Switching to Consulting with Existing Company

First off, I have a decent job with a company that wants to promote me within the next two years after acquiring a few more companies. I would essentially become the head of design (a department that has yet to be created). Sounds great, right? Good job security and all.

And here comes the problem…

I don’t want to live where the company is currently located. Hate it. Much of what I do could easily be completed off-site (i.e. my house.) What are my chances of switching from a full-time employee to a consultant? This could also open up opportunities with other companies. Seems much more stressful, but I can’t stay here much longer. I’m starting to develop a slight “southern draw” in my accent, and that scares the crap out of me!!

Any suggestions would be very beneficial.

As Ray Charles said, if you ask the worst they can say is no.

I know friends who have done the same thing and been successful, working primarily with their old fulltime employer but also consulting for other companies. It really depends on your relationship with your employer.

Also I have friend who work on site 2 days a week and from home 3 days a week, home being like 5 hours away. The company puts them up each week for one night in a place.

Another friend of mine wanted to live on the ocean, so he bought a small ocean front house about 4 hours from work and a condo about 10 minutes from work, he goes to work one or two days a week and works at home the rest.

So it can be worked out.

The real question is do you want it to? If I remember from your other posts, your not the happiest where you are. Maybe getting a new gig in a new town is more of an answer?


Trust me, I’ve looked at other positions, but I seem to have a bad case of bridesmaid syndrome. Runner-up every single time. So, I’ve sort of stepped back and looked at what I have right now, and with some changes, it could work. But it can’t be where it is now.

How do I go about confronting them? Do I offer to take a pay-cut? I assume some of my other freelance jobs will fill the gap in pay.

I’m not looking to do this really soon, as I want to make a calculated approach. February at the earliest. As you said, the worst they can say is no. Then I either go ahead and move anyhow (essentially quitting my job), or stay on in the same location, neither of which are appealing.

I’ve done it before for very similar reasons. I don’t think your employer would even see it as a “bad” thing. You can probably bill more per hr but because they aren’t giving you any benefits, will actually save them money in the long run if I’m not mistaken.

You want to live a good life…work and personally/socially. If the area you’re living in doesn’t allow for that combo you have to go for your own well being.

I used to work inhouse for a place, but then switched to consulting for the freedom to work on other things, etc. They still kept my busy with fulltime workload though, except I just had a lot more freedom to do what I wanted, take time off, etc. I had a very sweet deal where I worked half their site, half mine. Making very good money for what I was doing (loved the company), but I absolutely hated the area, felt (and treated) like a prisoner in my own city. I moved out of state but still get to do some work with the company through email, fax, fedex, etc. I’m not making anywhere near as much money as before, but my life is much better, and I’m a happier, healthier person because of it. And now I work with a variety of places doing different types of stuff, helped break me out of the pigeonhole I worked myself into.

I’d say go for it. You have to do what’s going to make you a happier human being overall. No amount of money or job security can make up for living in an area you hate.

Hey Skinny, thanks man. That helps a ton actually. I need to figure out exactly how much I cost the company once you take into consideration 401K, health and life insurance, etc. That will assist me in presenting them the idea, and that it actually saves them money in the end.

That’s exactly what the director told me. Even though I was billing them at twice the hourly amount I was paid when I was there full time, it was still a good deal for them not having to worry about the extras, etc… And I got to take home more money for less inhouse time with potential to do extra projects. Win win situation. Only hassle is dealing with quarterly taxes if you’ve never done it before. I had to wing it first time, too cheap to pay an accountant. It’s not that bad though. Good luck, let us know how it turns out.

Skinny is right, the company would probably see it as a benifit and if they value you, it would be prefrable to loosing your skills all together. The key is how you pitch it I think. I’m sure Skinny has some good tips.