2019
  • Abbyf38
    Re: Becoming a Social Worker
    Hi! I’ve been a primary school teacher for 21 years (BEd Primary Studies 2:1) and have always had a burning desire to train/work as a…
    9 August 2019
  • Chantelle
    Re: Training to Become a Midwife
    Hi, I’m 29 years old. I’m currently a bar maid and part time nail technician and a mother of 3. My highest qualifications are 2…
    8 August 2019
  • Frankie
    Re: Becoming a Painter and Decorator
    Still looking for help to try and become a Painter decorator Please
    8 August 2019
  • Neilo
    Re: Becoming a Social Worker
    I have B.A (Hons) in Social Welfare Law, Advice, Practice and Guidance. How do I get to be a social worker. I got a 2:1 and three marks…
    29 July 2019
  • Helen
    Re: Finding Work Experience as an Adult
    Hi, I am looking for work experience so that I can gain more experience in administration/ receptionist, I have been out…
    28 June 2019
  • Frank Upson
    Re: Things to Consider Before a Career Change
    Looking for a mentor Please thanks anything hands on thanks plastering painting decorating Anything gardens diy
    21 June 2019
  • Frank Upson
    Re: Becoming a Painter and Decorator
    Please I need help I want a career change 41 not beyond Help me if you can Frank
    19 June 2019
  • Frank Upson
    Re: Becoming a Painter and Decorator
    Are there any painter decorator willing to show me the trade Pass on their skills and knowledge I,m 41 too Seems we are not…
    19 June 2019